Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s difficult season in Carolina continues and is not likely to get any better anytime soon.
He started the season as a winger in the Hurricanes’ Top-6 unit unfortunately lost his spot up front when rookie Seth Jarvis got into the lineup. Since then, Kotkaniemi, who signed an offer sheet and left the Montreal Canadiens for a one-year, $6.1 million deal, has plummeted in the lineup to find himself on the fourth line, unable to produce with less productive players. During the last game, he played on a line with Jordan Martinook as well as veteran Derek Stepan.
Everything now indicates that he will remain at the bottom of the lineup for quite some time as Hurricanes’ management announced on Tuesday that Jarvis will not be demoted back to the minors and has cracked the roster at just 19 years old. He is currently playing on the team’s first line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. On Wednesday, Jarvis is set to play his 10th NHL game against the San Jose Sharks, kicking in entry-level contract.
That’s bad news for Kotkaniemi, who has just recorded a goal and three assists in 17 games in 2021-22. He’s played on average less than 12 minutes per game. In his last four contests, Kotkaniemi was only used a or a total of 3 seconds on the power play.
The rest of the season is likely to be long for KK… But we bet fans in Montreal are loving it!