Fantasy Hockey Sleeper: Jussi Jokinen
I have heard this expression many times: “Great players make the people around them that much better.” If that is the case, then Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Jussi Jokinen is going to have a great fantasy hockey season.
Jokinen was acquired by the Penguins late in the shortened 2013 season. He was picked up to help fill in some holes that the team had at forward while the teams’ stars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were out with injuries. Jokinen played out of his mind during his first few games with the Penguins, almost scoring at will.
Once players like Jarome Iginla were brought in before the trade deadline was over, Jokinen saw a decline in his playing time.
This season, Jokinen is slated to be the starting forward on the Malkin-James Neal line for the Penguins. If you are someone looking to draft a person who could potentially score 20 to even 30 goals this season, look to take Jokinen late in your draft. Many people will not even think of drafting him. He is a player that gets really hot and really cold from game to game.
In his last three games of the pre-season, Jokinen scored four goals, and three of those came in a hat trick while playing with Malkin and Neal. Look, thinking that Jokinen could score 30 goals for your team is not out of the question. In the 2009-10 season for the Carolina Hurricanes, Jokinen had 30 goals and 35 assists playing with skilled players.
Putting him on a line with a playmaker like Malkin and a sniper like Neal can only lead to great things for him this season.
If Jokinen can stay healthy for most of the fantasy hockey season, I can see him being a really nice addition to any fantasy hockey team. Come on, it’s not like you are going to draft him in the first five rounds. Take a chance on him later in your draft and watch your team’s depth skyrocket once he takes off for the Penguins this season.
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