RE 14-15 JESSE JOENSUU: TWO GREY ROOMS

One of the unusual Craig MacTavish transaction trades a year ago involved two Finns. The Oilers turned their back on Teemu Hartikainen, rumored to be unwilling to provide a one-way deal like Anton Lander earned this summer. At the same time, the club handed a two-year deal to a guy who looked like a lesser player—Jesse Joensuu. One year later? It looks as unusual as it seemed.

JESSE JOENSUU 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.65 (12th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.91 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 11th toughest faced among regular forwards (fourth line)
  • Qual Team: 9th best available teammates among regular forwards (third-fourth line)
  • Corsi Rel: -.2 (10th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 43.8
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -0.3
  • Zone Start: 32.2% (3rd toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 45% (9th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41/7.3% (9th among F’s >40 shots)
  • Boxcars: 42, 3-2-5

RE 13-14 REVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.275 JESSE JOENSUU RE 13-14 51 7 7 14
.119 JESSE JOENSUU ACTUAL 13-14 42 3 2 5

RE 14-15 PREVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.261 JESSE JOENSUU RE 14-15 23 2 4 6
 

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

hall sledge corsi rel

  1. You’re trading him? I’m guessing the Oilers will find different options for the 4line role. He may be dealt, or sent to OKC. I don’t see Joensuu as likely to be that guy on the 4line helping with the tough zones starts. If he is, the offense I’ve projected for him is about right—although he’d clearly play in more games.
  2. You don’t give him much slack for the crappy zone start. Boyd Gordon had more severe zs’s and scored more than 20 points. Gordon had a 20% ZS and scored 0.93/60 5×5, so I think we’d have every right to expect more from Joensuu—his line wasn’t facing tough opps. Joensuu was not a good hockey player in the 2013-14 season, and he won’t be playing ahead of Hall-Eberle, Perron-Purcell, Pouliot-Yakupov.
  3. Was there ever a time when he looked good? Start of the season, for sure. There were postgame moments. Eakins: “He feels that ice in front of the net is his and nobody else’s. Dustin is a big man and for Jesse to push him back is a great sign. I just think Jesse was around the net. Pushing Byfuglien back a few feet was impressive, though. He’s a big man.”
  4. What do teams see in him? Over to you, Doug Weight. “Very big kid, he will take the puck to the net; he’s going to compete. He came in and played a game in the playoffs for us and really competed, he played physical and he’s a big Finnish kid that’s going to score some goals around the net. You mix him with, I mean obviously the list of your talent up front is ridiculous with RNH and Eberle and Hall and Sam [Gagner] and now David Perron; you guys got so many guys, it’s crazy. He’ll be able to fit in there and be able to contribute.”
  5. But he never did. No. Injuries and then long stretches where he didn’t do a damn thing.
  6. We love the Finns. LOVE the Finns.
  7. How long have the Oilers been looking for a big winger as a solution? They were on the lookout for a Perron forever, and a Joensuu almost as long. In 08-09, MacT had Dustin Penner, Erik Cole, Ethan Moreau, and then guys like Stortini in secondary roles. In 09-10, Pat Quinn had Penner again but added (in a feature role) JF Jacques and Ryan Stone. Tom Renney came in for 10-11 and ignored it—and that was smart based on the available options—and then in 2011-12 Steve Tambellini gifted him Ben Eager.
  8. What about Ralph? Ralph Krueger decided Teemu Hartikainen was the guy. He played 16 games in January and February, but wasn’t putting together anything resembling offense, and it was down the road.
  9. Is Joensuu a better hockey player than Teemu Hartikainen? I don’t believe there’s evidence proving it.
  10. Do their NHL career stats compare? At this point, Hartikainen’s boxcars (52GP, 6-7-13 .250) are  superior to Joensuu’s (109GP, 11-9-20 .183).
  11. Why didn’t they like Harski? Either he wasn’t in shape, he didn’t play with the aggression the Oilers wanted him to, he didn’t skate well enough to project forward or he had an attitude problem.
  12. Back to Joensuu. Why did you put so many wingers in front of him? Well, the guys mentioned above (Hall-Eberle, Perron-Purcell, Pouliot-Yakupov) are clearly better hockey players. I have Lander in front of him because he is going to be the utility forward—the Casey Candaele—and Gazdic is the enforcer. I also have Pitlick in front of Joensuu because he showed some things this past season and is a natural RW. I could be wrong on Joensuu, maybe he’ll come in and storm the beaches. There’s not a lot of room for him as a regular though, and I think the at-bats get chopped up.
  13. What did you think he’d be last season? You’re up, Tom Benjamin: It is very difficult to score off an offensive zone cycle without getting a player to the front of the net. That is a hockey truism that is not a myth.
  14. But he never got going? Nope. He was more J-F Jacques than Dustin Penner. Important role, but Joensuu did not fill it.
  15. He was okay 5×4. Well, 2.91 5×4/60 was good for second power play duty, but you’d like your screen to be more impactful.
  16. And the Corgis? Well, we do have to factor in the zone starts and linemates there. By the way, his pre-season Corsi was very good.
  17. Maybe you’re wrong about this RE. We’ll see. I think he had an enormous chance a year ago, but Perron and Purcell have taken his seat in the fast cars. He can work for a punishing defensive role, but that’s not his forte. It’s another Ryan Jones situation.
  18. This is the last forward? Last forward.
  19. When do we start the blue? Uh, some time this week. I usually take a day or two to address all the major happenings in Oilers Nation since the start of the RE.
  20. So, the RE continues tomorrow? Probably.
  21. Why this song? A couple of reasons. Like Amelia, I wanted you to hear it because maybe you haven’t and you really should. Mitchell has been so prolific in her career there’s no way to get all of the good ones in, so we’ll sample and this is a very impressive song.
  22. And why for Joensuu? It’s kind of a bookend song, a choice song, giving up something others value for something you value more. And I think it fits with Joensuu and Hartikainen—because they’re bookends, because they made choices, because we may (as a group) feel one is a fool and the other so right in his path. And we may be hopelessly wrong because we know so little about either.

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25 Responses to "RE 14-15 JESSE JOENSUU: TWO GREY ROOMS"

  1. Hammers says:

    This guy had better be on a top fitness regime if he wants to stay in the NHL . Other than size why would he be used ahead of Lander who can PK & take face offs . If McT & Eakins stick to Gordon on the 4th it has to be with Hendricks and Lander . Training camp will be interesting , Leon , Nurse & Klefbom as I expect them to push to play .

  2. sliderule says:

    Lt is your Re summary going to get the oil 230 goals.

    Even with improved goal tending they will need at least that many to have a sniff at playoffs.

  3. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lt is your Re summary going to get the oil 230 goals.

    Even with improved goal tending they will need at least that many to have a sniff at playoffs.

    I’ll do a summary of the forwards today, that’ll give you an indication.

  4. Bruce McCurdy says:

    At this point, Hartikainen’s boxcars (52GP, 6-7-13 .250) and Joensuu’s (67GP, 8-7-15 .224) are very similar.

    Actually, those were Joensuu’s stats as an Islander, so a valid comp at decision time last summer. Mix in his 42 games as an Oiler and Joensuu stands at 109 GP, 11-9-20, .183 P/G, pretty lame numbers.

    I wonder if his middle name starts with F (such as Jesse Finn Joensuu), cuz his playing style sure does remind me of JFJ. Not exactly an ace at positional play.

  5. o1l3rsf@n says:

    This guy is a very interesting player, I’m Glad you brought him Up.

    I believe he would be a legit threat out there, and a solid complimentary player, if he was on a top scoring line. Problem is, that obviously won’t happen this year without oiler Injuries

    One of the biggest problems with him (besides injuries) was confidence. And I think some
    Powerplay minutes may be the cure for that

    I really think he can fill a 4th line/depth forward spot. Although a gamble, his size and skill have hidden gem all over it.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    At this point, Hartikainen’s boxcars (52GP, 6-7-13 .250) and Joensuu’s (67GP, 8-7-15 .224) are very similar.

    Actually, those were Joensuu’s stats as an Islander, so a valid comp at decision time last summer. Mix in his 42 games as an Oiler and Joensuu stands at 109 GP, 11-9-20, .183 P/G, pretty lame numbers.

    I wonder if his middle name starts with F (such as Jesse Finn Joensuu), cuz his playing style sure does remind me of JFJ. Not exactly an ace at positional play.

    Gack! Thanks, Bruce.

  7. o1l3rsf@n says:

    Hammers,

    No kidding , he needs to come into camp in the best shape of his life and a BIG chip on his shoulder

  8. sliderule says:

    Lowetide: I’ll do a summary of the forwards today, that’ll give you an indication.

    That’s great I will be looking for it.

  9. G Money says:

    Isn’t the rumour/conjecture/actual fact concern with JJ the back injury he suffered early?

    If he didn’t recover fully from that (common), it would have affected his play the entire year, especially for a player counted on to provide a consistent physical presence.

    Which is consistent both with the terrific pre-season and first game showing, and then with the later seen him bad and the ppg cliff that Bruce pointed out.

    Let’s hope he’s healthy this year, ‘early Jesse’ would be a huge boon for this team. If he’s injured/tentative Jesse, I don’t think he gets another chance.

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    Looking at the Oilers’ depth chart, I’d say its much more likely young Mr Acton will get in more NHL games than Joensuu this coming season.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Joensuu is back in Europe by Christmas.

  11. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Gack! Thanks, Bruce.

    Only in Edmonton would a guy come in averaging a point every 5 games and find a way to underachieve even that low bar. #BecauseOilers

  12. Ducey says:

    Joensuu never seemed to get on track. He was worth a FA contract though.

    Its too bad Hartikanen never worked out. Good at protecting the puck but a poor skater and unwilling to get his nose dirty. If he would have played even a little physically, he would have likely earned some extra at bats.

  13. justDOit says:

    G Money,

    Among the last ‘saw him good’ memories I have of JJ this past season, was when he was mixing it up with Big Buff against the Jets. Not sure if that was when his injury occurred, but I could see it happening there. JJ is big, but BB is bigger and stronger. I hope he’s had a good off-season of training, and maybe knows a little more about which battles to pick.

    Bruce McCurdy,

    JFJ – indeed! Even the injuries are similar. If he starts on the first line this season…

  14. book¡je says:

    Joensuu is the type of player who sometimes plays really well and GMs think, if we could get him playing like that we could have a top player. However, the reality 95% of the time is that like all of his previous coaches, you don’t succeed in getting him to play like that. MacT didn’t error on signing him as its fine for GMs to take chances, but he did error in giving him a two year contract.

  15. Lowetide says:

    MacT has (so far) avoided a “Cogliano for distant bell” style trade http://www.puckrant.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1202-is-that-all-there-is

  16. "Steve Smith" says:

    book¡je,

    To err is human; to error is not a verb.

    Thus concludes another valuable “Steve Smith” contribution to this blog’s discourse.

  17. blainer says:

    Really was thinking we might have a player here during the pre season last year. I thought he looked great.. then the injuries came and he never could get back on track. One would have to think he is motivated to work real hard this off season as his NHL career is hanging by a thread. Gonna be some real competition at camp this year.. at every position…Finally..

  18. justDOit says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    book¡je,

    To err is human

    That’s okay Steve – Montreal probably would have won anyway.

    Now who’s up for some sleeping pills and gin?

  19. Hammers says:

    blainer: Really was thinking we might have a player here during the pre season last year. I thought he looked great.. then the injuries came and he never could get back on track. One would have to think he is motivated to work real hard this off season as his NHL career is hanging by a thread. Gonna be some real competition at camp this year.. at every position…Finally..

    I do agree that competition is at last here and 1 year out we may see a totally different team . There are players in junior & Okl that will push the bar . Next year we should have Leon & Klefbom for sure ( M.M. stays this year ) with Nurse & Bogdon knocking on the door or at least making McT & Eakins make real decisions . At last we will have a team with no walk on players .

  20. Hammers says:

    As for now McT needs to sign Schultz and I’m hoping not a 1 year deal like Petry . Personally the Toronto deal for his old team mate makes sense 5 x $4 = $20 > Any inside word on why this deal isn’t done? My gut says Klef is up at the trade deadline and we get a 2nd rd pick for Petry . Poor Asset management . This maybe McT’s biggest mistake since becoming GM .

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    As someone who suffers from a bad back, I have a lot of sympathy for JJ. Him not getting back to that early promise made complete sense to me. Soft tissue injuries just linger and linger and they affect everything you do.

    If he can get 100% healthy and play like he did in the preseason and that first game of the year… he might find a role for himself.

    Otherwise, I’d guess he’d exercise his options and skip to Europe instead of going down to OKC and I bet the Oilers would welcome the roster/cap relief.

  22. bendelson says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I don’t know if you watch Louie or not, but to quote the Charles Grodin character:

    “Accept the fact that your back is going to hurt sometimes. Be very grateful for the moments that it doesn’t. Every second spent without back pain is a lucky second. String enough of those lucky seconds together, you have a lucky minute.”

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bendelson:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I don’t know if you watch Louie or not, but to quote the Charles Grodin character:

    “Accept the fact that your back is going to hurt sometimes. Be very grateful for the moments that it doesn’t. Every second spent without back pain is a lucky second. String enough of those lucky seconds together, you have a lucky minute.”

    I have indeed seen that episode. It was amazing. Grodin ate through the whole performance. perfect.

  24. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    MacT has (so far) avoided a “Cogliano for distant bell” style trade http://www.puckrant.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1202-is-that-all-there-is

    Arguably MacT has set himself up to do something far worse…letting his best defensemen, Jeff Petry, walk for nothing next summer.

    And then there was Horcoff for basically nothing, when with Nugent-Hopkins injury, he could have had an extra centre around, who could be moved to wing, when everyone was healthy.

    And we’ll see how Taylor Fedun does with San Jose.

    Counting your chickens a little early on MacT.

  25. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Arguably MacT has set himself up to do something far worse…letting his best defensemen, Jeff Petry, walk for nothing next summer.

    And then there was Horcoff for basically nothing, when with Nugent-Hopkins injury, he could have had an extra centre around, who could be moved to wing, when everyone was healthy.

    And we’ll see how Taylor Fedun does with San Jose.

    Counting your chickens a little early on MacT.

    That’s why I said “so far” and do agree the Petry one year deal was a very poor move.

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