Newark, NJ - The New Jersey Devils today re-signed restricted free-agent forward Janne Kuokkanen to a two-year contract worth $3,650,000, with an average annual value of $1,825,000. The breakdown is as follows: 2021-22, $1,600,000 and 2022-23, $2,050,000. The announcement was made by New Jersey Devils Executive Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald.
Kuokkanen, 23, completed his rookie season with the Devils in 2020-21, tallying eight goals and collecting 17 assists for 25 points in 50 games played. The left-handed shot scored his first-career NHL goal on January 31, 2021. Kuokkanen's goal/assist/point totals ranked second among Devils' rookies, as was one of 11 New Jersey rookie skaters during the 2020-21 campaign. His even-strength point total (21) ranked sixth overall amongst all NHL rookie skaters. He started the season with Karpat in the top professional Liiga in Finland, skating in 16 games with three goals and four assists.
The 6'1", 195lb. forward, who has played in 62 career NHL games, was Carolina's second-round selection, 43rd overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft. He was acquired by the Devils from Carolina with Fredrik Claesson and Carolina's conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft (became third-round selection- Nico Daws), on February 24, 2020, for Sami Vatanen. During the 2019-20 season, he was the leading scorer for the Hurricanes' American Hockey League affiliate in Charlotte with 12 goals and 30 assists for 42 points in 52 games. Following the trade, he played four AHL games with Binghamton (3g-3a-6pts) and played one contest in New Jersey. During the 2018-19 season, he appeared in seven games with Carolina, and 48 games with Charlotte (12 goals-26 assists-38 points) and was named to the AHL All-Star Team. In 164 career AHL games, Kuokkanen has 38 goals and 88 assists totaling 120 points.
He played one season in London (OHL) and played in Finland's professional and junior leagues (Liiga) for Karpat. Born May 25, 1998, the native of Oulunsalo, Finland represented his country at the 2017 and 2018 World Junior Championships, while also helping win the gold medal at the 2016 World Junior under-18 tournament.