The New Jersey Devils have a great young player in Janne Kuokkanen.
The New Jersey Devils are happy to have Janne Kuokkanen in their organization. He was one of the key pieces to come back to them in the trade that sent Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes. He was Carolina’s second-round pick (43rd overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft. At 22 years old, he has really come along as a player. He is a super skilled forward that can play multiple positions. If he ever did make the Devils full time, he would probably end up playing on the wing.
Before COVID-19 abruptly ended the 2019-20 season for the Devils, Kuokkanen played in one single game for the NHL Devils. He didn’t have any points, but he did show that he has some skill. He got to play in four games for the Binghamton Devils where he had three goals and three assists.
He joined Binghamton right in the middle of what they thought would be a run to the Calder Cup playoffs. Hopefully, when he gets back to North American, he can impact games the way he was able to before the end of the season. He has some great abilities that should be able to help him become a pro hockey player in North America.
Right when hockey comes back, Kuokkanen is going to get many opportunities to make an impact. He is already one of the higher-end prospects in the New Jersey organization which could serve him well someday.
New Jersey loaned him back to Liiga in Finland where he is playing with Karpat. The Devils hope that by having him play, he will be in midseason form when they are ready to hit training camp. It would be awesome to see him make the big club out of camp but it doesn’t seem likely.
He is the type of player you want to see playing on a skilled line so there is no reason to have him up to be on a fourth line or sitting in a press box. When the time is right, however, he is one of those players to get excited about a call-up. You never know if he will stay up or be sent back down but it is going to be exciting as we watch him continue to develop. Out of all of the young players in the farm system, he is one of the most exciting.