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Lauri Pajuniemi says time was right to make leap to North America

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Lauri Pajuniemi knew, at the end of last season, that the time had come for him to leave Finland and make the leap to North America.

"Yeah, I played there four seasons with the men's (professional team),’’ Pajuniemi said Thursday at the Rangers’ prospect development camp at their MSG Training Center. "The first two seasons I played a smaller role, third and fourth line. And the last couple seasons I played over 20 minutes, all the time. So I think this is the good step for me to come to the AHL (with the) smaller rink, or the NHL, and improve my game.