Edmonton Oilers: What Jussi Jokinen Contributes So Far

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 21: Jussi Jokinen. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 21: Jussi Jokinen. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /

In hopes to add a bit more depth on the right side, the Edmonton Oilers signed veteran Jussi Jokinen to a one-year deal early in the offseason.

Though the 34-year-old had just 11 goals and 28 points through 69 games last season, he had a standout 81-game campaign with Florida in 2015-16, where he racked up 18 goals and 60 points.

Coming into this season, Jokinen was expected to not only compete for a top-six spot and prove his worth but to add depth and scoring on the wing. He is a versatile player who can slot in pretty much anywhere on the forward lines. Not only that, he is a solid two-way player who takes good care of the puck.

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers /

Edmonton Oilers

Jokinen in 2017-18

So far, through nine games this season, the Finnish winger has just one assist under his belt. He has been demoted to the fourth line, skating alongside Jujhar Khaira and Anton Slepyshev, and at times, he’ll appear to lack speed or creativity in the offensive zone. On the flip slide, his defensive style of play is what makes him a solid member of the Oilers forward lines.

Looking at his 200-foot game, Jokinen is poised and strong at both ends of the rink. He has six takeaways and just one giveaway, and he handles the puck with aplomb.

Jokinen isn’t a player that makes mistakes in his own zone, and he knows how to maintain possession and backcheck effectively. Not only that, he has blocked nine shots this season, and though he isn’t a physical player, he is proving to be one of the most solid defensive forwards on the team.

He also has great possession metrics; Jokinen boasts a 62.8 percent Corsi and a 6.8 relative Corsi, and though it’s still early, that’s with him spending nearly 63 percent of his zone starts in the offensive zone.

The 6-foot, 191-pound forward could also do more to use his frame to his advantage; he shouldn’t shy away from throwing his weight around. He has just three hits this season, and if he added a bit more physicality, it would benefit his overall game. But nevertheless, he is great on the backcheck.

However, his ability goes far beyond his defensive game, and that must show on a team that is lacking offence. He has 17 shots on goal so far and 30 total shot attempts, meaning that only a little over half of his shots make it on goal. If he wants to improve his totals and start producing, he needs to take more time to set up his shots and shoot accurately, all while putting more focus into being more aggressive on the forecheck.

Next: Edmonton Oilers: Takeaways from Loss to Capitals

Overall, while Jokinen is playing a solid defensive game for Edmonton, he must add a bit more to his offensive game, especially as the Oilers start to look for more production beyond the top line.