Finnish forward Jussi Jokinen, a journeyman forward in the professional ranks who was a constant on the Leijonat roster, today announced his retirement following the end of the Liiga season, capping a 21 year professional career across eleven teams in four countries.
Starting his career in Kärpät’s junior system, Jokinen spent his first four pro seasons in Oulu, winning Liiga titles in 2004 and 2005 before joning the Dallas Stars in 2005, four years after being drafted. A journeyman NHLer, Jokinen would spend three years in Dallas and two with Tampa Bay before joining Carolina at the 2009 trade deadline, spending five years with the Hurricanes, the longest stint of his career. Jokinen would spend a further two seasons with Pittsburgh, three with Florida, and then set a record in 2017-18 by playing for four teams in one season, with Edmonton, Los Angeles, Columbus and Vancouver, respectively. Jokinen would return to Europe in 2018, spending part of one season with Kloten of the Swiss League, before returning to Kärpät for good in 2019, spending his final three seasons in the Liiga. Jokinen retires with 239 points in 349 career Liiga games (along with another 30 points in 67 playoff games), and 563 points in 951 career NHL games (along with another 32 points in 54 playoff games).
Jokinen debuted for the Leijonat with their Under-15 team, making his tournament debut at the World Under-18 Championships in 2001, debuting at the World Juniors the following year. Jokinen would compete at both the 2002 and 2003 World Juniors, winning Bronze at both. Jokinen made his senior debut at the 2005 World Championships, his first of seven appearances (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016) at the Worlds, where he would collect a single Silver medal in 2016, along with a pair of Bronzes in 2006 and 2008. Jokinen also suited up for two Olympics, winning Silver in 2006 and Bronze in 2014, and had his final national team appearance at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Despite his long international career, Jokinen only held the IHLC four times in his career – first at the 2002 World Juniors, followed by the 2006 World Championships, 2014 Olympics, and finally the 2016 World Championships. We wish Jussi and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!