Preds 2017 first-rounder Tolvanen will play in the KHL next season

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The future of Nashville Predators prospect Eeli Tolvanen became a little more clear on Wednesday, as he decided to sign with Jokerit of the KHL.

After playing each of the last two seasons in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers, Tolvanen had committed to playing at Boston College next season. Unfortunately, he was deemed ineligible after failing to meet the school’s admission requirements.

The 18-year-old had an impressive 30 goals and 54 points in 52 games with the Musketeers last season. He also stood out at the World Junior Hockey Championship by putting up six points in six games during the tournament.

Because he played in the USHL, Tolvanen was eligible to make the leap straight to the AHL, but that seemed like a bit of an aggressive move for such a young player, and the Preds decided against it. He could have also gone to the CHL to play for the Oshawa Generals, who selected him in the import draft, but going back to his home country probably made the most sense.