Montreal Canadiens: Signs point to a busy month for Jesperi Kotkaniemi

BROSSARD, QC - JUNE 29: Look pn Montreal Canadiens Prospect Centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi (47) during the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp on June 29, 2018, at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BROSSARD, QC - JUNE 29: Look pn Montreal Canadiens Prospect Centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi (47) during the Montreal Canadiens Development Camp on June 29, 2018, at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens 2018 first-round pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi is going to have a lot of hockey come his way in the next month or so.

It was disappointing learning that Jesperi Kotkaniemi wasn’t going to take part in the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase for Finland. However, not participating is giving the young centre more time to rest before what looks to be a busy 2018-19 season and possibly most of it being with the Montreal Canadiens.

With an entry-level contract, Kotkaniemi will be able to attend main training camp. But we can expect the 18-year-old to take part in the Rookie Tournament in September. The event is set to start on September 7th and stretch until the 9th at Place Bell in Laval. Habs rookies will take on prospects from the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs.

But there is one more thing added Kotkaniemi’s schedule. Juhani Liuhala of Satakunnan Kansa included a quote from Assat’s head coach Mikael Kotkaniemi that confirmed the Habs prospect will be playing preseason games for the team before heading to Montreal for camp.

According to the league site, the team is set to play six games starting with two on August 3rd against Lukko and Jukurit. The rest of Assat’s preseason takes them until September 1st leaving the regular season start on the 14th.

Kotkaniemi playing games with Assat could keep him out of the Rookie Tournament, especially if the Montreal Canadiens are planning on taking a good look at him. At the same time, making sure he doesn’t play too much will be important as well.

Tracking the first round pick is going to be a fun experience in the next few months. Part of being a pro is being able to handle the grind of playing a lot of hockey. It would be another positive piece in Kotkaniemi’s jar of strengths if he can succeed despite that.

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