Jokipakka secured a one-year deal with KHL Sochi on Monday, Igor Eronko of Sport-Express reports. Jokipakka attempted to earn an NHL contract in training camp with the Capitals, but was released from his PTO. The blueliner will head back to Europe -- this time in the KHL -- and will likely be hoping he can impress enough to get another look heading into the 2018-19 campaign.
Jokipakka was released from his PTO with the Capitals on Tuesday. Originally drafted by the Stars with a 2011 seventh-round pick, Jokipakka hasn't made much noise in the NHL since then. His numbers include a mere three goals and 25 helpers over 150 games between the Stars, Flames and Senators. Lauded for his hockey smarts from the back line, there's still a possibility that the Finn finds work elsewhere ahead of Opening Night; the regular season doesn't start for another week, and roster configurations remain fluid for plenty of teams.
Jokipakka signed a professional tryout agreement with the Capitals on Tuesday. The deal makes a lot of sense for both sides -- Jokipakka gets another shot at an NHL roster after it appeared he would have to play in Europe this season, and Washington gets another potential option for its blue-line corps that is a bit thin following the offseason departures of Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner. Jokipakka has yet to find consistent ice time or point production in any of his three NHL seasons to this point, so he isn't likely to be a usable fantasy option even if he does make the Caps' roster.
Jokipakka will not receive a qualifying offer from Ottawa, Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports. Jokipakka is expected to return to Europe to continue his professional career; he last played overseas during the 2012-13 campaign. The blueliner never seemed to gel with the Senators, as he appeared in a mere three contests after being acquired via trade at the deadline. Considering that he went unclaimed off waivers earlier this year, it seems unlikely there will be any NHL offers for the 25-year-old. If he can get his game back on track, there's a chance Jokipakka will make his way back to North America down the road, but it's not worth waiting for him even in deep dynasty formats.
Jokipakka was scoreless with a minus-1 rating in 11:52 of ice time Thursday against the Wild in his team debut. Jokipakka came over from the Flames in the Curtis Lazar deal at the trade deadline, but he has been in street clothes until Thursday. Injuries to Erik Karlsson (undisclosed) and Marc Methot (upper body) is testing the depth of the Senators, causing a need for Jokipakka to finally draw in. He might have a regular role with Methot not expected back until the postseason, but his fantasy value is negligible.
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