July 6, 2022

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Kuokkanen Wanting Ahead to Return to Lineup | BLOG

After over a month on the Devils injured reserved listing, Janne Kuokkanen is wholesome and able to go. When New Jersey discovered the ahead’s wrist damage was impacting his play an excessive amount of, Kuokkanen was added to the IR on Feb 13.

“You want gamers wholesome, you want gamers enjoying to their capabilities. If that individual damage hurts you and hurts your play, it nearly renders you an ineffective participant,” Devils head coach Lindy Ruff mentioned about Kuokkanen’s damage, Thursday.

Nonetheless, the Finnish ahead is able to go and able to have an effect every time he’s again within the lineup.

“It feels good, clearly it has been irritating at instances however I look ahead to be again within the lineup,” Kuokkanen mentioned Friday. “Simply play my sport, assist the group as a lot as attainable. Attempt to be good within the d-zone and take a look at create numerous issues within the o-zone.”

“He is a wise participant, he sees the ice nicely,” Ruff mentioned Thursday. “He is a man that may make play. He is a great penalty killer for us, and doubtless slightly little bit of a special position for him however he killed penalties nicely.”

New Jersey had one of many worst penalty kills within the NHL at first of the season, however have improved to a top-10 spot with assist from Kuokkanen’s contributions.

“This yr I have been enjoying numerous penalty kill and I feel that is been an enormous a part of my sport and I am actually blissful to have that likelihood to be there and attempting to meet my job.”

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Kuokkanen was accessible to play in opposition to the Bruins on Thursday however because of the surplus of gamers again from damage, Ruff mentioned the plan is to get him again quickly.

“I had a great dialog with him (Wednesday),” mentioned Ruff. “We now have some additional our bodies and the objective is to attempt to get him again into the lineup.”

The Devils begin a four-game homestand in opposition to the Florida Panthers on Saturday and have a complete of eight video games within the first 9 days of April. With this heavy workload Kuokkanen ought to make his approach again into the lineup earlier than later.