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Joni Pitkanen
Joni Pitkanen
Defenseman
(YOH-nee PIHT-ka-nuhn)
Number: 25
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 220
Shoots: Left
Born: Sep 19, 1983
Birthplace: Oulu, Finland
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Acquired: Acquired from Edmonton on July 1, 2008, in exchange for Erik Cole
Drafted: PHI / 2002 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 1st (4th overall)
PERSONAL
Joni and his wife, Sini, have a son, Akseli (2), and a daughter, Elle (1)… They spend their summers in his hometown of Oulu, Finland… He has a dog named Iiris… His first youth team was Karpat Oulu, and his favorite team growing up was the Pittsburgh Penguins… The player he most emulated was Brian Leetch, and the person who had the biggest influence on his career was his father… He also played baseball and soccer growing up… His first job was working with a delivery company when he was 16… Joni’s favorite vacation spot is Spain, favorite movie is Old School and favorite television show is Prison Break… The most-played artist on his iPod is the Finnish rock band HIM… His favorite food is steak and favorite team outside of hockey is Manchester United… Joni’s biggest talent outside of hockey is soccer and the celebrity he would most like to meet is Wayne Rooney… The person in history he would most like to meet is Elvis Presley… His all-time favorite teammate not with the Hurricanes is Antero Niittymaki… His favorite thing about playing in the NHL is playing against the best players in the world… His favorite website is mtv3.fi… His favorite road city is New York City and his favorite road arena is the Bell Centre.

2012-13 SEASON
Completed his ninth NHL season and fifth with the Hurricanes… Ranked tied for fourth among Carolina defensemen in scoring with nine points (1g, 8a) despite missing 26 of the season’s 48 games due to injury… Registered two assists and was a season-high (+4) vs. BUF (1/24)… Scored his only goal of the season with a first-period tally at PHI (2/2)… Placed on injured reserve on 2/18 with a lower-body injury… Activated from injured reserve on 3/2, but left the game vs. FLA that night after skating just 6:02 of ice time… Missed six more games prior to returning to action at TB (3/16)… Earned assists in consecutive games at NYR (3/18) and vs. FLA (3/19)… Suffered a broken left calcaneus (heel) bone vs. WSH (4/2), and missed the remainder of the season with the injury… Longest assist streak: 2 games (3/18-3/19: 0g, 2a)… Longest point streak: 2 games (3/18-3/19: 0g, 2a)… Multi-assist games: 1 (1/24 vs. TB: 0g, 2a)… Multi-point games: 1 (1/24 vs. TB: 0g, 2a). 


CAREER
Is in his 10th NHL season and sixth with the Hurricanes… Acquired from Edmonton on July 1, 2008, in exchange for Erik Cole… Signed a three-year contract with the Hurricanes on June 28, 2011… Represented Finland at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, earning three points (1g, 2a) in five games while helping Finland capture the bronze medal… Twice represented Finland at the II HF World Junior Championship, winning back-to-back bronze medals in 2002 and 2003… Received the II HF Directorate Award as the tournament’s best defenseman in 2003 in Halifax, totaling six points (1g, 5a) in seven games… Also skated for Finland’s Under-18 team at the 2000 Five Nations Cup in Salt Lake City and the Under-17 2000 World Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ont.… Played three seasons in SM-Liiga, Finland’s top professional league, from 2000-2003, totaling nine goals, 30 assists (39 points) and 113 penalty minutes in 105 games.

1998-99: Skated in 30 games for Karpat Oulu’s under-18 squad, notching one goal and five assists (6 points).

1999-00: Netted 12 goals and added 14 assists (26 points) in 36 regular-season games with Karpat Oulu’s under-18 team… Had five points (1g, 4a) in six playoff games… Also played in two games for Karpat Oulu Jr.

2000-01: Made his debut in Finland’s top division, SM-Liiga, skating in 21 regular-season games and two playoff contests with Karpat Oulu… Also played 24 games for Karpat Oulu’s junior team, notching 17 points (6g, 11a).

2001-02: Was tied for first among Karpat Oulu (SM-Liiga) defensemen with 19 points (4g, 15a)… Was the top-rated European skater in NHL Central Scouting’s final report heading into the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

2002-03: Ranked first among Karpat Oulu defensemen in scoring with five goals and 15 assists (20 points) in 35 games.

2003-04: Completed his first NHL season, totaling eight goals and 19 assists (27 points) in 71 games with the Philadelphia Flyers… Named to NHL All-Rookie Team… Ranked second among NHL rookie defensemen in points (27) and was second in power-play points (17) and assists (12)… Ranked second among all NHL rookies in plus/minus (+15)… Played for the Eastern Conference team at the 2004 NHL YoungStars Game during NHL All-Star Weekend… Scored his first NHL point with a power-play assist in his first NHL game vs. BUF (10/9)… Netted a power-play goal at PHX (10/18) for his first NHL goal, beating Sean Burke at 1:42 of the first period.

2004-05: Scored six goals and 35 assists (41 points) with 105 penalty minutes in 76 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL)… Ranked tied for second among Phantoms defensemen in scoring (41 points)… Added three goals and four assists (7 points) in 21 playoff games as the Phantoms captured the Calder Cup championship… Voted a starter for PlanetUSA Team at 2005 AHL All-Star Classic.

2005-06: Won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers’ most outstanding defenseman and the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy as Philadelphia’s most improved player… Scored a career-high 46 points (13g, 33a) in 58 games, also establishing a single-season high for goals (13)… Ranked second among Flyers skaters in assists and third in plus/minus (+22)… Was tied for 19th in scoring among NHL defensemen and was seventh among NHL blueliners in points-per-game (0.79)… Played his 100th career NHL game at BUF (2/2)… Had career-high six-game assist and point streaks with 13 points (3g, 10a) from 10/27 to 11/8… Missed 24 games due to injury, including 22 following surgery performed on 12/7 to repair athletic pubalgia.

2006-07: Set careerhighs in games (77) and penalty minutes (88)… Ranked third among Flyers skaters in scoring (43 points), while leading Philadelphia in assists (39) and power-play assists (17)… Led Flyers defensemen in scoring… Was ranked 22nd in scoring among NHL blueliners and 16th in assists, marking the second consecutive season that he was among NHL’s top 25 defensemen in scoring… Led Flyers skaters in ice time for the second consecutive season, averaging 24:32 of ice time per game… His second of two assists vs. TB (1/30) was his 100th career NHL point… Played his 200th career NHL game vs. NYI (3/24).

2007-08: Tallied eight goals and 18 assists (26 points) in 63 games for Edmonton… Scored the game-winning goal vs. PHI (10/6) for his first goal and point with the Oilers… Underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on 10/26… Returned to the lineup vs. COL (11/22) after missing 13 games… Earned his 100th career NHL assist vs. CHI (2/6).

2008-09: Was first on the team and 15th in the league in average ice time per game (24:48)… Was plus or even in 29 of his last 32 games and ranked tied for third on the team in that category (+11)… Was third among Hurricanes defensemen and 10th on the team in scoring with 33 points (7g, 26a)… Led all Carolina defensemen in assists (26)… Made his Hurricanes debut and scored his first Hurricanes goal vs. FLA (10/10)… Played his 300th NHL game vs. STL (1/2)… Played in all 18 playoff games for Carolina… Led all Hurricanes in ice time per game in the playoffs (26:28) and was tied for first on the team in assists (8)… Ranked third in the league in ice time per game in the playoffs (26:28)… Earned his first Hurricanes playoff point with an assist in Game 3 vs. NJ (4/19)… Earned a pair of assists and skated a game-high 35:33 of ice time in Game 7 at BOS (5/14).

2009-10: Established a career high in assists (40) and matched a career high in points (46)… Ranked first in the NHL in average time on ice per game (27:22)… Ranked second among Hurricanes and tied for eighth among NHL defensemen in assists (40)… Was 13th among NHL defensemen in scoring (46 points)… Was tied for first among Hurricanes in multi-assist games (10)… Played in his 100th game with the Hurricanes vs. PHI (12/26)… Matched his career high with three assists vs. ATL (1/16), reaching 200 career NHL points with the third assist.

2010-11: Led Carolina defensemen in assists (30) and ranked second in points (35)… Ranked 13th in the NHL in average ice time per game (25:01)… The Hurricanes earned points in 26 of the 30 games in which he tallied a point (21-4-5)… Assisted on Jokinen’s goal, playing in his home country of Finland against MIN (10/7) in the first game of the 2010 NHL Premiere… Matched his career-long point streak with points in six consecutive games from 11/17-11/28 (1g, 5a)… Earned two assists, including his 100th career Hurricanes point, vs. ATL (2/5)… Earned his 200th career NHL assist vs. PIT (2/25)… Played his 200th game with the Hurricanes vs. ATL (3/9).

2011-12: Appeared in just 30 games, missing 52 games with head and knee injuries… Ranked tied for fourth among Hurricanes defensemen in goals (5), totaling 17 points (5g, 12a) and 16 penalty minutes… Was tied for second among Carolina blueliners in power-play assists (6) and was third in power-play points (8)… Had three points (1g, 2a) at BOS (10/18)… Returned to the lineup after missing eight games due to injury and earned an assist at OTT (11/27), marking his 500th NHL game… Extended his point streak to season-high four games with an assist vs. PIT (12/3)… Returned to the lineup after missing 44 games because of injury and had two points (1g, 1a), including the gamewinning goal vs. FLA (3/21). 

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