Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Jesperi Kotkaniemi
20-Year-Old CenterC
Montreal Canadiens
2020 Fantasy Outlook
After debuting as an 18-year-old rookie and picking up 34 points in 79 games in 2018-19, Kotkaniemi appeared in just 36 regular-season games with the Canadiens last year, picking up eight points over that span. The third overall pick from the 2018 draft did, however, fare far better during his time in the minors, racking up 13 points in 13 contests, and he played pretty well in the bubble, potting four goals in 10 playoff contests. The 20-year-old pivot will be a full-time player for the big club in 2020-21, centering the Habs' third line and second power-play unit, but it would be unwise to predict a massive leap in production from Kotkaniemi this year. He may be worth a flier in the later rounds of deeper formats, but he'll likely go undrafted in most fantasy leagues. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Montreal in July of 2018.
Returns from loan stint
CMontreal Canadiens
November 23, 2020
Kotkaniemi will head back to North America following the end of his loan agreement with Pori Assat, Arpon Basu of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Kotkaniemi was limited to just 36 games with the Habs this season, in part due to injuries. In those appearances, the 20-year-old center recorded six goals on 55 shots, two assists and a minus-11 rating while averaging 13:00 of ice time. Kotkaniemi will likely take on a bottom-six role for Montreal this year, though he could challenge Nick Suzuki for a spot on the second line.
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NHL Stats
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2020
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2018
2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    16:18
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    2:09
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:00
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
13:44
1:56
0:00
2019–20
13:00
1:44
0:00
2020–21
16:18
2:09
0:00
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
Kotkaniemi enjoyed a relatively successful rookie campaign in 2018-19, posting 11 goals and 23 assists while firing 134 shots on net in 79 games. Along with rookie camp and preseason action, that sounds like a lot of hockey for an 18-year-old, and it was. He tired over the course of the year, and as a result, his playing time dipped below 13 minutes per contest over the final five weeks of the season. Coach Claude Julien definitely gave the young Finn a chance to succeed, gifting him offensive zone starts 61.9 percent of the time, but it's hardly surprising that the teenager wasn't able to produce eye-popping offensive totals in his first season as a pro. With a full year in the NHL now under his belt, fantasy owners can expect Kotkaniemi to receive increased playing time in 2019-20, which should allow the third overall pick from the 2018 draft to improve his production across the board. The 6-foot-2 forward underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in April, but he should be ready to go for training camp.
Kotkaniemi spent 2017-18 playing for Assat Pori of SM-liiga -- the top Finnish hockey league -- posting 29 points over 57 games. It wasn't until a strong showing at U18s in April that the 18-year-old shot up draft boards, eventually being taken third overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Canadiens. He possesses an elite mind for the game and formidable size at 6-foot-2 but may need to improve his skating to contribute at the highest level. He impressed the brass enough in rookie camp that they wouldn't rule him out for the Opening Night roster, but the most likely scenario involves him beginning the campaign in the AHL and potentially debuting at some point later in the season.
More Fantasy News
Scores first goals
CMontreal Canadiens
November 20, 2020
Kotkaniemi scored a power-play and a short-handed goal for Pori Assat in Wednesday's game against Lahti in SM-Liiga action, Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette reports.
ANALYSIS
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Logging big minutes in Finland
CMontreal Canadiens
October 31, 2020
Kotkaniemi is averaging over 20 minutes of ice time since joining Assat of the Finnish Liiga, Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette reports.
ANALYSIS
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Set for loan stint
CMontreal Canadiens
October 15, 2020
Kotkaniemi is expected to be loaned to his hometown club Pori Assat (Finland), Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
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Lights lamp twice in Game 2
CMontreal Canadiens
August 14, 2020
Kotkaniemi scored two goals, one on the power play, in Friday's 5-0 win over the Flyers during Game 2 of Montreal's first-round series.
ANALYSIS
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Scores again Monday
CMontreal Canadiens
August 3, 2020
Kotkaniemi potted a goal in Monday's 3-1 loss to the Penguins in Game 2.
ANALYSIS
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