St. Louis native Philip McRae is leaving the Blues to play for Tappara Tampere in the Finnish Elite League.
McRae, 23, played 15 games for the Blues in 2010-11, collecting one goal and two assists. The son of former Blues winger Basil McRae, he played three seasons with the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League, scoring 32 goals and 41 assists in 162 games, including seven goals and 11 assists in 45 games last season.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound McRae was the Blues’ second-round pick in the 2008 draft, the 33rd player chosen overall. Earlier this week, during a Blues orientation camp, general manager Doug Armstrong mentioned this was an important season for McRae’s development, which has been slowed by injuries.

The Blues felt McRae would benefit from playing with a more talented Chicago Wolves team, their new AHL affiliate.

“He’s had some injury issues where he’s never been able to get his feet on the ground and run at a consistent pace,” Armstrong said Tuesday. “This is a huge year for him. He’s getting much bigger, he’s turning into a man …”

But on Wednesday, the team found out McRae was headed to Finland, where he will make an additional $50,000 to $60,000 for his services. Armstrong was a bit surprised by the news but wished McRae success. The Blues retain McRae’s NHL rights for four more years.