2008-09: Harri Pesonen skated in 47 regular season games for SM-Liiga regular season and playoff champion JyP in his first pro season after skating for Finland in the 2009 World Junior Championship the previous season. He scored 4 goals with 3 assists and was minus-three with 12 penalty minutes; averaging 7:35 minutes of ice time per game. He averaged over 10 minutes in 15 playoff games; finishing plus-five with 4 goals, 1 assist and 8 penalty minutes.
2009-10: Pesonen split the year between JyP and D Team in Finland's second league (Mestis). Averaging just under 12 minutes of ice time in 25 games with JyP, he scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was minus-four with 35 penalty minutes. In 18 games with D Team, averaging almost 18 minutes, he scored 4 goals with 3 assists and was an even plus/minus with 33 penalty minutes. Pesonen played in 11 playoff games as D Team reached the Mestis finals after finishing fifth in the regular season. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was even with 8 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Pesonen returned to JyP on a full-time basis in his third pro season as the Jyvaskyla club had the SM-Liiga's best record for the third straight season. He scored 11 goals with 15 assists and was plus-12 with 26 penalty minutes in 54 regular season games. Pesonen was the club's leading scorer in the playoffs – scoring 4 goals with 6 assists and finishing plus-three in 10 games. JyP was upset by Espoo in the semifinals and lost 4-2 to Lukko in the bronze medal game.
2011-12: Pesonen led SM-Liiga champion JyP in goals, scoring 21 times in 60 games and finishing plus-11 with 14 assists. His 52 penalty minutes were second-most on the club. JyP finished fourth during the season before rolling through the playoffs. Pesonen finished the playoffs with a flourish. After being held to just one goal in the series against Jokerit, he scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was plus-3 in the five game final series against Pelicans. He signed a one-year free agent contract with New Jersey in June, 2012.
Pesonen is solidly built winger with above-average puck-skills. He has great offensive zone hockey sense and when you combine that with his willingness to shoot the puck, you get a player who is more than capable of lightning the lamp on a regular basis. His work ethic has come into question at times as he often appears lazy and uninterested. When he’s not going at 100%, he becomes a decidedly less-effective player.
Pesonen is a late-blooming prospect that the Devils decided to take a flyer on. He proved himself to be a top goal-scorer in the SM-Liiga in Finland, and will now look to replicate that success in North America. There’s a high-bust probability here, but given he only signed for one-year, it’s worthwhile gamble given his goal scoring ability.