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2015-16 Report Card: Jyrki Jokipakka

The highlight thus far of the Russell deal looked alright in Calgary this year

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Jyrki Jokipakka

Grade: C+

*Stats with Flames only*

Scoring At Average Season Noise
G A1 P1 G A1 P1 +/- A2 Hits BS
0 2 2 0 8.55 8.55 3 4 22 23
5V5
G60 A160 P160 xGF60 Rel xGA60 Rel Mod xG% CF60 Rel CA60 Rel Mod CF% Mod GF%
0 0.44 0.44 -0.95 -0.7 45.174 -13.15 -8.33 46.734 57.05
5V4 4V5 Penalty
G60 A160 P160 xGF60 Rel GF60 Rel CF60 Rel iCF60 xGA60 Rel GA60 Rel +/-
0 0 0 -7.89 N/A -71.85 3.93 -3.12 1.1 -3

FlamesMM - B

Jokipakka was the key piece coming in return when the Flames dealt Kris Russell to Dallas on deadline day this past season. Jokipakka proceeded to have a pretty end of the season with the Flames and looks poised to be a depth/bottom pairing player for his time in Calgary. The Flames have sorely lacked solid depth defensemen on this team over the last few years so having Jokipakka should bolster the bottom pairing. Jokipakka looked especially good on the ice when he was paired with Jakub Nakladal towards the end of the season, and if the Flames could somehow revive that pairing next season, then they could much more comfortably roll three defensive lines. Jokipakka also is building an international repertoire as he was recently named to the Finnish World Cup team. He was also named to the Finnish World Championship team this past spring but declined the offer to nurse a nagging hip injury. This injury may also keep him out of the World Cup next season, so the Flames will have to monitor that closely. Jokipakka gets a B from me for being a reliable option for the Flames to use behind their big guns on defense.

Samwell9 - B

Jyrki Jokipakka was an exciting acquisition initially because it meant that Kris Russell was leaving town. Plus he has a great name. Then we actually got to see him play in a Flames jersey and it turned out to be even more exciting. Jokipakka is not going to be a star player for the Flames anytime, but he was exactly what you want from a depth defender; quiet, reliable and often unnoticeable. With Brodie, Hamilton and Giordano anchoring the D, filling out the rest of the group with steady options is exactly what you want to see. Jokipakka was just as solid defensively as Engelland and Smid, while making just $900,000 for this season and next. He's also just 24, so there could still be some upside there. Jokipakka came in and quietly did a solid job, so I have to give him a B.

HockeyGoalieEh - F

I'm not certain where anybody thought that Jokipakka's performance with the Flames was anywhere near acceptable this season.  He was abhorrent, measuring two primary assists in about 323 minutes of ice time with horrible possession numbers.  When he came in, nobody thought he could be worse possession wise than Kris Russell.  They were wrong as Jokipakka came in at -3.88 xG Rel compared to Russell's -3.12.  That number was worse than everybody but Dennis Wideman and Oliver Kylington (who had the tiniest of sample sizes).  He doesn't play on the power play and at a full season as an average defensemen he would be on pace for 8.55 primary points, all coming as assists.  Given those numbers with the possession, that's completely unacceptable, salary be damned.

Yes he's cheap, but he plays a particularly uninspiring brand of bad hockey and the Flames have young defensemen waiting in the wings to play anyway in the likes of Tyler Wotherspoon and Brett Kulak who were considerably better than Jokipakka's wretched performance this year.  If the Flames can use him in a package to a team to dispose of another player's horrible contract, they should 100 percent use him as leverage.  Even if they don't want to pull up Wotherspoon or Kulak, they can very easily replace him with somebody considerably better for a minuscule increase in salary.  As a seventh round draft pick who's numbers were this ugly for both the Stars and the Flames, he probably doesn't have much of a future in this league.

BizzleJ - B
MattyFranchise - C

I'm gonna get this out of the way now, to hopefully illustrate this guy's value: he makes 900K for another season after this last one.  Anyway, over his 18 games Jokipakka chipped in 6 assists at 5v5 even strength. While his CF% isn't exactly what you'd call great at 46.49 he also wasn't the worst of the lot either. His CF% ranks him 5 out of 8 defenders (minimum 250 minutes played), ahead of Engelland, Wideman, and the player he replaced in Russell. Yes he was given some pretty good zone starts compared to the rest of the team (only Wideman and Nakladal had better) but all three of these players are best suited for the bottom pairing.  He was able to put in regular shifts (15.39 TOI/G) and not, well I wouldn't say had the best results, had middling results.

He had trouble defending against scoring chances, but still was better than Russell and Wideman. He had trouble defending against high danger scoring chances, but still was better than Wideman and only slightly worse than Russell. I mentioned that his CF% wasn't the best, it was by no means the worst as relative to the team he managed to push the puck north better than Russell, Wideman, and Engelland.

As for that whole scoring thing? While he was on the ice his goals for percentage relative to his team was an astounding 11.9%. Twice as high as the next best Nakladal. Whatever he is doing out there, it must be working cause the other team is getting scored on a lot while he's there. To me, he passes the eye test, is marginally better than Russell while being paid commensurate to his ability. He's a bottom pairing defender right now but he's also only 24. He still has time to grow.

MarkParkinson14 C

Jyrki Jokipakka performed admirably in his short stint with the Flames after coming over in the Kris Russell trade with Dallas. Russell wasn't lighting the world on fire and all Jokipakka had to do was perform the same or similar for the trade to work and I think he did just that. He helped anchor the bottom end of a defence that found itself in a lurch after Wideman was suspended. I'll withhold full judgment on Jokipakka until next season, but I do like what I see so far. His defensive skills are solid and I believe with a full year in Calgary his scoring numbers will rise. C