The Winnipeg Jets may only have a 9-9-1 record this season, but that’s good enough to put them in first place in a weak Southeast Division. The team’s offense has been led by Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, but offseason acquisition Olli Jokinen has started to contribute as well and has three goals in the Jets’ past three games.
Jokinen signed with the Jets as a free agent last summer and will be a veteran presence for the team for at least two seasons. He scored two goals against the New York Rangers on Tuesday and had one goal against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday to bring him to five goals and seven points on the season. Now in his 13th NHL season, Jokinen isn’t quite the scoring threat he was back from 2005-2008 with the Florida Panthers, but he is capable of adding a handful of goals from the third line, where he centers James Wright and Anthony Peluso at the moment.
In more than 1,000 career games for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Flames and Rangers, Jokinen has scored almost 300 goals and recorded nearly 700 points. If things continue as they have been and he is able to stay healthy, there should be no reason for him to not reach both milestones by the end of March. With his veteran presence, and the young talent of Kane, Alex Burmistrov and others, the Jets could still surprise as a dark horse playoff team. The next game on their schedule has them meeting a New Jersey Devils team that will be without star goaltender Martin Brodeur Thursday night.