“I'm sick of it” – Jesperi Kotkaniemi

«I'm fed up» – Jesperi Kotkaniemi


Despite his young age, Jesperi Kotkaniemi already has an impressive playoff background. Having suffered several failures near the finish line, the main interested party is even more motivated by the desire to achieve his goal.

Kotkaniemi and the Carolina Hurricanes were swept away by the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Finals, even though all four games in the series were decided by one goal.

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The Montreal Canadiens third overall pick in 2018 had three goals and seven points in 15 games. 

In National Hockey League history, only 11 players have played in more playoff games than Kotkaniemi (58) before the age of 23. 

“My only goal is to win, dropped the Finnish center during the end-of-season assessment of the Canes on Friday. I've seen it all before. I lost in the first round, in the second round and in the Stanley Cup final. I'm fed up and I want to win the big trophy.”

After a slow start to the regular season, Kotkaniemi found his momentum and set career highs in goals (18) and points (43). He still feels he has some work to do before he finds a balance between his production and his defensive responsibilities.

“It was a difficult start production-wise,” he said. he admitted. I was trying to be a good player on both sides of the rink. I think I'm starting to understand what it takes to be good defensively while still appearing on the scoresheet.”

Kotkaniemi will complete the second year of the eight-year pact and 38.56 million dollars he signed in 2022. With no more pressure to prove his worth or make his place on the team, he will have peace of mind when he improves certain technical elements during the off-season.

“You are always nervous when you arrive in a new locker room. This year, it was easier to play and have fun. I want to improve some elements that are useful for the playoffs. I want to get stronger, improve my skating and my efficiency in the face-off circle.”