Next season could be Jesperi Kotkaniemi's breakout season

Published August 8, 2021 at 8:36 PM

Now 21 years old, Habs forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi has yet to establish himself as an established second center in the NHL. The Finn had a good first season, but struggled afterwards, forcing him to be sent to the Laval Rocket last year.

With the departure of Phillip Danault, the number 15 will have bigger responsibilities at the center position. If Nick Suzuki has established himself as the team's first center, nothing is certain yet for the second one. However, it seems that Ryan Poehling is an option considered by the Habs.

As for "KK", he already has three seasons of experience in the Bettman circuit. His playoff experience is also a plus for his development.

With Marc Bergevin's recent additions in the free agent market, the former third overall pick in 2018 will have the chance to play with good wingers. Mike Hoffman could actually be a great complement to Kotkaniemi's style of play, as he is a fine scorer.

If he can be used full time in the top 6, the Pori native will finally be able to prove that the Canadiens did not make a mistake when they took him in the draft. Dominique Ducharme should also give him big minutes on the power play, big faceoffs, and a bigger role in the team's rotation.

With all these elements in Kotkaniemi's favor, there will be no excuses. Is the 50-point plateau a possibility in his case? We'll see.
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