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Wednesday, 08.2.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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2006 Second Round Draft Pick

By Jason Lockhart

Jesse Joensuu is a big kid -- 6-4 -- but his size doesn't detract from his skating. His strength makes him effective along the boards and adaptable to the North American style of physical play. He's been a boy among men while playing in the Finnish Elite League and has more than held his own.

The Pori, Finnish native, who was drafted in the second round (60th overall) of the 2006 Entry Draft, had to wait a little longer to get drafted than he was hoping because he missed the cutoff of the 2005 Entry Draft by less than one month. The extra year, however, gave Joensuu a chance to continue his growth in the Finnish Elite League, where he was the youngest player during the 2004-2005 season.

Islanders Finnish scout Vellu Kautonen speaks highly of the left-handed shooting forward who is considered by many scouts to be "a can't miss" prospect.  Kautonen emphasizes how mature he is for his age, despite only being 18. Joensuu has played in the Finnish Elite League for two seasons and participated in two World Junior Championships. We sat down with Joensuu, who discussed the following topics.

On his Draft Day Experience:
"I had a late birthday in 1987, so I had to wait a year longer than most. After 40 names at this year's draft, I was starting to get nervous, so it was a relief when I finally heard my name. It was exciting to shake the hands at the Islanders table with guys like Ted Nolan and Vellu Kautonen who scouted me."

On his strengths:
"I have good size, but can still skate with speed. I like to go one-on-one with the defense. I try to play like Eric Staal and my countryman Olli  Jokinen because they are both good power forwards and they also have leadership qualities."

On what he needs to work:
"I would like to gain some more strength over the next couple of years. With the new NHL all about speed I would like to get faster. The most important part of skating is the acceleration, so I would like to get quicker feet. Playing a lot in the Finnish Elite League will help."

On his trip to Long Island:
"I have been to New York City before, but never Long Island. I like it here. There are much more people here than in Finland, but I could get used to the size and of course the fans."

On his goals:
"When I go back to Finland, I would like to stay in the Finnish Elite League. I'm happy up there. I get to play with a lot of older guys and learn a lot from them. I'm hoping to be a first or second line guy in the Finnish League, be an important part of my team and get better."

The Joensuu File
Favorite superpower: Teleporting

Green Day or Eminem? Eminem

All-time Favorite Islander: Janne Niinimaa

Favorite sports other than hockey: Tennis and Rugby

If you didn't play hockey what profession would you pursue? Teaching

Favorite European City (not in Finland): Budapest

Superman or Batman? Batman

Steak or Lobster? Steak


Jesse Joensuu
Born: October 5, 1987 -- Pori, Finland
Height: 6-4 -- Weight: 207 -- Shoots: Left
Drafted by the Islanders in the second round (60th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft



Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2004-05 Assat Pori FINLAND 39 1 1 2 4
2005-06 Assat Pori FINLAND 51 4 8 12 57


* Ryan O'Marra





J. Tavares 78 33 37 6 70
K. Okposo 79 22 42 -4 64
F. Nielsen 81 20 32 1 52
B. Nelson 81 26 14 -3 40
N. Leddy 81 5 35 -9 40
A. Lee 80 15 21 -2 36
J. Bailey 81 12 20 -7 32
C. Cizikas 80 8 21 4 29
R. Strome 71 8 20 -9 28
M. Grabovski 58 9 16 3 25
T. Greiss 23 11 4 .925 2.36
J. Halak 18 13 4 .919 2.30
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