If he was booed by Canadian supporters upon his return to Montreal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi He will not blame them.
Chosen by the Habs group for third place in the 2018 draft, the crowd favorite will return to his former home Thursday when Carolina Hurricanes visits the Bell Center.
This will be his third game in his new uniform, after signing a one-season hostile bid of $6.1 million from the Hurricanes never before seen by the Canadians.
“Everyone has their opinion on this. I did what was best for me at the time,” Kotkaniemi said in a video conference on Tuesday when asked if he was comfortable with the idea that he would likely be booed when he returned to Montreal. People can think about it however they want. .
The 21-year-old still expects an “enjoyable” experience and admits he quickly rolled the history of his first game against the Canadians into his schedule when he learned that general manager Mark Bergeffen wouldn’t match Hurricane’s bid to retain his services.
During his first video conference after confirming his transfer to the Hurricanes, Kotkaniemi said the Canadian could have managed his development better, without wanting to go into details. Asked if he really wanted the Canadian not to match the hostile show of hurricanes this summer, Kotkanyemi said it would be “inappropriate” to answer that question.
He said that he was not bitter towards Bergvin and Al-Kindi.
“I have nothing but fond memories of my stay,” Kotkaniemi said. I am grateful that they molded me and gave me a chance to play in the NHL. “
“I think it went well. After all, we made it to the Stanley Cup final.
However, Kotkanemi said he was happy with the hurricanes and joked that the weather in Raleigh was better than in Montreal.
He was even more serious when he talked about putting him on the ice. Two games later, Kotkaniemi still didn’t block the scoring sheet and only worked 12 minutes per match. He averaged nearly 15 minutes per encounter with the Canadian last winter.
Since the beginning of the campaign, Kotkaniemi has played mainly on the left flank alongside Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas. On Thursday, Teuvo Teravainen should end up on the right wing instead of Necas, completing the entire Finnish unit.
“There is really no label on the lines and just being in the squad is good. The competition is fierce. I try to give my best every day and keep adapting,” Kotaniemi noted.
Kotaniemi said he had not had any discussions with coach Rod Brendamor regarding a possible return to the position – his preferred position. He is now focused on learning the team system and the adjustments he needs to make to his ward.
He said he did not feel any pressure from his lucrative contract and added that he would like to extend the adventure in Carolina.
“I definitely wouldn’t say no! It’s a bunch of workers. Everyone wants to get their hands dirty to win the Stanley Cup.”