In his sixth NHL season, Mr. Jussi Jokinen celebrates his 29th birthday today. Can you believe he retired today at such a young age?! He will be so missed in Carolina…
April Fools! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Anyway, the talented winger was born in 1983 in Kalajoki, Finland and spent the early part of his career with a top Finnish team, Kärpät of the SM-liiga. Jokinen has represented his country in nine international competitions and has six medals as a result (Silver 2006 Winter Olympics, Bronze 2006 & 2008 World Championships, Bronze 2002 & 2003 World Juniors, and Bronze 2000 U18 World Championships).
#36 was drafted by Dallas in 2001 (6th round/192nd overall) and kicked off his rookie year in 2005. Going nine-for-nine in his first shootout attempts earned him quite a reputation for overtime goalie duals. Jokinen ended his first season with 55 points over 81 regular season contests. He also had a goal and an assist in 5 playoff games.
The following year had similar statistics, however, the 2007-08 season would put Jussi in a new sweater. Jokinen was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 26, 2008 and finished the season 14 points over 20 games with the Bolts.
After earning 6 goals and 10 assists in 46 showdowns, Jokinen was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on February 7, 2009. In the last 25 games of the season, Jussi helped the Canes finish strong by donating a goal-winning goal and 10 helpers. In 18 playoff games, he had 7 tallies (two of which were power play goals) and 4 assists.
Mr. Jussi has been successful in Carolina and among his fellow Finns, Tuomo Ruutu and Joni Pitkanen. He is wrapping up the 2011-12 season with 62 goals and 111 assists over 252 games with the Hurricanes. Amongst his 12 goals this year, he contributed 3 power play, 2 shorthanded, and 3 game-winning goals.
Caniacs adore the 5’11” 198 pound forward and were pleased with him signing a 3-year contract with the Canes on June 30, 2011. So let’s light the candles and hand over the gifts…
- With my unbelievable powers, I am matching dollar-for-dollar every donation he has ever made to the Kids ‘N Community Foundation.
- In a week, I’m sending Jussi and his family to the Caribbean for rest, relaxation, golf, and all the delicious sushi he can eat.
- When he is in North Carolina, I will have a weekly delivery of reindeer meat sent to his home. Although, I won’t tell him its vegan. My magic wand guarantees he will never notice the difference.
- Perhaps this is a selfish present, but he will play the remainder of his career in Raleigh with his Finns and Skinns line.
- Finally, a healthy and happy life on and off the ice. Happy Birthday Juice!