Sometimes trades make pundits, fans, and fantasy hockey “experts” scratch their heads. The Mike Cammalleri–Jussi Jokinen trade is one. A Tuesday night trade sends Cammalleri with seven points to the Edmonton Oilers. The Los Angeles Kings receive Jussi Jokinen in return, who has just one point on the year.
Let us take a closer look at this trade of two players in their mid-thirties.
Mike Cammalleri Impact
Cammalleri had three goals on 24 shots with Los Angeles in 15 games. Add four more assists and it did not seem all was bad. Consider that the winger was making just a million dollars.
Cammalleri has a lot going for him once the puck gets in the offensive zone. After that, it does get dicey. Jonathan Willis points out the following:
For those wondering why L.A. would trade a guy for 7 points for one with 1, this is interesting: Cammalleri has a 43% Fenwick & 102 PDO; Jokinen 63% and 92 PDO.
Edmonton is looking for someone who can just put a puck in the net with even a little consistency. The underlying concerns are many with Cammalleri. Age was noted already.
Defensive ability and possession have not been strong points. However, repetitive mistakes led to decreased ice time in large stretches. Those can only mask the point potential for so long. Cammalleri only had points in three games. In his last four contests, the winger had zero points.
Cammalleri has to be sheltered as Edmonton can carry chances along with shielding him. Whether he can produce at 5 on 5 any better than Jokinen is a question mark at best. Furthermore, his power play production even in New Jersey was inconsistent at best. Remember his power-play goals dipped from 9 to 1. Overall, his goals fell from 27 to 10 from season one to three in New Jersey. Peter Chiarelli is looking for a streak from a streaky player. That is Cammalleri’s potential at this juncture.
Jussi Jokinen Impact
The center has just one lone assist on the year. This is a player who went from 60 points in 2015-16 to getting traded. Scoring chances and expected goals for have been excellent with the forward – finishing has just not happened.
One problem involves skating. Jokinen has lost at least a step or two. He can still be quite effective but unlike Cammalleri, Jokinen is normally not as streaky. The center had been generating fewer and fewer shots on net. In his last four games, Jokinen had just two shots on net while missing at least a half-dozen opportunities. It was time for a change.
This is a case of another player needing a new locale to make a turn for the better. Second/third line upside is about the highest projection as far as potential linemates.
Jokinen’s tenure could be brief in Los Angeles. John Hoven notes:
Wouldn’t be surprised to see Jussi Jokinen waived after Carter returns from injury. Kings will have too many players when 12/77 healthy.
Again, this makes a lot of sense. Los Angeles is hoping that Jokinen can fill a gap until they get healthy. Maybe, if he does well enough, Jokinen becomes more trade worthy or stays. The latter seems unlikely at this time.