“That’s long, not good” – Hurricanes’ Jesperi Kotkaniemi out for two weeks after lower body injury

Jordan Martinook came on the ice as a replacement to Jesperi Kotkaniemi for a 4-0 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Finnish ice hockey player Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be out for a minimum of two weeks for the Carolina Hurricanes owing to a lower-body injury. The forward was earlier injured on Monday by a check from Washington Capitals centre Lars Eller late in the third period of a 6-1 win in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Reacting to the absence of Kotkaniemi’s absence, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said this will surely hurt the side. 

It’s going to be at least a couple weeks to three weeks,” he stated on Thursday, as quoted by NHL.com. “That’s long for me, so that’s not good.”

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The worst part is, you never want to see injuries, but he was really taking a turn, becoming really effective every shift,” Brind’Amour added. “The good thing is, you see that, and you know that once he gets back, we will get him up to speed again.”

Kotkaniemi on average annual contract value of $4.82 million

Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Kotkaniemi, who has fared well in his first season with Carolina, scored 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 63 games. The 21-year-old had an assist in each of his past three games before not playing in a 3-4 OT loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

The Pori native Kotkaniemi could have become a restricted free agent after the season, before signing an eight-year, $38.56 million contract with the Hurricanes last month.

You’re always weighing the risk versus the reward,” Carolina general manager Don Waddell said. “We see a higher projectile (projection) for this player. And as the seasons go on and the [NHL salary] cap continues to go up, we think these kind of players are going to become even more expensive.”

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