The Winnipeg Jets brought in Olli Jokinen this offseason on a two-year contract worth $9 million in total. The Jets have high expectations based on the money alone. In general, Jokinen will be expected to make the Jets a better team, as that's what offseason acquisitions are generally expected to do.
Jokinen is a proven player especially after a rejuvenated season last year. Outside of getting the points, assists, and goals on occasion, Jokinen brings a lot to the table.
This is the obvious one. The Jets signed Jokinen mainly for his skill and production that he brings to the team.
Jokinen has the ability to score some goals which he’s done often in the past, but is widely known for his playmaking skills. Obviously, he’s not in his prime anymore and may not be able to get 80 points, but he’s still fully capable of a 60-point season or better.
The Jets will surround Jokinen with talent to which he’ll be relied upon to “make better”. At the same time, Jokinen will benefit from having talented wingers on his line.
The expectations will be for him to produce consistently because that’s why he was brought in for the kind of money he got. And since he is certainly capable of producing, he should be able to live up to expectations. Aside from that, there are many other ways he’ll help the Jets.
The Jets already have a good amount of size on their roster, but the addition of Jokinen adds a lot more. Jokinen is listed at 6-3, 215 lbs. and for a center, that’s very valuable and desirable in this league.
Jokinen’s size gives him the advantage over players trying to defend him. He has the ability to strongly protect the puck, win puck battles down low, as well as cause some ruckus in front of the net. It’s difficult to contain a player in the middle with good height and weight such as Jokinen’s.
The Jets will certainly benefit from having another tall player on their roster after already having an abundance of players with good size. It’s never a bad thing to have too much size.
Jokinen is the most experienced Jets forward, playing in 1042 professional games over a span of 14 years, which included six different teams. He'll be entering his 15th season, with the Jets being the seventh team he's played for.
Experience goes a long way in the NHL and it’s something the Jets don’t have much of. The Jets are a very young team outside of a couple of players, so the addition of Jokinen becomes beneficial in a way people may not have expected.
Although Jokinen has only played in one playoff series in his entire career, it doesn’t take away from the experience he has in the regular season. However, it only makes him hungrier to get to the playoffs because the 33-year-old doesn’t have much more time to do so.