The real reason for Jesperi Kotkaniemi's problems are revealed and it's worse than we thought

Published December 14, 2022 at 8:46 PM

Despite a very good start to the season for the Carolina Hurricanes and the majority of the team's players, the same cannot be said about former Canadiens player Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

The man who was the third overall pick in 2018 is once again having a very difficult season with a low six points in 28 games. However, it is not the lack of opportunities that is slowing him down. He has mostly driven the second trio since the beginning of the year.

Moreover, Kotkaniemi has never had as good wingers in his career as he does now, having played with Andrei Svechnikov, Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen and Seth Jarvis this season.

Things aren't quite right again this year for the Finnish forward, and one tipster looked at Kotkaniemi's development with the Hurricanes this season.

According to TSN analyst Eric Macramalla, the problem isn't his development, it's Kotkaniemi himself.

Let's just say it couldn't be clearer and I have to admit that this theory is starting to hold up.

Clearly, the 22 year old center is very talented and has a toolbox full of very interesting skills. However, since his arrival in the NHL and in his fifth professional season, "KK" has not progressed. He even seems to be regressing, which is unusual for such a high draft pick.

The tipster recalled that during a Hurricanes game a few days ago, Kotkaniemi started the game on the second line, but then Rod Brind'Amour got tired of him and relegated him to the fourth line.

The Hurricanes coach tried everything to get him to produce, but nothing seemed to work. Now that we have come to terms with the excuses for his underwhelming performance, it seems increasingly clear that Kotkaniemi is the source of his own problem, as the analyst mentions.

Let's just say that Hurricanes management must be starting to regret the infamous $6.1 million hostile offer made in the summer of 2021, let alone the eight-year, $4.82 million per year contract extension they subsequently offered him, despite a disappointing season last year.

December 14   |   3 answers
The real reason for Jesperi Kotkaniemi's problems are revealed and it's worse than we thought

If you had it to do over again, which of the following players would have been your pick instead of Kotkaniemi at third overall in 2018?

Quinn Hughes133.3 %
Brady Tkachuk266.7 %
Evan Bouchard00 %
Noah Dobson00 %
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