Selected 29th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks, Jokiharju can be an offensive defenceman or a shutdown dman and will be a fine replacement for Hjalmarsson, who was traded earlier on draft day.
Henri Jokiharju - Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Born: June 17, 1999 – Tampere, Finland
Weight: 176 lbs.
Drafted: 2016 CHL Import Draft - Round #1 (25th overall) by the Portland Winterhawks
Henri Jokiharju is a steady stay at home defenceman who is developing an offensive side to his game as he adjusts to the North American ice. His speed is a real standout as he often gets caught out of position but has the recovery speed to get back and cover his zone. Uses good gap control to keep play active in the offensive zone. He doesn't possess a real strong shot but will play some power play. He will take wrist shots all day long with accuracy but he packs no power or accuracy with his slap shot. Can move the puck well and skates well in all four directions. Plays with a chip on his shoulder at times and he needs to understand when a good time to get chippy is. It will take some time for Jokiharju to develop into a premier offensive defenceman, but he will get there.
DID YOU KNOW? Jokiharju posted nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points in 47 games playing as a 16-year-old with the Tappara U20 team in Finland's Junior A league last season. In addition, he helped Finland win a gold medal at the World Under-18 Championship this past spring, as he registered three assists in seven games in the tournament. He also represented Finland at the 2015 World Under-17 Championship, where he had a goal in five games.
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