Fantasy Take: Oilers ink Jussi Jokinen

by Neil Parker on July 7, 2017
Jussi Jokinen - USA TODAY Sports Images

 

Edmonton signed Jussi Jokinen to a one-year, $1.1 million contract Friday.

 

What the Oilers Receive

Jokinen is an experienced and well-rounded winger that can slide up and down the lineup. He's sound in all three zones, and his strong positional play is reflected in his excellent possession numbers. Jokinen is also capable of playing in all situations (including playing the point on the power-play), winning faceoffs, and he's especially dangerous in the shootout. The 34-year-old Finn's versatility will be a strong addition to an already deep offensive attack.

 

Fantasy Breakdown

Jokinen's best offensive days are behind him, and while he's just a year removed from posting a 60-point campaign, Edmonton doesn't need him to score. He should settle into a middle-six role and likely see a lot of ice time against the opposition's top players. Slotting in with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at five-on-five projects as a nice two-way duo, for example.

Still, there's always a chance Jokinen plays with Connor McDavid and/or Leon Draisaitl, which means the veteran's virtual value would skyrocket. It wouldn't be shocking if there were stretches where he boasted fleeting universal fantasy appeal.

 

The Oilers have made a number of offseason moves and have a number of lineup options to mix and match. It's likely going to be a fantasy guessing game throughout the season, and probably a maddening one at that.

Jokinen's addition leaves two roster spots for Jesse Puljujarvi, Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev and Iro Pakarinen to compete for, so it's an obvious fantasy hit to all four youngsters. However, the winner of one of those position battles could also be eyeing a top-six role, so how things are shaking out in Edmonton during training camp will be important to monitor.

Right now, Khaira is likely to crack the roster, and Puljujarvi probably only needs a strong camp to also start the campaign in Edmonton.

 

As noted, Jokinen is a capable power-play quarterback, or at least he's manned the point with the man advantage in the past. That's a potential hit to Kris Russell, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse or Matt Benning, as there had been a power-play opening with Andrej Seker (knee) on the shelf for the beginning of the season. It's unlikely Edmonton turns to a five-forward unit with the man advantage, but Jokinen should receive power-play time, and it will probably come at the expense of a defenseman.