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Blackhawks sign Winterhawks’ defenceman Jokiharju to three-year, entry-level contract

Portland Winterhawks

 

Portland Winterhawks defenceman Henri Jokiharju will get to enjoy the same jersey style at the major junior and professional levels for the foreseeable future. The 18-year-old blue liner signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound product of Tampere, Finland was selected in the first round, 29th overall, by the Blackhawks in the 2017 NHL Draft and has continued to impress while patrolling the blue line in the challenging U.S. Division.

Jokiharju recorded 71 points (12G-59A) in 63 games this season, finishing in a tie for third in scoring among defencemen in the league and second in scoring among defencemen in the WHL’s Western Conference. He was named to the Western Conference Second All-Star Team in March.

The Finnish product had 20 multi-point games throughout the course of the 2017-18 season, including one multi-goal game and a trio of four-point performances. Jokiharju’s longest point streak of the season came during a strong November for the Winterhawks, where he recorded points in nine straight games, accounting for 17 points (2G-15A) over that stretch.

Jokiharju also represented his home country at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., recording four points (2G-2A) in five games.

Selected in the first round, 25th overall, of the 2016 CHL Import Draft, Jokiharju has performed well during his first two seasons in North America, tallying 119 points (21G-98A) in 134 regular season games. Jokiharju’s figures include 10 power-play goals and two game-winning goals.

In 23 career WHL Playoff games, Jokiharju has added 11 points (3G-8A), including one power-play goal.

With Jokiharju’s signing, all seven WHL first-round selections from the 2017 NHL Draft have now signed an entry-level contract with their respective NHL club.

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