Bought out by Florida with one year left on his contract after a hideous campaign in which he managed just 28 points -- less than half his total from the year before -- Jussi Jokinen subsequently signed a one-year deal with Edmonton, where he's expected to play a middle-six role. Perhaps more importantly, he's also expected to mentor fellow Finn Jesse Puljujarvi, and the two may play on the same line with the hope that they'll elevate one another's games. Jokinen's greatest asset is his versatility, which means he may get moved all over the lineup and potentially play a few shifts with Connor McDavid and/or Leon Draisaitl. The 34-year-old could see an uptick in production by virtue of playing for an Edmonton team with an explosive offense, but with Jokinen coming off arguably his worst season as a professional and seemingly getting left behind by the speed of the modern NHL game, there's certainly reason to be concerned that his skills are declining too much for him to be a fantasy asset in most formats.
Jokinen agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Edmonton on Friday. Jokinen joins Connor McDavid and company after three seasons with the Panthers. It was a difficult 2016-17 campaign for the winger, as he saw action in just 69 games due to injury and failed to reach the 30-point mark for only the third time in his 12-year career. Even in a bottom-six role, the veteran's numbers should get a boost from joining the high-powered Oilers offense. Falling somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 points is within the realm of possibility for Jokinen this upcoming season.
Jokinen will have his contract bought out by the Panthers, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports. The Finn has one year remaining on his four-year contract, which is valued at $4 million annually. Given Jokinen's age -- he's 34 years old -- the Panthers will have to pay him two-thirds of his remaining salary spread out over the next two years after the waiver process takes its course. He struggled with a knee injury this past season and ended up with just 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) and a career-worst minus-15 rating in 69 games.
Jokinen has one year remaining on his contract with the Panthers, commanding $4 million. After that, he'd be an unrestricted free agent. Jokinen's deal includes a modified no-trade clause, but he still could be exposed to the Las Vegas expansion draft in June. The journeyman on the wing struggled with injuries this year, seeing his point total drop from 60 to 28 compared to the previous campaign. Of course, an abrupt in-season coaching change from Gerard Gallant to Tom Rowe, who won't be returning next season, seemed to disrupt the team chemistry in a negative way. Still, the Finn in question has played for five different NHL teams, so one would think he could laugh in the face of adversity by now. Health permitting, we'd bet on a rebound from Jokinen next year, but reevaluating the 34-year-old would be necessary if he finds himself in Sin City.
Jokinen contributed a power-play goal and an assist Tuesday against Toronto. Both of Jokinen's points came in a 3:11 span during the second period, as he assisted on Reilly Smith's 11th goal before reaching double digits himself with a power-play tally. He broke a 10-game goal drought here while also posting his sixth multi-point effort in the past 27 games; the Finn went without one in his first 31 appearances. Despite Jokinen's recent resurgence, the 33-year-old forward still has just 25 points after registering 60 last season.
Jokinen collected two assists -- one with the man advantage -- during Wednesday's win over Edmonton. With five goals and 10 points through his past 10 games, Jokinen has picked up his offensive production considerably. The hot stretch aligns with Florida dressing a healthy lineup, and considering the veteran's respectable numbers over the previous three seasons, a strong finish to 2016-17 is likely ahead. Keep expectations in check for his goal and shot totals, but he's a capable power-play producer who can pad the assists column. Jokinen is still a ripe value in daily contests and a worthwhile grab in the majority of seasonal settings.
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