It is no secret the Canucks are looking for a third line centre and in need of a left-handed faceoff man. Jokinen is a player that fits the bill. He plays all three forward positions and is good on the draw winning 58.2% of the 263 faceoffs he has taken this season.
He’s actually very good in the faceoffs. Jokinen’s been under 51% once in his NHL career and that came the first year he was in the NHL when he played exclusively on the wing.
- 2011-12: 55.1%
- 2010-11: 51.3%
- 2009-10: 53.6%
- 2008-09: 52.2%
- 2007-08: 52.2%
- 2006-07: 30.4%
Jokinen has shown an offensive side as well picking up 30 goals and 65 points in the 2009-10 season. This year, he has only five goals and five assists through ten games, but that might be what you get playing Jokinen at centre. Canes Country has noticed a trend that Jokinen’s production dips when he plays centre, so don’t expect much from him offensively as the Canucks third line centre.
The fact Jokinen has one more year left on his deal at $3 million after this season may scare the Canucks and other teams away with the salary cap coming down next season. However, don’t forget teams have two amnesty buyouts to work with this summer. If the Canucks have already decided they are not going to use their amnesty buyout on winger David Booth, they will have one extra buyout to work with (if you assume the other is used to buyout defenceman Keith Ballard). Why not claim Jokinen and buy him out in the summer?
If the Canucks claim Jokinen, they are using an amnesty buyout and $2 million (cost of buyout) to “rent” Jokinen instead of giving up draft picks and prospects. The questions are: Is $2 million more valuable than a draft pick and/or prospect? And can they do better than Jokinen on April 3?
Oh yeah, forgot to mention he’s good in shootouts.