The Journey: Fast-Rising Prospect Defensemen – October 2018

Jokke Nevalainen

2018-10-27

 

 

This week, I’m taking a closer look at three prospects who were big risers on Dobber’s latest Top 50 Fantasy Prospect Defensemen list. Who are they and why are they on the rise? Read further to find out.

 

Henri Jokiharju – Chicago Blackhawks – up to 5 from 12

 

Jokiharju jumped from Finland to the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL for his draft year. He scored nine goals and 48 points in 71 games during his rookie season. That was good enough for the Blackhawks to draft him 29th overall in 2017.

 

Jokiharju returned to the WHL for a second year and his numbers exploded. 12 goals and 71 points in 63 games. He also added another eight points in 12 playoff games. There was nothing more for him in the junior circuit, and it was time to find a better quality of competition. There was strong belief he might go to Europe to find that.

 

But a preseason injury to Connor Murphy opened the door for Jokiharju to crack the Blackhawks’ roster, and he seized the opportunity. So far, he’s played 10 games and collected six assists in them. All six points have come at even strength. He’s also fired 28 shots on goal, so it’s only a matter of time before he gets his first NHL goal.

 

Jokiharju has been playing more than 20 minutes per game. His average power play time is only around one minute per game. For a few games, he saw significant time on the man advantage. But lately, he’s been taken off the power play entirely. And that’s weird because they have no one better than him. So his usage hasn’t been optimal yet but I’m confident it will get better later this season.

 

Rising seven spots on