MIDTERMS: Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights, Ontario Hockey League)

MIDTERMS: Janne Kuokkanen (London Knights, Ontario Hockey League)

Janne Kuokkanen 2016-17 season capsule After being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft, Janne Kuokkanen made the jump from Finland where he played in 2015-16 to North America. Kuokkanen is a natural center with some versatility to play wing. Thus far, he has 19 goals and 30 assists in 40 games in his first season in the OHL and also took a break to play for Finland in the world juniors tourney.   Mid-season thoughts on Janne Kuokkanen from Brendan Ross from TheScout.ca Brendan Ross (Twitter=@RossyYoungblood) currently serves as the Director of Scouting for TheScout.ca (Twitter=@TheScoutDotCa), an independent scouting agency covering hockey prospects. Throughout his career, Ross has penned NHL Draft feature articles, published annual rankings and appeared on radio talk shows such as FAN590 and TSN1200. Canes and Coffee: What were your first impressions of Janne Kuokkanen after seeing him in his first few games of OHL action with the London Knights this fall? Brendan Ross: I was fortunate to catch Kuokkanen in some pre-season contests and immediately felt that he’d come in and challenge for the OHL scoring lead. While my expectations have been pulled back now, Kuokkenen has been very impressive in his first season with the London Knights. He is a strong two-way player who has been utilized in all situations. A competitive forward, who thinks the game well and adjusts well depending on the style of game – operating with more skill when the game opens up and tightening up his defensive play when the game gets close. Canes and Coffee: What is Janne Kuokkanen’s current role on...
Assessment of Janne Kuokkanen’s WJC tourney from guest Zachary DeVine

Assessment of Janne Kuokkanen’s WJC tourney from guest Zachary DeVine

In case you missed it over the snowy weekend, Canes and Coffee was lucky enough to have Dominic Tiano from OHL Writers stop in and offer an assessment of all 4 Canes prospects who participated in the world juniors tourney. ——————————————————– Canes and Coffee was also lucky enough to get a second assessment of Janne Kuokkanen’s play from Zachary DeVine (Twitter=@zakkthebear). Zachary tracks all things Finland hockey closely and does broader NHL prospect coverage at The Hockey Writers, Dobber Prospects and The Hockey Prophets. I want to reiterate an important disclaimer/piece of context on the Kuokkanen evaluation which is not overly favorable. These tourneys whiz by in a hurry and are very short, so sometimes a bad game or 2 or even more simply a team that just does not click instantly can show unfavorably on a player. I do think evaluating players based on play against other elite players in the same age group is useful/valuable, but it must be balanced against longer-term evaluations from full seasons and even years prior to the short tourney bursts. —————————————————– By Zachary DeVine: Finland brought a young squad to the National Junior Evaluation Camp this summer in Plymouth, MI. Nearly half of the players were eligible for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, but there were enough experienced and skilled players that everyone thought it was still a team to contend with once the games counted. And then the tournament started. In a team of disappointments, Janne Kuokkanen was second only to Olli Juolevi as the most disappointing player for Finland. Kuokkanen came over to North America and had 40 points for...
BACK TO SCHOOL: Janne Kuokkanen (Karpat U20 Finland=>London Knights)

BACK TO SCHOOL: Janne Kuokkanen (Karpat U20 Finland=>London Knights)

Next up in the ‘back to school’ series featuring Carolina Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level is Janne Kuokkanen. Menu of previous ‘back to school’ articles on Hurricanes prospects For anyone just returning to hockey after the offseason, here is a catch up reading list for similar articles on other Hurricanes prospects: Matt Filipe (Northeastern University) Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan) Max Zimmer (University of Wisconsin) David Cotton (Boston College) Luke Stevens (Yale University) Steven Lorentz (Peterborough Petes) Noah Carroll (Guelph Storm) Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen) Hudson Elynuik (Spokane Chiefs) Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs) Callum Booth (Quebec Remparts) Aleksi Saarela (Lukko Rauma-Finnish Elite League) Spencer Smallman (Saint John)   Janne Kuokkanen Janne Kuokkanen marks a return to the well for the Hurricanes selecting skilled Finnish forwards/wings in the second round of both the 2015 and 2016 NHL drafts with Sebastian Aho in 2015 and Janne Kuokkanen in 2016. With Sebastian Aho having a tremendous 2015-16 season and now being expected to make the Hurricanes 2016-17 NHL roster, it makes sense to try again. Kuokkanen is a skilled forward/wing who had 53 points in 47 games playing in the U20 Finnish junior league last season. For 2016-17, he is making the jump to North America and has already joined the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. A collection of articles on Janne Kuokkanen from prior to the 2016 NHL draft can be found HERE. My early impressions of Kuokkanen’s play in a Hurricanes uniform mostly from the Red-White scrimmage but also considering his play in Traverse City can be found HERE.   Interview with Brendan Ross, Director of Scouting...
Carolina Hurricanes NHL Draft 2016: Reading list for #43 pick (2nd round) Janne Kuokkanen

Carolina Hurricanes NHL Draft 2016: Reading list for #43 pick (2nd round) Janne Kuokkanen

Click HERE to go to the menu for all of the Hurricanes 2016 draftees.   Profile for Janne Kuokkanen (added 7/5/16 before prospect camp) Janne Kuokannen was selected by the Hurricanes in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft with the 43rd selection overall. Kuokannen is a native of Finland who had a strong season playing in Finland on the Karpat U20 team and also playing for the stacked Finnish team in the U18 tourney. In reading profiles for Kuokkanen the term that jumps out regularly is “hockey IQ.” He is a natural center with smarts, stickhandling and playmaking that project well to the NHL level as a center who can distribute the puck and create offense. His skill set as a heady all-around player sounds a bit like Sebastian Aho who the Hurricanes selected in the second round only 1 year earlier.   Reading list of external articles about Janne Kuokkanen Steve Kournianos profiles Kuokkanen here. Elite Prospects has a detailed look at his pre-draft career statistics here. Chris Dilks from SBNation College Hockey offers a detailed scouting report on Kuokkanen. Dennis Schellenberg from The Hockey Writers Next Ones series profiles Kuokkanen. Ben Kerr from Last Word on Sports has this profile for Kuokkanen. Added 7/5/16 before Hurricanes prospect camp———————————————————- A highlight reel or Kuokkanen’s U18 play can be found on Youtube.       Go...