One of the first moves made by Craig MacTavish last summer was signing big Finn winger Jesse Joensuu. It spelled the end of the line for Teemu Hartikainen, another Finn, and for Joensuu it represented a strong opportunity to re-start his NHL career.
Joensuu is in the “less sheltered” part of the graph, and we can see his offensive zone starts aren’t stellar. Dallas Eakins hasn’t given him a push in that way, and he also isn’t facing tough opponents.
This is his player card from Extra Skater. There isn’t much happening, but he’s not terrible compared to his own linemates (Corsi Rel is -1.3%) and he’s batting late in the order. Joensuu has a two-year contract, and that might be his best chance to make next year’s team, plus the fact he’s had injury troubles this season. Joensuu needed to score, but his 5×5/60 total (0.68) is poor. How does it compare to Hartikainen?
This is last season, Harski’s bubble is in about the same spot on the map as Joensuu this year. Harski had a slightly more favorable zone start, but it’s a tiny difference.
Here’s Hartikainen’s player card from extra skater. Hartikainen didn’t score at evens, but his Corsi for 5×5% and his Corsi Rel are better. This is a small sample size, but the previous season also had some nice signs. Hartikainen may not be an NHL player, but he looks like a better one than Joensuu based on this small sample size.
Alas, Hartikainen’s Corsi events resulted in no goals at all.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I think you can make a case that despite the small sample size Toronto now has possession of the better Finn. It doesn’t matter. Jesse Joensuu has the NHL job, and another year on his deal.