Dallas Stars restricted free agent Julius Honka signed with Finland's JYP Jyväskylä on Thursday, with an opt-out clause until Dec. 1.
JYP said Honka will make his Liiga debut on Friday. Dec. 1 is the deadline for RFAs to sign a contract in the NHL to play this season.
Stars general manager Jim Nill said last month that Honka had requested a trade from the team after appearing in 29 games with the team last season.
"Did we handle him right at times? Yes or no, we don’t know," Nill said. "And it’s on the player, too. You get an opportunity, you’ve got to grab it. Sometimes, things don’t work out. There’s different personalities, but that’s sports and that’s life."
Honka, who had four assists and a minus-2 rating with the Stars last season, spent the final 35 games of the season as a healthy scratch and did not dress in the postseason.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie said last month the Stars are likely looking for a second or third-round pick or a young player back for Honka. As TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger notes, once Honka plays a game in Finland, he will require waivers to sign with any team other than a Stars, meaning Dallas will then look to complete a sign-and-trade.
The 23-year-old joins Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujärvi as NHL restricted free agents playing in the Liiga. Puljujärvi, who has also requested a trade, has an NHL opt-out in his contract with Karpat as well. He has three goals and eight points in nine games this season.
Honka has two goals and 13 points in 87 career games with the Stars. He was selected 14th in the 2014 NHL Draft.