Kotkaniemi scored a goal on two shots, blocked two shots and added two PIM in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Stars. Kotkaniemi prevented Braden Holtby from dialing up a shutout on the Hurricanes with his tally at 16:27 of the third period. The 21-year-old Kotkaniemi has looked more comfortable since returning to center, racking up four of his six goals this year in the last six games. The Finnish forward has eight points, 25 shots, a plus-1 rating and 23 hits through 21 appearances.
Kotkaniemi scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in Friday's 6-3 victory over the Flyers. Both points came in the second period, as the Hurricanes pulled away after falling behind 3-2. Kotkaniemi had only one point (a goal) in his prior 11 games, and so far the $6.1 million offer sheet Carolina gave the 21-year-old to steal him away from Montreal is looking like a poor investment, as he has just four goals and six points through 19 contests for his new club.
Kotkaniemi skated a season low 9:51 in Saturday's 3-2 win over the Blues. After scoring a respectable three points in his first seven games, Kotkaniemi is now riding a six-game pointless skid, and his ice time has declined accordingly. He's still got a ton of upside if he can somehow rediscover his scoring touch, so keep him on your fantasy bench for now.
Kotkaniemi registered a point for the second consecutive game in Saturday's 5-1 win over Columbus, assisting on a power-play goal by Jordan Staal. After a slow start in his first two games as a Hurricane, Kotkaniemi appears to be heating up. His ice time against the Blue Jackets was a season-high 13:32, including a healthy 3:19 on the power play. He's currently playing on the Canes' top line alongside Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, which sounds to us like a terrific recipe for continued offensive success.
Kotkaniemi will suit up for the Hurricanes next season, as the Canadiens elected Saturday not to match Carolina's offer sheet. The Canadiens were unwilling to pay the 21-year-old $6.1 million next season, so they'll receive the Hurricanes' first- and third-round picks in the 2022 draft as compensation. Kotkaniemi is considered a talented young center, but the price tag is quite a high one for a player who managed a modest five goals and 15 assists in 56 games last season.
Last 7 Games
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