For the contract he currently has with the Carolina Hurricanes, Jesperi Kotkaniemi is not particularly productive. But that could change.
Parenthesis, before starting: yes, we are talking about KK.
Because as the former third overall pick for the Canadiens, following his performance is
interesting – and allows us to measure whether the Montreal club made the right decision by leaving him
So Kotkaniemi, according to the official website of the National Hockey League, will play on the second line with the Carolina Hurricanes.
That prediction fits with what Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said in mid-July about his young forward. The latter said to see the 22-year-old center among his first two lines.
And after doing the rounds of many sites with roster predictions, NHL.com’s case is not isolated at all.
However, even if it becomes official once the 2022-2023 season is launched, which is a real possibility, allow us to be skeptical. It’s all about offensive production.
In fact, in his first season in a Hurricanes uniform, the Finn simply recorded 12 goals and 17 assists in 66 games.
It’s more than in a Habs uniform (5-15 in 56 games), of course. But this is insufficient, considering that it was acquired via a hostile offer whose bill will be salty if it does not progress.
What may explain this potential promotion is the departure of Vincent Trocheck, who left for the New York Rangers after a 51-point campaign with the Hurricanes. But KK, at the moment, is far from a 50 point scorer.
It’s up to him to surprise us now.