Jesse Joensuu was a very early developer. He grew to a man's height early and generally played with older players, even making his professional debut right before reaching the age of 16 in 2003. His development has been slightly slower since and he hasn't been a big star in games against his age group internationally, although he has held his own and played solid two-way hockey against men. As Joensuu enters the draft, he already has behind him two WJC tournaments and 110 pro games, including the 2006 final series of the Finnish SM-Liiga.
2006-07: Joensuu's game is finally beginning to catch up to his tremendous size – 6'4 and 205 pounds — in this, his third year with Assat. At the halfway point this season, the young forward was already on pace to pass career-high marks in goals, assists and points. He eventually went on to demolish those numbers, scoring nine goals, 17 assists for 26 points in 52 games played. While a point in every other game may not impress all, Assat was at the bottom of the standings for a majority of the season, making it difficult for Joensuu to enjoy any further success. His season-ending stats put him in a fifth-place tie on the team.
Joensuu also represented Team Finland at the World Junior Championships, scoring a goal in his team's quarterfinal loss against Team USA.
2007-08: In his North-American hockey debut, Joensuu dressed for Bridgeport Sounds’ the final game of the season. Prior to his lone AHL contest of the season, he played his final year in Assat and finished with his best numbers in the Finish Elite League, tallying 35 points (17+18) while totaling 89 penalty minutes.
2008-09: Joensuu made the full-time move across the pond, suiting up with Bridgeport for most of the year. In his time with the minor league club, Jesse would score 20 goals and 39 points. he would also spend seven games with the Islanders recording a goal and 2 assists.
2009-10: Joensuu saw limited ice time in eleven games with the Islanders and spent most of the season with AHL Bridgeport. In his games with New York he had one goal and was +4 with 4 PMs. Joensuu found his playmaking touch with the Sound Tigers, scoring 14 goals with 34 assists and was +6 with 66 PMs in 70 games.
2010-11: Joensuu appeared in a career-high 42 games with the Islanders but was over-shadowed by some of the other young prospects who led the team's second half resurgence. Joensuu scored 6 goals with 3 assists but had a troublesome -6 plus/minus with 33 PMs. In 35 AHL games with Bridgeport he scored 8 goals with 16 assists and was -3 with 31 PMs. Joensuu was added to Team Finland's roster for the 2011 IIHF World Championship and was with the gold medal-winning squad in Slovakia but did not play in any games.
2011-12: Joensuu returned to Europe rather than possibly spending a fourth season in the AHL. Skating for HV71 in Sweden's Elitserien, he was effective in a two-way forward role. He scored 13 goals with 16 assists and was minus-two with 58 penalty minutes in 50 regular season games. HV71 finished third in the league and in six playoff games Joensuu scored 2 goals with 1 assist and had 37 penalty minutes. He was selected to play for Finland in the 2012 IIHF World Championship and in nine games scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was plus-two with 24 penalty minutes. He was re-signed to a one-year contract by the Islanders in June 2012.
Joensuu first emerged as a big forward capable of playing strong in the corners and eager to lead the offense in all of its aspects - an aspiring franchise player, so to speak. He is still looking able to do all that, but the overall level isn't looking quite that good. Joensuu has sharpness in his turns and skating but lacks quick acceleration. He still hasn't accustomed to his tall body, which also hurts him in battles for the puck. He tries difficult dekes with a good success rate and can make plays in short spaces, but his wrist shot is very slow and awkward. The trouble with finishing has hurt his offense overall. Joensuu has an athelete's mindset and is likely capable to develop NHL scoring line talent over time.
Joensuu has returned to Europe to play in Finland for Assat in 2012-13.