Kotkaniemi (abdomen) is expected to be a full participant at Montreal's upcoming pre-postseason training camp, Arpon Basu of The Athletic reports. Kotkaniemi was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after suffering a spleen injury while playing for AHL Laval in early March, but the NHL's extended hiatus has evidently afforded the 19-year-old pivot enough time to make a full recovery. The third overall pick from the 2018 Draft will be available for the Canadiens' play-in round against the Penguins, but at this point there's no telling whether coach Claude Julien will opt to insert him into the lineup. Kotkaniemi notched six goals and eight points while posting a minus-11 rating in 36 top-level games before being sent to the minors Feb. 1.
Kotkaniemi will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign with a spleen injury, Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca reports. Kotkaniemi struggled at the NHL level this season, notching six goals and eight points while posting a minus-11 rating in 36 games, but he excelled in the minors after being sent down on Feb. 1, racking up 13 points in 13 games. The third overall pick from the 2018 draft should be an everyday player for the Canadiens in 2020-21.
Kotkaniemi (abdomen) is without a specific recovery timeline after returning to Montreal, Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca reports. At this point, Kotkaniemi figures to miss the rest of the 2019-20 campaign, especially if he requires surgery. The Finn likely would have earned an additional call-up this season after appearing in 36 contests for the Habs, though now that seems unlikely. Heading into the 2020-21 campaign, the 19-year-old should be in the mix for a spot on the 23-man roster.
Kotkaniemi suffered a splenic injury during Friday's game against AHL Cleveland. Kotkaniemi was taken to a hospital in Cleveland after exiting Friday's game, where he spent the night under observation, but he's scheduled to return to Montreal on Saturday, where he'll undergo further evaluation by the Canadiens' medical staff. Another update on the 19-year-old forward's status should be released in the coming days.
Kotkaniemi had an assist, one shot and a two-minute minor in his first game for AHL Laval on Saturday. Kotkaniemi lined up as the Rocket's top-line center in the first game after being sent down by Montreal, which will rely on veterans while it still has a shot at the postseason. The young Finn dealt with injuries at the NHL level -- he missed seven games with a groin injury and another eight due to a concussion -- which may have played a role in his disappointing sophomore season. At the time he was sent down, Kotkaniemi had just eight points and was a team-worst minus-11 over 36 games. The Canadiens will give Kotkaniemi more ice time and opportunities to work on his faceoff skills at Laval. He made the jump from Finland straight to the NHL as an 18-year-old last season, so perhaps this is the reset he needs.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||79||11||23||34||1||1||0||2||359||426||88.5|