Though relatively new to the team, Edmonton Oilers forward Jussi Jokinen is fitting in well so far at training camp.
Edmonton held scrimmages at camp Sunday, with one of the lines consisting of Jokinen alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi. During the scrimmage, his line showed great speed and chemistry, scoring two goals for Team Blue in their eventual 6-5 shootout loss to Team White.
Following the scrimmage, head coach Todd McLellan told reporters that he was impressed with what he has seen from the 34-year-old winger so far.
“There’s a lot of things to like about him,” McLellan said. “I think he’s going to adjust quickly to our group.”
Jokinen Fitting In
Edmonton is currently lacking when it comes to right-wing depth, and that is one of many places that Jokinen can fit in. Not only that, in wake of an injury to left winger Anton Slepyshev, there is possibly room for Jokinen to slide in on his natural left side.
After an outstanding 18 goal and 60-point campaign with the Florida Panthers in 2015-16, Jokinen saw his totals drop this past season. The Finnish forward recorded just 11 goals and 28 points and was also a minus-15. However, despite all of that, it looks like he can put a lot behind him and make an impact with Edmonton.
First off, he can act as a mentor to Puljujarvi, his fellow countrymate, and that chemistry is already evident just days into camp. The two have been on the ice together and have played on the same line, and appear to be forming a connection.
Second, given his offensive instincts and playmaking ability, Jokinen is a player who can add a lot to his line and help create some scoring chances. He is also great in shootouts and has strong hockey sense. This should also be easy for him considering Edmonton’s young guns and depth on the forward lines.
Additionally, he looked good with Nugent-Hopkins as well. If they can bounce off each other, he will likely earn a lot of ice time from Edmonton.
Overall, though it’s still early, things are looking good for the veteran, and he could be on the Oilers top six by the time the season kicks off.