When Jesperi Kotkaniemi
arrived in Carolina, coach Rod Brind'Amour didn't hesitate to give him big responsibilities. "KK" did well in the pre-season, picking up two points in three exhibition games.
Now that the season has started, one could expect good things from the Finn right from the start, as he was placed on the Hurricanes' first line with Sebastian Aho
and Martin Necas
So far, Kotkaniemi has not been able to put his name on the score sheet. In the first two games of the season, the offense has looked particularly good as the Hurricanes have scored nine goals in total.
Last night, against the Nashville Predators, the former Canadiens forward was the 10th most used forward with just over 12 minutes of ice time. "KK" was also the 8th player with the most power play time. Does Brind'Amour want to send a message already?
It's Andrei Svechnikov
's trio that has stood out in the early season. His trio already has seven points while Kotkaniemi's has only three.
The Hurricanes' next game will be an interesting one as Brind'Amour's men will be in Montreal on Thursday night to face the Habs. It will be interesting to see if a little rivalry will develop between the two teams, because of everything that happened this off-season.
Going back to Kotkaniemi, nothing is alarming yet after just two games, but his usage certainly means something. With all the depth on the Carolina side of the net, can he really live up to his full potential with this team? That remains to be seen.