GM: Trevor Grimm (2nd GM in team’s history)
Coach: Barry Trotz
Last season: 9th overall; In playoffs, lost to Moscow in Round 1.
Ins and Outs
(Season 6 to Season 7)
Out: Thomas Vanek (free agent), Mark Stuart (free agent)
In: Niklas Hjalmarsson (free agent), Tyler Jost (draft), Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (draft), Scott Laughton (draft)
(Key players signed past Season 7)
Alexander Radulov, RW; Jack Johnson, D; Paul Stastny, C; Brad Marchand, LW; Nerius Alisauskas, D
1. The center position is deep. Why? Cody Eakin is a decent player who sort of blew it for himself last season with the Jokerit. With longtime Finland favorite Paul Stastny settled in for another season, General Manager Trevor Grimm brought in free agent centers Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Spezza to add to the lineup, and Eakin found himself in a battle for playing time with Zach Smith. Smith was better. Eakin only got into 21 games and produced just 5 points. Grimm was able to retain the services of Spezza and Stastny with long-term deals, and Eakin may again be fifth on the depth chart, with 30-year-old Justin Abdelkader right beneath him, itching to get into the action and determined youngster Sam Bennett lurking a little further down the list. Helsinki is strong at center and might be able to afford to trade a quality player. Prospects Kerby Rychel, Brock Boeser and Kyle Connor are all wingers who should all break into the EURO League soon, giving Helsinki a wealth of young wingers (Alexander Radulov, Nikolaj Ehlers, Eli Sherbatov and Boone Jenner are already there) looking for young centers to play with.
2. Will they lead the league in penalties for the fifth straight season? Teams don’t get trophies for being the toughest team in the league. If they did, cabinet makers in Finland would again be expanding the Jokerit’s trophy case in 8 months. When you look at the team’s Discipline ratings and you see that at least 10 of them are lower than Zack Smith’s, you know it’s a team that likes to hit. The theory? Hitting makes opponents forget about setting up fancy passing plays and instead has them thinking about avoiding big hits. And if you have strong penalty killers and a good goalie – Helsinki has both – then the penalties that are the by-product of the aggressive strategy won’t hurt too much. But surely, Helsinki fans want to see the team get closer to the Cup before 35-year-old Henrik Lundquist isn’t playing any more. If the Jokerit disappoint again this season, philosophical changes could be in store.
3. Any breakout seasons coming for the Jokerit? Daniel Fernholm, a low key 27-year-old Swedish defenseman who was ninth in the league in hits last season, seems poised to become a well-known name throughtout the league. That’s if he can get past 23-year-old Nerius Alisauskas on the depth chart. Both men will be competing for first pairing duty to play with Jack Johnson, who seems to be a fixture and has been since Season 1. Promising Nikolaj Ehlers has a chance to switch to the left wing and get regular playing time, but his flashy style of play doesn’t mesh well with Helsinki’s rough and tumble philosophy. He could see top powerplay time, but he won’t realize his promising potential until he gets regular playing time with offensive-minded forwards.
Season Place PTS PP % PK % SPG SAPG GPG GAPG PIM
Season 6 9 91 14.6 85.7 29.96 29.48 3.18 2.98 12.87
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 27. Games played: 588; points: 488; -39
Season 2: Nerius Alisauskas, D, age 23. GP 385, Pts 164, +50
Season 3: Cody Eakin, C, age 25, GP 258, Pts 107, +1
Season 4: Sam Bennett, C, age 20.
Season 5: Adrian Kempe, LW, age 20.
Season 6: Mitch Marner, C, age 19.
Season 7: Tyler Jost, C/LW, 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 traded 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