TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Waltteri Merelä from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Merelä, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, has played in 10 games with the Lightning this season, averaging 10:55 in ice time. He made his NHL debut on October 10 against the Nashville Predators.

The 24-year-old played for Tappara of the Finnish Elite League, the top professional ice hockey league in Finland, during the 2022-23 season and posted 15 goals and 33 points in 41 regular season contests. The right-shot winger also averaged a point a game in 14 playoff contests, recording eight goals and 14 points to lead the team for goals and rank tied for second for scoring in helping Tappara to its second-straight Liiga championship. In 2021-22, Merelä notched 21 goals and 44 points in 57 regular season games for Tappara, ranking second on the team in both categories. He led Liiga in 2021-22 for plus/minus (+31) and finished tied for fifth for goals and eighth for scoring.

Tampa Bay Lightning WALTTERI MERELÄ

Prior to joining Tappara, Merelä played parts of three seasons with Pelicans of the Finnish Elite League (2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21), amassing 17 goals and 46 points in 114 regular season contests. Merelä also saw action in one game for Finland at the 2023 World Championship, scoring a goal in Finland’s group play matchup against Hungary.


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