After some early career success, Jussi Jokinen went into a prolonged slump. In 2009, he landed with the Carolina Hurricanes and experienced a rebirth.
Jussi Jokinen broke into the NHL at the perfect time. Fresh off of a lockout that wiped out an entire season, the league introduced a series of new rules with the intent on increasing offense and allowing star players to shine. One of the most controversial changes was the introduction of the shootout.
The 2005-06 season—the first after the lockout—was Jokinen’s rookie campaign and the Finnish center quickly developed a reputation as a shootout specialist. He took 13 shots in the game-deciding session through the year, scoring on 10 of them for a 76.9% conversion. That was the best number of anyone in the shootout that season (who took a minimum of 10 shots).
The 22-year-old finished the season with 55 points (17 goals, 38 assists) in 81 games, giving the Dallas Stars a budding, well, star. The following season saw Jokinen post 14 goals and 48 points in 82 games; a slight dip, but nothing too alarming.
The 2007-08 season looked to be a bounce-back year, with Jokinen’s points per game up from the year before. He would, unfortunately, be temporarily by a sprained knee in late December, an injury that sidelined him for a month.
As it turned out, he wouldn’t get much of a chance to rebound in Dallas, as he was shipped off to the Tampa Bay Lightning in late February of 2008. He went on to record 30 points in 66 games with the Lightning over parts of two seasons but, for whatever reason, seemed unable to regain the scoring touch he had shown earlier in his career.