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THREE THINGS: Get to know Henri Jokiharju

Here are three things to know about the Chicago Blackhawks 2017 first round pick

by Chris Wescott / chicagoblackhawks.com

The Blackhawks have agreed to terms with Henri Jokiharju on a three-year entry-level contract, which runs through the 2020-21 season. Here are three things to know about the Finnish defenseman who Chicago selected 29th overall in 2017.

1. RUNS IN THE FAMILY

Henri isn't the only Jokiharju to make a name for himself on the ice. In the late eighties and early nineties, his father Juha played several seasons in Finland's top league, even winning a pair of championships. Juha was also a member of Finland's bronze-medal winning team at the 1987-88 World Juniors.

He continued his career in France, where he led the league in scoring twice and became a champion once during the 2000-01 season.

Henri's brother Juho just finished his third season at Clarkson University.

2. KING OF PORTLANDIA

Jokiharju was taken 25th overall by Portland in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. He just completed his second season for the Western Hockey League's Winterhawks. As he adapted to the North American game, Jokiharju saw his production tick upward in year two.

Following a 48-point rookie campaign, Jokiharju recorded 71 points (12G, 59A) in 63 games in 2017-18.

Video: Jokiharju on being drafted by the Blackhawks

On a team with a few NHL first round picks, Jokiharju shined as the Winterhawks top defensive point producer. He was named to the WHL West Second All-Star Team.

3. SOLID PROJECTIONS

Clearly Jokiharju is an excellent prospect, having been selected in the opening round of the draft. He is so highly regarded that International Scouting Services said he has "no real weakness."

NHL Central Scouting lauded Jokiharju's skating ability saying he is an, "excellent skater who is very elusive with the puck and can beat the forecheck with a pass or his skating ability."

Video: Blackhawks draft D Henri Jokiharju No. 29

They added, "(he's a) very good passer with excellent vision - quickness and mobility allows him to take away time and space defensively."

He was Central Scouting's 19th ranked skater.

Jokiharju himself compares his style to that of New Jersey Devils blueliner Sami Vatanen. He has plenty of upside as an offensive defenseman with hope to one day quarterback a power play at the NHL level.

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