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BREAKING: Oilers Sign Jussi Jokinen

Speculation began flying last night that the Edmonton Oilers were closing in on veteran forward Jussi Jokinen. Today, the club has confirmed the signing of the Finnish forward to a one-year contract. Dustin Nielsen of TSN1260 reports that the deal is for $1.1 million. This is an exceptional value signing for the club.

Jokinen has been largely effective over the course of his NHL career, but is coming off of a difficult final season with the Florida Panthers. Jokinen scored just 11-17-28 in 69 games, but he dealt with injuries and was misused by interim coach Tom Rowe.

Jokinen registered 18-42-60 for Florida in 2015-16, and prior to that had seasons of 44, 57, 22 (33 games, 2012-13), and 46 points. Over the last six seasons, Jokinen has been quite a solid middle-six forward who can produce offense, kill penalties and provide a veteran presence.

The Fit:

Jokinen is a left-shot left winger who gives Edmonton some much needed depth on the wings. As it currently stands, I think he’s a lock for top-nine minutes and could see him sliding in next to Ryan Strome and Jesse Puljujarvi on Edmonton’s third line next season. He’d be a strong offensive compliment who can play a well rounded game with the two youngsters.

Personally, I really like this signing. Jokinen had a tough year in Florida but he has a proven track record and is a very good bet for this Oiler team. This is the kind of astute signing that I’ve mentioned Peter Chiarelli must cultivate to keep this club competitive moving forward.

The Scouting Report:

Via The Hockey News:

Assets:
Is skilled and polished. Rarely makes mistakes with the puck and is also a sound positional forward. Excels in shootouts and can line up on either side of center (and he even takes face-offs).
Flaws:
Isn’t very big or strong, and can be intimidated by bigger defensemen. Is considered a bit ‘soft’ by NHL standards. Lacks consistency in the offensive zone. Is a declining performer.
Career Potential:
Versatile, skilled veteran forward in decline.

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