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The Dispatch: Joni Ikonen — “I got an extra boost from my summer training [in Montreal]”

The Canadiens prospect shares his thoughts ahead of the new Liiga season.

KalPa/Alias Studios

Joni Ikonen was kind enough to speak with Eyes On The Prize after his second day of training camp with KalPa. Having just returned from the first on-ice practice, it was a tired player who answered the phone. Joni speaks about his summer, and how his injury break made his shot better.

He also mentions that he got “an extra boost” by doing some of his off-season work in Montreal. There, he put in more work on his rehab and strengthening, something that should be put to good use this season. With only a week to go until the first pre-season game against Jukerit, you can tell Ikonen is raring to go.

KalPa’s new head coach, Tommi Miettinen, hasn’t really produced the lines for the team yet, but Ikonen will most likely be used in a similar role to what he saw (briefly) last season. Ikonen says that the coach focuses on hard work, and that he needs to show his work ethic, which should only benefit his own development.

After the interview, Joni told me that he only has one test left to get his high school diploma, having had to do the last two years of his Swedish high school degree at a distance. It’s a great achievement and something that the Finnish playmaker should be proud of. Success off the ice makes on-ice success even easier.