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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned forward Waltteri Merelä to the Syracuse Crunch, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced. 

Merelä, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, has played in 10 games with the Lightning this season, averaging 10:54 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.

Prior to joining Tappara, Merelä played parts of three seasons with the 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.

Single-game tickets and ticket packages for the 2023-24 season are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Crunch office located inside the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial at 800 S. State St. in Syracuse, by calling the office at 315-473-4444 or online through Ticketmaster. For the latest Crunch news, visit or follow the club on Facebook (, Twitter (@SyracuseCrunch) and Instagram (@syracusecrunch).


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