Jyrki Jokipakka
Image: NHL

Jyrki Jokipakka

Hometown:

Tampere Finland

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1991-08-20

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2011

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

7th round (195th overall), 2011

Weight:

192 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2008-09: Jyrki Jokipakka played at multiple levels with Ilves. With the U20 Jr. A SM-Liiga, he played in 4 games going pointless. With the U18 Jr. B SM-Sarja Q, he scored 1 goal and added one assist in 9 games. With the U18 Jr. B SM-Sarja he scored 3 goals and added 6 assists in 24 games.

2009-10: Jokipakka played for Ilves U20 Jr. A Sm-Liiga. He scored 3 goals and added 12 assists in 38 games. He also scored 1 goal in 5 games. He also represented Finland at the U19 level, scoring 2 goals and picking up 2 assists in 7 games.

2010-11: Jokipakka turned pro for the first time as a 19-year-old at Finland’s highest level.  He appeared in 48 games for Ilves Tampere, registering a goal and eight helpers but was scoreless in five postseason games.  He also represented Finland for the first time at the World Junior Championships – registered 3 points and a plus-5 rating in 6 games (both figures were second among club defensemen behind Sami Vatanen).  After being passed over by 30 NHL teams several times (perhaps from lack of exposure of not playing pro), his very strong WJC performance prompted Dallas to take a flyer on the big Finnish defenseman.

2011-12: Jokipakka established himself as a solid two-way defender at the professional level in his second season in Finland’s SM-Liiga in an otherwise forgettable season for Ilves Tampere.  Jokipakka was the leading scorer amongst Ilves defensemen with 9 goals and 8 assists in 52 games and had 18 penalty minutes. He finished minus-four as Ilves won just 28 of 60 games and finished last in the 14-team league. Ilves defeated Mestis champion Vaasa Sport in a playoff series to avoid relegation. Jokipakka had 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes in the five games against Sport. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Dallas in June, 2012.

2012-13: Jokipakka returned to Finland and skated in 59 games for Ilves in his third SM-Liiga season averaging nearly 24 minutes of ice time per game. He scored 5 goals with 13 assists and was -29 with 20 penalty minutes on an Ilves team that finished last in the 14-team league. Ilves defeated Mestis champion Jukurit in the relegation series to keep it’s SM-Liiga spot and in five games Jokipakka was -2 with no points nor penalty minutes.

 

Talent Analysis

Jokipakka is a big, mobile defenseman who exudes hockey  sense.  He is generally good positionally and has long reach.  He plays a very tactical defensive style, and isn’t much for overt physicality.  Jokipakka can rush the puck well or make a good first pass with regularity.  Offensively he has an average shot but can move the puck well as a power play quarterback and handles the puck with poise.  He is passive at times on the defensive end and can be a victim of crease crashers.  His acceleration and gap control in the low neutral zone/high defensive zone are areas that need added development.

Future

Jokipakka attended training camp with the Stars before being assigned to AHL affiliate Texas to start the 2014-15 season. Shuffling between the two teams early in the year he appears to have slowly started to gain the trust of Stars' head coach Lindy Ruff and worked himself into a role with the parent club. Not overly flashy or offensively inclined, Jokipakka is a defense-first defender who uses his skating ability and size to advantage in preventing the opposition from establishing an attack. His play to this points suggests he can have a long career as the type of lower pairing defender that provides solid minutes.

 

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