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Jesperi Kotkaniemi: just three points in his last 22 games

At the start of the season, Jesperi Kotkaniemi was on fire. The Hurricanes’ center scored 10 points in the month of October, which is really good for a guy like him.

Then he started November with three points in four games… and since then, nothing has gone right.

He went five games without a point before getting two goals in two games on November 26 and 28. But since then, he’s literally been unable to do anything.

From November 30 to December 17, he didn’t get a point. He scored on December 19, earning his only point of the month.

Then, in January, he picked up an assist on the 5th and another on the 11th. And that was all.

That means that in his last 22 games, which is more than 1/4 of a season, Kotkaniemi had just one goal and one assist. That’s a pace of just over 10 points a year.

So he’s come back down to earth after a good start, you say? He certainly has.

KK, who has lost some power-play time recently, is at least playing for a good team. His nine goals and nine assists, however, aren’t enough to keep big playing time in Carolina.

If he were playing with the Senators, we’d understand more. But Brady Tkachuk plays there, not him.

So Rod Brind’Amour has a problem on his hands. KK’s playing time is melting like snow in the sun (less than 13 minutes per game for the past few games) and the Canes can’t afford it.

Is this a good time to remember that KK earns $4.82 million a year until the turn of the next decade?

We said so when things were going well for him at the start of the season. That said, it’s also worth pointing out when things aren’t going well, to put things in perspective for everyone.

Note that Nick Suzuki, since November 29 (the day after the game in which KK had a point before falling in his 22-game sequence), has 20 points. He outdistanced his former teammate admirably.

(Credit: ESPN)

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