The New Jersey Devils announced today they have re-signed forward Janne Kuokkanen to a two-year contract extension worth $3.65 million. His contract carries a salary-cap hit of $1.85 million.
Locked up. 🔒#NEWS: We have re-signed Janne Kuokkanen to a two-year deal. Check the link for the details. ⬇️
Welcome back, Janne! https://t.co/D7E5cPwd9x
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) August 9, 2021
Janne Kuokkanen Re-Signs With Devils
Like the previously re-signed Yegor Sharangovich, Janne Kuokkanen had a solid rookie season for the Devils in the 2020-21 season. During 50 games with the Devils last season, Kuokkanen tallied 25 points (eight goals and 17 assists). Those numbers allowed Kuokkanen to be one of three Devils along with Ty Smith and Sharangovich to be in the top 10 in rookie scoring last season. In addition, Kuokkanen was second in rookie scoring on the Devils, plus he was one of 11 rookies to start for the Devils last season. Kuokkanen came over to the Devils from the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade that saw the Devils shipped out Sami Vatanen during the 2020 NHL trade deadline. As part of that trade, the Devils also got Frederik Claesson and a conditional third-round pick.
Kuokkanen was originally drafted by the Hurricanes 43rd overall in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. He has played in 62 career NHL games.
Like Sharangovich, Kuokkanen is getting a two-year bridge deal. The Devils are hoping both of these players can duplicate their production from last season. Heading into last season, the Devils had a lot of tough decisions to make especially when it came to the expansion draft. Kuokkanen proved that he could play at a high-level night in and night out. His play along with Sharagnovich forced general manager Tom Fitzgerald to protect for the Seattle expansion draft. Kuokkanen started on the third line last season when he was paired with Travis Zajac, who was traded to the Islanders.
In the last four to five weeks of the season, with the Devils out of contention, head coach Lindy Ruff put Kuokkanen on the first line alongside Jack Hughes and Sharangovich. He is a solid player that can play anywhere in the lineup but do not be surprised if he starts out on the top line with his running mates from last season.
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