Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tomh009

Kotkaniemi/Ässät story on yle.fi

Recommended Posts

Translated from Finnish original (published last week, before his first game with Ässät)

 

 

Pori's hockey ambassador, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, didn't want to pass up a unique opportunity

 

13-3-11602648.jpg

 

Ässät received good news last week, when centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi's return to the spade shirt was confirmed. The 20-year-old NHL promise is a product of the Ässät development program, who has played for the Montreal Canadiens since the 2018–19 season.

 

According to the player development manager for Ässät, Tommi Kerttula, the club queried the Pori natives playing in the NHL whether they would be interested in playing for the team, should the start of the NHL season be postponed. At the moment the NHL season should start after the new year, but a final decision has not yet been made.

 

"We always knew that in this process we need to follow the timelines of the player and the NHL. Once Jesperi's training program was at the stage where it would be good for him to be playing, and the NHL season was postponed, things moved pretty quickly," said Kerttula.

 

Kotkaniemi didn't reveal who made the initiative for the agreement. According to him, things were worked out together.

 

"When you have this kind of a special situation, I didn't want to pass on it. Ässät and the Isomäki arena are near my heart, so I really wanted to return," Kotkaniemi explained.

 

Kerttula said that the significance of Kotkaniemi to Ässät is particularly big for the junior players, as he has gone through the entire program, including the path to the NHL. Where Kotkaniemi previously watched his idols on the Isomäki ice, he is now a role model himself, and his actions are closely watched.

 

"He is a big deal to the fans, to our partners and our organization. His a good player and will strengthen the team, but he will also have a business impact. This is a big thing for the whole Liiga, but also for Montreal and Jesperi. This is a win-win-win situation," said Kerttula.

 

Kotkaniemi has played 115 regular season games in the NHL ja and scored 17+25=42 points. In this fall's post-season games he scored four goals in 10 games. Kotkaniemi, who will stay until the start of the NHL training camps, is excited about his return.

 

"Without these special arrangements or situation this wouldn't be possible. I now get to join the team after a short training period. Ässät has started the season well, so it's great to jump onto this kind of a train," said Kotkaniemi.

 

Ässät is currently second in Liiga. It has won three of seven games in regulation and one in a shootout, and lost two in overtime.

 

From the Ässät-team with which Kotkaniemi last played, only four players remain: Juuso Walli, Teemu Vuorisalo, Niklas Appelgren and Jouka Juhola. Kotkaniemi was able to train with the team for a few weeks during the summer, though, so it was easy to return to the dressing room.

 

In two years Kotkaniemi has added about 15 kg of muscle on his slight frame. He has gained playing experience in both the NHL and the AHL, and also learned something about life. However, the familiar dressing room took him back in time.

 

"When I returned to the room, I felt like the same junior that got to play back then. I felt that I still have a quite a lot to learn. I'm only 20, so I hope I have a lot of hockey ahead of me and a lot to learn," he said, assuring everyone that he will not get any special treatment in spite of his NHL status.

 

"Absolutely! This is a team sport, isn't it? We'll go team first, that's what matters."

 

Kotkaniemi doesn't believe that he would have difficult to adapt to playing in Liiga. A hockey player's world rotates around the same kinds of things no matter what the league or the country. He also doesn't believe he will be under any pressure even though much will be expected of him.

 

"I'm not the type of person to feel stress. I'll take it a day at a time, enjoy myself and hang out with the boys in the dressing room. That's the fun in the game. Can we get Armia to join us, too?"

 

For the last five weeks Kotkaniemi has been training hard with hockey coach Raimo Summanen and speedskating coach Janne Hänninen.

 

"They have tried to harness power into my game. I have spent time in the gym but I'm also trying to improve my skating at the same time. The goal is to transfer all the gains from the gym onto the ice," Kotkaniemi explained.

 

It's still a question mark as to when Kotkaniemi will play his first Liiga hockey in anger. He would like to get a few practice sessions under his belt. He also wouldn't mind seeing his Montreal teammate, Joel Armia, joining him in reinforcing the Ässät.

 

Kotkaniemi has been playing padel with Armia in the summer, at least when he has been able to catch him at his cottage. "He's there frequently and I bet his phone is at the bottom of the sea. But if they can catch 'Joppe', let's hope he can join us," he said.

 

Kerttula said that he has had discussions with Armia's representatives, and both sides understand the situation. "We have always said that we would look kindly upon our own former players, if we can both help each other in a situation like this, said Kerttula.

 

https://yle.fi/urheilu/3-11602662

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feared the move due the the risk of an injury, and now I'm holding my breath waiting to hear if he's ok after THIS happened

 

Might very well be fine, but that fall with the shoulder into the boards like that had some serious potential for injury.  The risk/reward ratio...I'm not sure it's worth it given the luck we tend to have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sbhatt said:

I feared the move due the the risk of an injury, and now I'm holding my breath waiting to hear if he's ok

 

Might very well be fine, but that fall with the shoulder into the boards like that had some serious potential for injury. 

Your thinking more Bubbleboy -like for this kid? No risky activities. Is same as OLympics, world championships etc any player could suffer serious injury, but what can ya do?

I think is good for him to play, if Habs actually make playoff run, he may run out of steam, but he is young and healthy and improving it seems today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He looks fast....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DON said:

Your thinking more Bubbleboy -like for this kid? No risky activities. Is same as OLympics, world championships etc any player could suffer serious injury, but what can ya do?

I think is good for him to play, if Habs actually make playoff run, he may run out of steam, but he is young and healthy and improving it seems today.

 

Of course not...but the risk-reward ratio has to make sense.  When your'e talking World Championships, Olympics...that's very high level hockey that advances his development.  This league he's playing in now though...I'm not so sure it's much more than extra icetime for conditioning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, sbhatt said:

 

Of course not...but the risk-reward ratio has to make sense.  When your'e talking World Championships, Olympics...that's very high level hockey that advances his development.  This league he's playing in now though...I'm not so sure it's much more than extra icetime for conditioning.

Actual game play is different than training or practice, like the hit KK tossed in game 1, he wouldnt do that in practice.

Am sure Habs would love if Romanov has been playing in the KHL for past month, but KHL arnt in need of calibre players as Liiga is.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, IN THE HEARTS OF MEN said:

He looks fast....

I agree, the way he blew down the left boards on one play looks promising

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Working with a speedskating coach may have been a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, tomh009 said:

Working with a speedskating coach may have been a good idea.


Definitely.

KK seems willing to put in work, although seems it may have been a little misguided in the past it is still a great trait to see in a young player.

I say that As there were reports he put a little too much emphasis on muscle-building in the past at the sake of his agility, speed.

He seems to be finding a balance, good on him.

He’s got talent so having a work ethic to match gets me excited about his future in bleu,blanc et rouge.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Meller93 said:

I agree, the way he blew down the left boards on one play looks promising

:devil: ,  it wasnt a Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson that he had to contend with on that rush.

 

But, agree, from the few clips i have seen he has looked good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Montreal Gazette:

"The rangy centre has played two games and is still looking for his first point, but he is proving that he’s capable of playing big minutes. In his first game, he led all forwards with ice time of 20:24. In a 3-2 shootout win over Vaasan Sport on Tuesday, he was on the ice for 21:28.

And the Liiga offers an interesting statistic that indicates Kotkaniemi spends a lot of time moving his feet. The Liiga keeps track of how much ice a skater covers during the course of a game. In his first game, Kotkaniemi covered a game-high 5.2 kilometres. On Tuesday, he skated for 5.65 kilometres."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, DON said:

Montreal Gazette:

"The rangy centre has played two games and is still looking for his first point, but he is proving that he’s capable of playing big minutes. In his first game, he led all forwards with ice time of 20:24. In a 3-2 shootout win over Vaasan Sport on Tuesday, he was on the ice for 21:28.

And the Liiga offers an interesting statistic that indicates Kotkaniemi spends a lot of time moving his feet. The Liiga keeps track of how much ice a skater covers during the course of a game. In his first game, Kotkaniemi covered a game-high 5.2 kilometres. On Tuesday, he skated for 5.65 kilometres."

LOVE the stat about moving his feet ... that is very good news ... he is using the time well, not coasting as he undoubtedly easily could

But not certain that even a career NHL 4th liner couldn't "play big minutes" in the SM-liiga ... no shot at KK, just saying the comment lacks substance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...