#16: Jyrki Jokipakka
Team: Calgary Flames
Drafted: 2011 #195 (7th Round by Dallas)
Jyrki Jokipakka was the key return for the Flames in their trade with the Dallas Stars. Calgary sent shot blocking machine, but underachieving defenceman Kris Russell to Dallas at the trade deadline in 2016 and received Jokipakka in return as part of the deal. In 18 games with Calgary Jokipakka had 6 points (all assists) and was a +3. In over twice the amount of games with Dallas he had the same point total and was a mere +1.
Jokiapakka’s game, number wise, picked up when he got to Calgary and you can see why the Flames were excited to get him in return. He’s still relatively young and he’s got low mileage on his NHL tires, having only played in 109 games in his career. He registered 22 hits in his short stint with Calgary, which is a little under half of what he had with Dallas prior to being traded. The Flames like defenceman who can move the puck and find the net, but that’s not necessarily Jokipakka’s game. He’s more of a shot blocker and a blue liner who can throw the body around when it’s required.
Jokipakka is currently under contract for this season only at $900,000. He filled a nice niche for the Flames after being traded to Calgary and a full season should give the Flames a better idea as to whether Jyrki Jokipakka is in the long term plans for the franchise. He’s not going to settle in the top 3 with the likes of Gio, Hamilton, Brodie, but he is a good complementary piece to the likes of Deryk Engelland and Jakub Nakladal (if re-signed). The best case scenario for Jokipakka is for players like Wideman and Smid to be moved as it will create more ice time for him next season.