Breaking News: Winnipeg Jets sign Olli Jokinen

Posted by David Minuk in Breaking News,Winnipeg Jets on July 2, 2012 — 10 Comments

As per Darren Dreger of TSN, the Winnipeg Jets have signed Olli Jokinen for a 2 year, $9 million deal.

Richard Pollock’s Analysis:

Jokinen immediately becomes the team’s number one center, as he has more offensive talent than Bryan Little.  Last season with the Calgary Flames he posted 23 goals and 61 points in 82 games.  Since 1999-00 he has never played less than 76 games in a single season.  Jokinen increases the size of the Jets up front and makes them more difficult to play against.  He is a shoot-first center who is strong along the boards and can distribute the puck, although not especially well.

Jets GM Kevin Chevledayoff Conference Call:

– Olli is someone we identified as a potential target in free agency. Looking to get a centreman, and we are excited to get him.

– Size, experience and consistency makes us a better and more difficult team to play against

– Very happy to have Olli as part of Jets family. His size is important. “Difficult to handle”. Not afraid to shoot the puck.

– Durable player over the years. Very excited about being at the forefront of a group that has young players and is able to grow.

– Jets looking to have a top 9 group of forwards not just a top 6.

– We will continue to stay active in FA. Have to get a back up goalie done. Jokinen is good in the faceoff circle.

– When you can upgrade at a position it is something you seriously have to consider.

– Team’s biggest need coming into FA was at centre–upgrading the skill set of the centremen. Attention turning to a backup goalie.

– This move was not reactionary to the team being quiet so far in free agency. It was an opportunity to upgrade and we took it.

– If teams were not able to upgrade in free agency, it’s likely the trade market may provide some assistance to teams

  • Thesawch

    good pick up.

  • Lawrence Morrison

    Why would you say he can’t distribute the puck? He had 38 assists…15 more than his goal total.

  • Generally shoot-first centres have trouble finding chemistry with wingers, since wingers tend to be shooters as well. But on a top line with Wheeler and Ladd, that’s a big top line with a playmaking winger on the right (Wheeler), shooting centre (Jokinen) and scrappy left winger (Ladd) who can shoot, hit, and score dirty goals from the tough areas off rebounds and deflections.2nd line of Kane-Little-Burmistrov has some real potential, then a third line made up of some combination of Ponikarovsky, Slater, Antropov and Miettinen. All of a sudden the Jets have 3 balanced lines that can put the puck in the net and hold their own physically.

    My first reaction to both FA signings was “ugh, why?”, but they actually make sense in the grand scheme.

  • Very much agree with your comments re: his style of play and possible wingers.

    The fact it is two years allows the team to bridge to the players drafted last season and the season prior.

  •  His style of play is not a pass-first mentality.  Very few players have more goals than  assists (the two assits-to-one goal ratio makes it difficult) but it does not always indicate he is a good passer.  He’s a solid player but not a great passer.

  • I don’t mind the signing. My first thought was, “Olli Jokinene!?! He has no eyebrows!” But I think having some veteran presence isn’t a bad thing. It’ll give the youngens (Scheifele, etc.) a bit more time to develop as well.

  • Definitely one of the main factors behind the signing—the time to develop, not the eyebrows.

  • Assists don’t necessarily indicate passing. He’s a shooter, and shooters tend to collect a lot of assists from their linemates scoring off their rebounds and deflections. Ladd is a master at both, so could be the ideal linemate.

  • I think this signing is the biggest in franchise history. Holik got 4.25 MM which is close to 4.5. Getting a guy who scored 60+ pts in the previous NHL season is something out of the ordinary. I just hope that Jokinen’s stint will be more successful than Holik’s.;)

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