High level offensive skill set, with the ability to play anywhere in the lineup in any situation.
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October 2020 – Kuokkanen has had three different call-ups to the NHL with Carolina and New Jersey and has yet to establish himself at 22 years old. His numbers in the AHL were quite impressive, however, as he ended the season second-place in players his age for primary points with 37, 23 of which were at even-strength. His hockey IQ and never-give-up mentality on loose pucks should carry him into an energy role as soon as next season, but there’s also a slight chance he remains a great AHLer at best. In the meantime, he’s playing fourth-line minutes for KarPat in the Liiga and has put up two points in two games. Hadi Kalakeche
March 2020 – The forward has made a home with Binghamton and even saw a game in New Jersey. Most importantly, he did not look out of place either. In four games with the AHL Devils, Kuokkanen had three goals and three assists. Before he was traded, he had 42 points in 52 games with Charlotte. Chris Wassel
February 2020 – Kuokkanen has been traded from Carolina to New Jersey. Jokke Nevalainen
March 2019 – Another strong season thus far from the Finnish forward when he has been in the lineup. With 38 points in 48 games, he ranks second among Checkers players with a points-per-game rate of .79 but has unfortunately picked up a few nagging injury issues that have kept him out of 13 of the teams games thus far. Kuokkanen adds high-skill depth to the prospect group, and will have a very important developmental year in 2019-20, where he’ll be given a chance to prove he belongs on the NHL roster. Much of the top six will be set next season, but there will be holes in the bottom six that will need to be filled for the Canes to take the next step. Kevin LeBlanc
May 2018 – Couldn’t ask for much more from a 19-year-old playing his first professional season in a major role for one of the AHL’s top teams. Kuokkanen finished in the top 20 points among AHL rookies (40) and in the top 10 in assists (29), despite playing just 60 games. Even though he played four games to start the season in the NHL, Kuokkanen never made it back into the Canes roster later in the year, as he was relied upon heavily in the Checkers playoff run. Carolina’s roster will look much different this season, and Kuokkanen will likely factor in at some point throughout the year. Kevin LeBlanc
March 2017 – Kuokkanen has signed his entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Appearing in 60 games for the London Knights, the young Finnish forward posted 62 points (26G, 36A) in his first season on North American ice. He is eligible to join the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers after his season in London is complete.
October 2016 – Kuokkanen is a prospect who opened some eyes this summer, and is one to watch this season for the London Kinghts. The Canes sent the Finnish forward back to junior early in camp, allowing him to get acclimated with his new teammates for his first season on North American ice. Kuokkanen will likely play some at center and on the wing for the Knights, who will push towards a Memorial Cup this year. Kevin LeBlanc
July 2016 – The Hurricanes went back to the well in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to the Kärpät organization that has been kind to them in the past, producing 2105 second round selection Sebastian Aho. Kuokkanen plays a smart, well-rounded two-way game highlighted by his supreme hockey sense and passing ability. He reads the game well and often makes simple plays to unlock the defense in the neutral and offensive zones to give his linemates time and space. Although he’s not the fastest skater, he has elite agility that he uses to maneuver away from checks and in and out of tough areas of the ice. He was terrific in a gold medal winning effort at the U-18’s with seven points in seven games for Finland. His future in the NHL is likely as a complementary middle-six forward who if deployed in a scoring role could thrive. He is a player who can be used in all situations as well as up and down throughout the lineup.Kevin LeBlanc