Joni Ikonen experienced a setback in his development early in the summer at a team practice, and it casts a huge shadow over the season that is just about to start in Europe. Ikonen took time to answer a few questions for us on Wednesday.
Ikonen confirms that rehab on his knee is “going according to plan. I feel better and better every day.” This is something that should encourage the Montreal faithful as his stock is still high, placing at 20th in the EOTP Top 25 Under 25, while The Athletic has him listed among the top 10 prospects in the Canadiens system.
KalPa’s injury chart has Ikonen listed as returning somewhere between week 52 (which starts December 24) to the second week of the new year. When asked if he will return to the ice in December, as would be the normal recovery period, which might make him eligible for Team Finland at the World Juniors in B.C., Ikonen answers carefully.
“It is still too early to know exactly when I am going to be able to play, but it has gone according to plan so far.” It is a good thing that he is confident in his recovery, when a setback for a knee injury can really be disheartening and lead to a worse injury than what was initially sustained without the proper handling.
With asked about the influx of Finns in the 2018 NHL Draft, and what he thinks about Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jesse Ylönen after playing with both of them, he laughs and says, “They are both very good and very skilled players,” showing complete trust that Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins drafted the right players for the Montreal Canadiens.
“What really stands out to me is the vision they both have,” he said, sharing his insight into what the top two picks this summer will bring to the prospect pool.