Islanders Summer Report Card: Jesse Joensuu


May 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders left wing

Jesse Joensuu

(6) skates with the puck against the the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at CONSOL Energy Center. the Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Student Report

  • Enrolled: 2012-13
  • Age: 25
  • Undergraduate: 2008
  • Days Absent: 41
  • Scholarship: None (UFA)
  • Achievements: 7 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 PTS, +2 +/-, 15 SOG, 10:08 TOI/G, 35:29 PROD

Class List and Grade History

  • Skating: C+
  • Shooting: B
  • Passing: C
  • Defense: B-
  • Leadership: D+

Professor’s Comments: Jesse spent much of the 2012-13 NHL season on injured reserve for the New York Islanders while recuperating from a sports hernia. As anyone who has suffered this injury knows, recovery from a sports hernia is a slow, painful process; any tweaks or unexpected movements can re-aggravate the symptoms, thereby delaying a return to game action for the player.

The Isles certainly missed Joensuu’s imposing physical presence on the ice this season; at 6’4” and 207 pounds, his size creates a difficult defensive matchup for opposing teams. We at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum of Learning would have liked to see how Jesse performed on the second or third line, as both could have used more physicality up front.

In limited playing time this season, Joensuu managed to record 15 shots-on-goal in approximately 10 minutes of ice time per game. In short, Jesse can put the puck on the net. His performance overseas in the Finnish Elite League—SM-liiga— prior to him joining the Islander organization in 2007 speaks to his ability to score.

Joensuu is best known for being a prototypical power forward who recorded 12, 26 and 35 points with Ässät in seasons of 51, 52 and 56 games played, respectively.

This season, injury severely curtailed his production, but not the Isles coaching staff’s interest in him as a contributor.

Upon being medically cleared to play, Joensuu was inserted into the Islanders lineup for seven of the team’s final 10 regular-season games, in addition to starting Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Professor’s Recommendation: It is the recommendation of the faculty here at NVMCL that Jesse be re-signed to a two- or three-year contract at above league-minimum value (approximately $750,000 with performance-based escalators, if necessary).

Joensuu has the physical tools necessary to make him a respectable power forward at the NHL level; relatively poor performance this past season notwithstanding—as it was due to a lingering injury—he has the size and skill that the Islanders lack up-front on the top two lines.

Granted, there are young players within the organization like Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Nino Niederreiter who are set to compete for that same roster spot, but a talent like Joensuu’s shouldn’t go overlooked.

It never hurts for a franchise to have more talent than can be put on the ice at one time. At a relatively cheap price, Jesse’s skill may offer the Isles another option at winger when the team is looking to bulk up on the forward line.

Joensuu has proven his ability to shoot the puck—something the Islanders sorely need, being that only four players managed 100+ SOG this season—and can effectively erase opposing defensemen with his size.

In a league where “bigger, faster, stronger” is the norm, players like Joensuu, when healthy, are key components of Stanley Cup-contending teams.


Poll: agree or disagree with the faculty’s assessment of Jesse’s performance. Is his performance during an injury-truncated 2012-13 season worthy of the Islanders re-upping his contract? Vote ‘Promote’ to agree, or ‘Expel’ to disagree.