Jokinen with the Nashville Predators in 2014
December 5, 1978|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues
3rd overall, 1997|
Los Angeles Kings
Olli Veli Pekka Jokinen (born December 5, 1978) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey player. He was selected by the Los Angeles Kings third overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, with whom he made his NHL debut. He has also played for the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues. He began his professional career with KalPa and then HIFK of the Finnish SM-liiga. Additionally, he played for EHC Kloten of the Swiss National League A and Södertälje SK of the Swedish Elitserien. He also holds the record for most goals for the Florida Panthers.
Jokinen began his professional career in his native Finland in 1996 and in 1997 won the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy as SM-liiga rookie of the year. He won the Matti Keinonen and Jari Kurri trophies in 1998 as the most effective player of the regular season and most valuable player of the playoffs, respectively. He moved to the NHL full-time in 1998-99 and played his best seasons with the Florida Panthers, with whom he served as captain from 2003 to 2008 and played in the 2003 All-Star Game. Jokinen played an NHL record 799 games before making his first and only Stanley Cup playoff appearance in 2009 with the Flames (Since broken by Ron Hainsey in 2017 with 907 Games played). In 2012, he played his 1,000th career NHL game.
Internationally, Jokinen has played for Finland on numerous occasions. He was an all-star and named best forward of the 1998 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, leading his nation to the gold medal. He is a four-time Olympian, winning a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and bronze at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi, respectively. He has also won two silver and three bronze medals at the World Championships and played for the Finnish team that finished second to Canada at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
Jokinen began with his hometown team, KalPa, playing for the squad's under-18 and junior teams between 1994 and 1996. He made his debut with the senior team in the SM-liiga in 1995-96, appearing in 15 games, scoring one goal and one assist. He moved onto HIFK in 1996-97, where he played full-time with the senior squad. He was the youngest player on the team, and in 50 games, scored 14 goals and 41 points. He was recognized as the SM-liiga's rookie of the year, and was presented with the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy.
The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau rated Jokinen as the top European prospect for the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He was selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the third overall selection, after Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Jokinen began the 1997-98 season with the Kings, making his NHL debut on October 1, 1997, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was held pointless in eight games, however, and the Kings chose to return him to HIFK to complete the season.
Jokinen played 30 games with HIFK, scoring 39 points. He added another nine points in nine playoff games as the team won the SM-liiga championship. He won the Matti Keinonen and Jari Kurri trophies in 1998 as the most effective player of the regular season and most valuable player of the playoffs, respectively. He also scored the game-winning goal in game 3 in overtime vs Ilves to secure the championship for his team.
Returning to North America, Jokinen began the 1998-99 season with the Kings' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He earned a recall to Los Angeles after nine games, in which he scored nine points. He recorded his first NHL point on November 5, 1998, with an assist in a game against the St. Louis Blues, then scored his first NHL goal five nights later against the Calgary Flames. Jokinen was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for November, scoring eight points in 11 games. He finished the season with 21 points in 66 games played. Following the conclusion of the season, on June 20, 1999, Jokinen was traded to the New York Islanders, along with Josh Green, Mathieu Biron and a first-round selection at that year's draft, in exchange for ?igmund Pálffy, Bryan Smolinski, Marcel Cousineau and a fourth-round selection. Jokinen was considered the central piece of the deal from New York's perspective, as they gave up their top player in Pálffy.
Jokinen played only one season on Long Island. He appeared in all 82 games for the Islanders, scoring 21 points. However, he was included in a trade at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, as he was packaged with goaltender Roberto Luongo and sent to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha on June 24, 2000.
In Florida, Jokinen initially did not get along with head coach Terry Murray, as the Panthers' bench boss criticized his play while leaving him out of the lineup for several December games during the 2000-01 season. Though he appeared in 78 games for the Panthers, Jokinen's offensive totals fell to a career-low 16 points. He showed a modest improvement to 29 points in 80 games in 2001-02, but Jokinen was increasingly being criticized as a bust. His confidence reached a low point during that season, at one point he contemplated leaving the NHL and returning to Finland.
The 2002-03 season proved to be Jokinen's breakout year. Playing under new head coach Mike Keenan and described by general manager Rick Dudley as skating "every shift like it was his last," he scored 11 points in his first 12 games of the season. He equaled his previous career high of 29 points in the 26th game of the season, and finished with a team-leading 36 goals and 65 points. Additionally, he played in his first NHL All-Star Game. Jokinen credited his turnaround to Keenan, who launched into a tirade against the player's commitment during the first intermission of a game mere days after he was hired as a mid-season replacement for Terry Murray.
Jokinen was named an alternate captain of the Panthers prior to the 2002-03 season, and was elevated to captain to begin 2003-04. He again led the team in goals (26) and points (58) and scored his 200th career point on March 10, 2004, with an assist against the Buffalo Sabres. When the 2004-05 season was cancelled due to a labour dispute, Jokinen played for several European teams: first EHC Kloten of the Swiss National League A, then Södertälje SK of the Swedish Elitserien and finally HIFK back in Finland. Returning to the NHL in 2005-06, Jokinen reached new career highs with 38 goals, 51 assists and 89 points. He played his 500th NHL game on November 19, 2005, against the New York Islanders, and recorded his first NHL hat-trick on November 25 against Pittsburgh.
Appearing in all 82 games for the Panthers in 2006-07, Jokinen again set personal bests with 39 goals, 52 assists and 91 points. He fell back to 34 goals and 71 points in 2007-08, but led the Panthers offensively for the fifth consecutive season. He was involved in a frightening accident during a February 10, 2008, game against the Buffalo Sabres. Jokinen was checked by Buffalo forward Clarke MacArthur and as he fell to the ice, his skate came up and struck teammate Richard Zedník in the throat, seriously injuring him. Zedník was nearly killed by the cut and missed the remainder of the season, though he recovered and was able to resume his career.
Jokinen was the subject of trade rumours throughout the season as the Panthers, who had failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs for seven consecutive seasons, looked at ways of improving their club. Florida ultimately traded Jokinen at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft; he was sent to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton and a second-round draft pick. Jokinen left the Panthers as the franchise's all-time leader in goals (188), assists (231) and points (419).
The 2008-09 season began well for Jokinen, as he recorded 18 points in his first 21 games with the Coyotes. A shoulder injury suffered in November 2008, however, caused him to miss a game for the first time since 2002-03, ending his streak of consecutive games played at 397. He appeared in 57 games for the Coyotes but did not finish the season in Phoenix; the Calgary Flames acquired him, along with a third-round draft pick, on March 4, 2009, in exchange for Matthew Lombardi, Brandon Prust and Calgary's first-round selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
The deal was an immediate benefit to the Flames, as Jokinen had one of the best starts for a newly acquired player in team history, scoring ten points in his first six games, and was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week for March 9-15. He fell into an offensive slump toward the end of the season, however, failing to score in Calgary's last 13 regular season games. For the first time in his ten-year NHL career, however, and after a wait of 799 NHL games, Jokinen played in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Earlier in the season, while still with Phoenix, Jokinen surpassed Guy Charron's NHL record total of 735 games without ever appearing in a playoff game. Jokinen appeared in six games during the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring five points as the Flames were eliminated in the first round.
Jokinen's offense disappeared in 2009-10, as he scored just three goals in his first 23 games and failed to work well with captain Jarome Iginla. He was criticized by local media, who placed blame on his shoulders for the Flames' failure to make the 2010 playoffs and for failing to live up to the value expected by his US$5.25 million contract. Late in the season, Jokinen was involved in a trade to the New York Rangers, where he was sent with Brandon Prust in exchange for Ale? Kotalík and Chris Higgins, who had similarly disappointing seasons in New York.
The deal generated controversy after Canadian channel TSN had announced that the trade was complete, then claimed that the Flames had balked at completing the deal, believing they would need their players for a scheduled game. Consequently, Jokinen appeared in his final game with the Flames knowing through the media that he was to be traded afterward. When the trade was officially made, Jokinen bluntly described his feelings on the deal: "It's a brutal business. That's the way it goes. It comes with the salary. When you make $5 million, 11 goals is not going to cut it. ... It's definitely a slap in the face to get traded." Jokinen scored 15 points in 21 games with the Rangers. In the final game of the season, New York faced the Philadelphia Flyers with the winner qualifying for the final playoff spot. Regulation time ended with the two teams tied, and the game ultimately went to a shootout. Jokinen came up as the Rangers' final shooter, with Philadelphia leading by one goal. His shot was stopped by Brian Boucher, ending their season.
A free agent following the season, Jokinen chose to return to the Flames, signing a two-year, $6 million contract. The deal generated a strong reaction in Calgary, as some fans expressed strong opinions against his reacquisition. The Flames' head coach Brent Sutter sought to simplify Jokinen's game and force greater defensive responsibility on the forward. He finished the 2010-11 season with 17 goals and 54 points and was praised by his coach.
After becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2012, Jokinen signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Winnipeg Jets a day later, on July 2. He was named an alternate captain of the team at the start of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. While he was a popular player with his Jets teammates, Jokinen was unable to provide the type of offensive performance the team expected. He recorded only seven goals and seven assists in 45 games. Following the season, Jokinen admitted that not playing in Europe during the lockout negatively impacted his fitness and play throughout the NHL season.
Jokinen returned to Winnipeg for the 2013-14 season and reached a pair of milestones early in the campaign. He recorded both his 400th assist and 700th point on October 13, 2013, in a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils. He played in all 82 games for Winnipeg and recorded 18 goals and 43 points. However, he was also passed by Bryan Little and Mark Scheifele on the Jets' depth-chart at centre. As a consequence, Winnipeg allowed Jokinen to leave via free agency. On July 20, 2014, he signed a one-year contract with the Nashville Predators worth $2.5 million.
On February 15, 2015, Jokinen, along with Brendan Leipsic and a first-round draft pick in 2015, were traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli. He wore number 11 in Toronto as opposed to his regular number 13, out of respect for the Maple Leafs' great Mats Sundin, saying, "There's only one No. 13 for the Maple Leafs and that's the way it should be."
After only six games played for Toronto, Jokinen was traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Joakim Lindström and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2016 (Nicolas Mattinen). He played 8 games with the Blues before suffering a season-ending injury on March 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jokinen quietly ended his playing career after the 2014-15 season and began working as a trainer at a Florida-based hockey academy he started with former teammates Tomá? Vokoun and Radek Dvo?ák in August, 2016. His retirement was made official on March 7, 2017, when he signed an honorary contract with the Florida Panthers to retire as a Panther.
|World Junior Championships|
Jokinen has represented his native Finland on numerous occasions. He first played with the Finnish national junior team at the under-18 level in the 1996 European Junior Championship. He joined the under-20 team one year later for the 1997 World Junior Championship, scoring five goals in six games. He made his debut with the senior team that same year, finishing second in team scoring with six points in eight games at the 1997 World Championship.
At the 1998 World Junior Championship, Jokinen tied with American Jeff Farkas as the tournament's scoring leader with ten points and helped Finland win the gold medal on home soil. He was named a tournament all-star at centre, and was given the Directorate Award as top forward. He then won a silver medal at the 1998 World Championship. Another silver followed in 1999 and bronze medals in 2000, 2006 and 2008. In total, Jokinen has appeared in ten World Championships for Finland, scoring 41 points in 82 games.
Jokinen made his Olympic debut at the 2002 Games, where he scored two goals in four games, though Finland were eliminated by Canada in the quarter-finals and finished in sixth place. Two years later, he helped Finland reach the final of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, scoring the first goal in a 2-1 come from behind victory over the United States in the semi-final. The Finnish national teams were again defeated by Canada in the final.
At the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Jokinen tied with Teemu Selänne for the team lead with six goals and helped Finland reach its first gold medal game in a Winter Games. He and his teammates had to settle for silver, however, following a 3-2 loss to rival Sweden in the final. Jokinen won a bronze medal at his third Olympics, the 2010 Vancouver Games. He scored two goals, including the game winner, in a 5-3 victory over Slovakia in the third place game.
|1997-98||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||8||0||0||0||6||--||--||--||--||--|
|1998-99||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||66||9||12||21||44||--||--||--||--||--|
|1999-2000||New York Islanders||NHL||82||11||10||21||80||--||--||--||--||--|
|2009-10||New York Rangers||NHL||26||4||11||15||22||--||--||--||--||--|
|2014-15||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||6||0||1||1||2||--||--||--||--||--|
|2014-15||St. Louis Blues||NHL||8||1||2||3||0||--||--||--||--||--|
| Winner of the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy
| Winner of the Matti Keinonen trophy
| Winner of the Jari Kurri trophy
| Los Angeles Kings first round draft pick
| Florida Panthers captain