Drafted 43rd overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Janne Kuokkanen surprisingly was named to the initial roster for the 2017-2018 season. Although he’s only spent a total of eleven games over two seasons at the NHL level, the 21 year old Finn often gets overlooked among Hurricanes fans.
Missing half the season with an injury, Kuokkanen managed to put up 12 goals and 26 assist for a total of 38 points in just 48 games. Just two points shy of his total in 60 contests the year previous. This upward progression boats well for the former second rounder going forward into next season.
Although Kuokkanen has yet to record a point at the NHL level, Kuokkanen is a versatile player who can play both center and wing if needed. Spending some time on Jordan Staal’s wing in his brief stint up with the Hurricanes, Kuokkanen could provide some much needed offense on the second power play unit.
However, since he is coming off a major injury it is likely that Kuokkanen will at least start the season down with the Charlotte Checkers, playing in all situations. Should injuries occur among the forward group, Janne should be one of the first to receive a call up. Plus he’s Finnish.