BrindAmour on Kotkaniemi I see progress in many aspects of

Brind’Amour on Kotkaniemi: ‘I see progress in many aspects of his game’

RALEIGH | Jesperi Kotkaniemi may have worn the Carolina Hurricanes colors for two seasons, he will always be associated with the Canadian. The comparisons between him and Brady Tkachuk may never end.

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Hours before the first clash of the season between the Hurricanes and the Habs, the Finn’s outfit caught the eye. Sometimes used in the third, sometimes in the second unit, the center player may be experiencing his best phase of the season.

Prior to the Hurricanes’ visit to Washington on Tuesday, he had at least one point (1 goal, 3 assists) in each of his three previous games.

“Certainly the people watching our team from the outside, who only see the stats, are noticing their recent successes. However, his game has remained essentially the same since the beginning of the campaign,” argued Rod Brind’Amour.

“I see improvements in many aspects of his game. We are giving him more and more responsibility and will continue to do so as long as he deserves it,” continued the Hurricanes head coach.

Despite everything, the main prospect makes no secret of the fact that he wants to offer his coach more sustainable play.

“I have ups and downs. I know good and bad games. I imagine that’s normal with an 82-game schedule, but I’d like to show more consistency,” said Kotkaniemi, who scored in the Hurricanes dressing room.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi has four points in his last three games.

File photo, Portal

Jesperi Kotkaniemi has four points in his last three games.

Only 22 years old

Those good words for the man who has 21 points (8 goals and 13 assists) in 53 games so far don’t stop the Hurricanes from getting active in the market.

With two weeks left of the trade limit, Don Waddell is reportedly trying to get his hands on a deep center to put Kotkaniemi on the wing for the final stages of the campaign and the playoffs.

Nonetheless, in the Canes camp we are convinced that the future is bright for Kotkaniemi. It’s better to think so, considering the Canadians’ former first-round pick just started a contract that will keep him with that team for seven more seasons at an average annual salary of $4.82 million.

“Let’s not forget that he’s only 22 years old,” Brind’Amour recalled. He’s a tall, lanky guy who’s growing physically, he’s getting stronger. This will allow him to improve in the years to come. The stronger you get, the faster you get.”

RADm Ward honored

The Hurricanes also used the Canadian’s visit to PNC Arena to induct Cam Ward into their team’s Hall of Fame.

The Habs’ visit was a smart one, as Ward’s career really took off in the second game of the first round of the 2006 playoffs against the Canadiens.

A relief to Martin Gerber in the closing moments of the first half, Ward had allowed the Hurricanes to reverse the streak and win the Stanley Cup a few weeks later.

The rookie goaltender had his name engraved on the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the playoff’s most valuable player.

“It caused a lot of excitement, but it wasn’t a big deal for us,” said Brind’Amour, then-Captain of the Hurricanes. We knew he was a good goalkeeper and that he would do his job if given the opportunity. »

Ward eventually played 668 games for the Hurricanes before playing a final season at Bettman Circuit with the Blackhawks.

His 318 wins and 27 shutouts are franchise records.