Claude Julien reveals Jesperi Kotkaniemi's big problem

Published February 19, 2023 at 1:29 PM

Since being drafted in 2018, Jesperi Kotkaniemi has never been able to reach the expectations he had hoped for.

Invited on BPM Sports, Claude Julien revealed why the forward never reached his full potential. It's not the organization's problem, but the player's. If he doesn't listen to the advice of his coaches, it's understandable that he has difficulty developing.

"Kotkaniemi can become the player he wants to become, if he wants to. Everyone was trying to help him, but at some point, even if you help a player, he has to help himself too." - Claude Julien

"Sometimes it takes 2-3-4 years before a young player becomes mature enough to know his strengths and weaknesses and to want to work on his weaknesses and take advantage of his strengths. - Claude Julien

Recall that Kotkaniemi made the jump to the NHL at just 18 years old. It is understandable that the former Canadiens player may have lacked maturity when he arrived in the National League. However, he still doesn't seem to have become the offensive forward he was hoping to be at the age of 22.

It remains to be seen if he will be able to become the player he has been waiting for in the next few years.

See a clip of the episode below:

Now, it may have been a simple matter of maturity. KK arrived extremely early in the NHL, perhaps even too early. He should have spent one, or even two additional seasons in Europe or in the American League, to develop at his own pace away from the spotlight.

On that point, it was a mistake by the organization. But by the age of 20, he should have been able to understand a little more, which did not seem to be the case. Let's be clear, Jesperi Kotkaniemi is not a bad hockey player, on the contrary. He has all the necessary attributes to become excellent. But he doesn't seem to be able to put it all together to make it click. That was the case in Montreal and now it's the case in Carolina. And time is beginning to run out for him. If he wants to become a true top 6 forward, he will have to make it click.

Source: Let's go Habs
February 19   |   104 answers
Claude Julien reveals Jesperi Kotkaniemi's big problem

Will KK ever become a 60 point player?

Yes1918.3 %
No8581.7 %
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