New York Islanders Should Claim Jussi Jokinen Off Waivers

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Jussi Jokinen
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Jussi Jokinen /

Veteran center Jussi Jokinen was placed on waivers today by the Los Angeles Kings. The New York Islanders have the need for a fourth line centerman and Jokinen could be just the right addition to give a shot in the arm to the underperforming unit.

The Los Angeles Kings placed veteran Finnish forward Jussi Jokinen on waivers today. The New York Islanders are currently on a three-game winning streak and have been looking good (maybe not defensively) across the board. Though, they could use the added depth to their bottom six forwards that Jokinen would bring.

At 34 years old, Jussi Jokinen seems to be starting to reach the downhill point of his career. His current stat line of 6 points in 32 games with a minus 3 rating signifies something is definitely wrong. This is a player who’s averaged over half-point per game over his career.

The New York Islanders should take a flier on Jokinen and see what kind of effect he has on the underachieving fourth line. Counting for just $1.1 million against the salary cap, the Islanders currently have the cap space to afford to add Jokinen. If they are able to make a separate deal to trade away Nikolai Kulemin’s expiring contract in return for a low-end draft pick, that would free up even more money.

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If the New York Islanders want to try to revive the bottom six on a team that’s clearly being led by it’s first and second lines, adding Jussi Jokinen may be the answer. Even in the absence of some of their most productive players, the New York Islanders top two lines have been arguably the two best top lines in the NHL this year.

How do the rest of the chips fall?

The true area of concern for the New York Islanders, offensively, has been the fourth line. Perhaps inserting Jussi Jokinen in the middle of Cal Clutterbuck and a slowly awakening Jason Chimera would clear away some of the cobwebs that have been plaguing this group. In order for this team to take the step to the next level, they’ll need production out of every line, not just the top two.

By adding Jussi Jokinen and putting him on the fourth line, that would leave the recently called-up Tanner Fritz to assume the position of third line center alongside Brock Nelson and Michael Dal Colle. Moving Brock Nelson to the wing would put him back in his natural position and hopefully, result in a significant increase in his production.

Michael Dal Colle would certainly have to make the most of this opportunity. Being given the increased responsibility and minutes that he would be if he were playing on the third line, he would need to prove to the coaching staff, as well as his teammates, that he’s deserving of it.

Next: Islanders Must Keep Barzal, Beau, & Eberle Together

The New York Islanders most definitely need to make a move to shore up the third and fourth forward lines if they want to navigate themselves into a playoff position before the time is too late. An economically-wise waiver wire pick-up would be a fine start to doing just that.