Former NHL hockey participant Jussi Jokinen introduced his retirement from skilled hockey final week. Jokinen performed with 9 completely different groups over 13 seasons, amassing 191 objectives and 563 factors.
His dazzling strikes embroidered his profession as a shootout specialist. He usually froze opposing goaltenders by skating in shut throughout his shootout makes an attempt and assuredly wrapping the puck into the web. Normally, goalies anticipated photographs from the slot, and Jokinen was one of many first shooters to make use of his creativity to dumbfound an opposing netminder. His prowess within the shootout led to him being named one of the crucial memorable shootout specialists in NHL historical past.
Jokinen was rapidly labeled as a shootout specialist in his rookie season, miraculously changing his first 9 consecutive shootout makes an attempt. He ended the season 10 for 13 and completed first within the league in shootout objectives and shootout share. The NHL launched the shootout earlier than the 2005-06 season as part of a brand new collective bargaining settlement. When Jokinen was with the Carolina Hurricanes, he informed NHL.com author Michael Smith that the shootout was adopted in Finland two years earlier than the NHL.
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His shootout stats in Finland had been okay at finest, and, by his personal account, he wanted to get higher and spent additional time practising one-on-one in opposition to a goalie. “I began to work on my shootout strikes somewhat bit extra, the low blocker and the one-handed transfer,” he mentioned. “I nonetheless spend time over the summer time practising these strikes and a few new ones.”
Jokinen’s strategy throughout shootouts blended his ability as a shooter together with his mentality in a one-on-one state of affairs. When dealing with Tim Thomas, he skated on to the goaltender earlier than making his transfer. Different occasions, he used a extra methodical and roundabout path to the web to idiot a goaltender that attempted to foretell his motion. His use and seamless execution of the one-handed shot pushed him into the upper echelon of early shootout scorers.
The Dallas Stars drafted Jokinen within the sixth spherical of the 2001 Draft out of Finland. He spent 4 years with Kärpät within the SM-Liga in Finland earlier than making his NHL debut in the course of the 2005-06 season.
Whereas he established himself as a shootout specialist, he had separate 50-plus level seasons with the Stars, Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Florida Panthers. He virtually made my record of “3 Stars’ Draft Picks Who Didn’t Work Out in Dallas,” however on account of various issues, like inconsistent play and consistently shifting groups, his time in Dallas is akin to what he did elsewhere.
He had 131 factors over 215 video games, averaging .61 factors per sport in Dallas. That’s barely higher than what he did in Florida, averaging .57 factors per sport whereas totaling 132 factors in 231 video games, and considerably worse than his time in Carolina, averaging .64 factors per sport with 185 factors in 288 video games.
His stint in Dallas goes unnoticed primarily in comparison with the remainder of his profession stats, however his time with the Stars would set the mannequin for taking part in with different groups. Jokinen performed a mean of 13 minutes an evening with Dallas, primarily as a result of the 2005-06 workforce was flush with expertise. He was leaned on extra on in Carolina and Florida, averaging round 17 minutes of ice time an evening for each groups.
Jokinen, as a participant, had a fruitful however fluctuant profession. He had flashes of greatness, posting a number of 50-point seasons whereas skating on the second or third line. He was gifted within the shootout and was unstoppable for almost 10 seasons. He even got here up clutch within the playoffs for the Pittsburgh Penguins throughout their 2013-14 playoff run.
Dallas Stars author at ‘The Hockey Writers’. I’ve beforehand lined school sports activities on the College at Albany. I secretly love to research trades from the previous and observe the impression on a workforce’s future.