GM: Trevor Grimm (2nd GM in team’s history)
Coach: Barry Trotz
Last season: 8th overall, lost to London in Round 1
Ins and Outs
(Season 5 to Season 6)
Out: Derek Roy (trade), Carlo Colaiacovo (trade), Antoine Vermette (waivers), Marc-Andre Bergeron (retired), Jarome Iginla (retired)
In: Jason Spezza (free agent), Pavel Datsyuk (free agent), Nick Holden (trade), Christian Ehrhoff (free agent), Michael Sauer (free agent), Pavel Razvodovsky (free agent), Mitch Marner (draft), Kyle Connor (draft)
(Key players signed past Season 6)
Henrik Lundqvist, G; Jack Johnson, D; Paul Stastny, C; Brad Marchand, LW; Nerius Alisauskas, D
1. Will this year’s free agent pickups help? General Manager Trevor Grimm went to the free agent pool at the start of Season 5 and he hauled in a couple of contributors in Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy. Vanek scored 35 goals and 78 points and Roy added 50 points and was a career-best plus 25 with the Jokerit. They both helped the team surge in the standings and both did well in the playoffs, despite Helsinki’s quick Round 1 exit. Helsinki has always excelled at hitting and playing stingy defense, but they have always had trouble scoring goals. Vanek and Roy brought the team’s offensive statistics up without detracting too much in other areas. Roy has since been traded to Madrid, and Grimm turned to free agency again this season to bring in more experience and offensive talent. Jason Spezza, who has two 100-point seasons with Bern on his resume and is only 33, signed and is centering the second line with Vanek on the left and intense and gritty Steve Downie on the right. Pavel Datsyuk, 38, is likely playing the final games of his career, but he can still pass with the best of them. His creativity and intelligence are being used for third-line duty in Helsinki with young Brayden Schenn and Eliezer Sherbatov, who are both certainly capable of scoring goals if they have a good playmaker feeding them passes. Spezza, Vanek and Datsyuk, who all came to the team via free agency, add an offensive dimension the team had been lacking in the past.
2. Are the Jokerit as nasty as ever? EURO league opponents have grown accustomed to looking over at the Helsinki end during warm-ups and then starting to feel the butterflies fluttering in their stomach. The only things missing are the Hanson Brothers and Ogie Ogilthorpe. Helsinki is a nasty bunch of guys and the message you receive when their eyes meet yours is “danger.” This season, if you look at the lineup and see names like Datsyuk, Vanek and Spezza, you would think Helsinki is a softer, gentler group of guys this year. Not so. The leading hitters for the team for years are still there in Jack Johnson, Daniel Fernholm, Jared Cowen and Nerius Alisauskas. Brad Marchand and Steve Downie are annoying, nasty little wingers still and centermen Paul Stastny and Zack Smith like to take the body. Boone Jenner is only 23 and seeing sparse action on the fourth line, but when he is on the ice, it’s best to keep your head up. How Helsinki’s penalty minutes have decreased in each of the last two seasons is a mystery for which Coach Barry Trotz has to get credit. Still, the Jokerit have been the most penalized team in the league in each of the last three seasons.The addition of Michael Sauer to the defense corps might make the penalty minute total rise this year. Sauer likes to play rough and can be quite nasty at times. If you plan to out-tough Helsinki, you better just crumple up that plan and attack them with a different strategy.
3. How much longer can Henrik be King? The Jokerit better hope goalie Henrik Lundquist has at least another sensational season in him because there is no suitable replacement anywhere in sight. Chad Johnson has had a losing record as King Henrik’s backup for the past two seasons, and 20-year-old Stanislav Galimov is nowhere near ready for the speed of the EURO League. Lundquist was originally drafted 12th overall by Edinburgh, but he never played a game in a Capitals sweater. Grimm wanted the high-profile goalie in the worst way even though Helsinki’s Finnish fans didn’t want him as much because he’s Swedish. Still, the GM struck a deal on 12/12/12 (Websim date) to bring Lundquist to Helsinki. In return, Edinburgh received a lot: a promising young skater named John Tavares, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and a second-round pick that was used to pick up another goalie (Jakub Kovar). Grimm added a $5 million payment to sweeten the deal further. Back in those days, teams were allowed to supplement trade offers with cash. Fast forward five seasons and Lundquist has become the darling of the fans in Finland and the undisputed team leader. He has posted a winning record every season and allowed an average of 2.72 goals per game over that time. His save percentage has been 90.8 or better every year. Lundquist’s best season came in Season 3, when he won three trophies: Best Save Percentage (92.2), Best Goals Against Average (2.51) and the league’s version of the Vezina, the Best Goalie Award. Today, Henrik is 34 years old and still considered among the top handful of goalies in the EURO. Most of his Websim attributes are the same or even better than they were when he was drafted by Edinburgh, however, his Durability, Strength and PA attributes have deteriorated noticeably. King Henrik still reigns in Finland, but Grimm might have to start looking for a legitimate heir to the throne.
Season Place PTS PP % PK % SPG SAPG GPG GAPG PIM
Season 5 8 99 20.4 81.3 30.41 30.80 3.22 3.00 12.54
Season 4 13 83 18.8 83.3 29.43 32.65 2.96 3.13 13.60
Season 3 9 91 17.9 87.3 29.17 32.76 2.90 2.91 15.88
Season 2 14 89 17.5 82.9 30.43 31.93 3.01 2.99 14.48
Season 1 17 84 21.7 80.8 30.01 33.09 3.15 3.49 9.63
Top Draft picks
Season 1: John Tavares, C, current age 26. Games played: 407; points: 488; -45
Season 2: Nerius Alisauskas, D, age 22. GP 310, Pts 125, +25
Season 3: Cody Eakin, C, age 24, GP 237, Pts 102, -2
Season 4: Sam Bennett, C, age 20.
Season 5: Adrian Kempe, LW, age 19.
Season 6: Mitch Marner, C, age 18.
Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)
Traded Round 4 pick (used to draft Stephen Weiss) to Copenhagen for Round 5 pick (used to draft Paul Stastny) and Round 12 pick (Marc Staal)
Traded John Tavares, Ilya Bryzgalov, 2013 Round 2 pick (Jakub Kovar) and $5 million to Edinburgh for Henrik Lundqvist
Traded Jamie McGinn to Milan for Nik Antropov, 2013 Round 2 pick (traded later) (Olexander Podbyedonostsev) and 2013 Round 3 pick (Matthew Dumba)
Traded Jakub Silfverberg and 2013 Round 2 pick (Olexander Podbyedonostsev) to Dublin for Boone Jenner
Traded Alexander Burmistrov to Minsk for Brayden Scheen and Kyle Clifford
Traded Martin St. Louis and 2015 Round 3 (Jakub Vrana) to St. Petersburg for Jarome Iginla
*Colton Gillies was once Helsinki property but is with Paris now. Not sure if trade was involved.
Sorry Trevor, I seem to be missing some trades from this period.
Traded Nick Spaling to Minsk for 2015 Round 3 pick (Brandon Montour)
Traded Sven Baertschi to Minsk for 2014 Rd 2 pick (Hunter Shinkaruk)
Traded Kyle Clifford and Gareth Roberts to Frankfurt for Travis Zajac
Traded Jacob Trouba to Zurich for Alexander Radulov
Traded Wojtek Wolski to Oslo for 2016 Round 3 pick (later tried to Stockholm-Ryan Gunderson)
Traded 2016 Round 1 (Later traded to Gothenburg – Olli Palola) pick to Moscow for Nicolas Ehlers
Traded 2016 Round 2 pick (Connor Bleackley) and 2016 Round 3 pick (Ryan Gunderson) to Stockholmfor Nikita Scherbak
Signed Stanislav Galimov (free agent)
Signed Peter Budaj (free agent)
Signed Patryk Wajda (free agent)
Signed Marc-Andre Bergeron (free agent)
Traded 2017 Round 3 pick (Johan Larsson) to Stockholm for Pavel Datsyuk
Traded Derek Roy and Carlo Colaiacovo to Madrid for Nick Holden
After Season 6 started:
Traded Mitch Marner to Moscow for Brock Boeser