Rangers acquire Jokinen, Prust from Calgary
Blueshirts get high-scoring Finnish Olympian in deal for Kotalik, Higgins
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New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the Rangers have acquired forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust from the Calgary Flames, in exchange for forwards Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik.
|Veteran center Olli Jokinen, 31, has played in 855 career NHL games and cracked the 30-goal mark in four of the past six seasons, including a career-high 39 goals with the Florida Panthers three years ago.|
Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings with the third overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Jokinen has eclipsed the 30-goal mark four times in his career, most recently in 2007-08 when he recorded 34, including 18 power play goals which ranked third in the NHL.
The 6-3, 207-pounder enjoyed his finest NHL season in 2006-07, establishing career-highs in goals (39), assists (51), points (91), plus/minus rating (plus-18), and shots (351). He ranked second in the NHL in shots, tied for seventh in game winning goals (eight), 11th in goals, and ranked 14th in points.
In 855 career NHL games, Jokinen has recorded 248 goals and 305 assists for 553 points, along with 847 penalty minutes. The Kuopio, Finland native is the Florida Panthers all-time franchise leader in goals (188), assists (231), points (419) and consecutive games played (376).
Jokinen will represent Finland at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada and will be making his third Olympic appearance (2002, 2006, 2010). He helped lead Finland to the Silver Medal at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, tying for the tournament lead with six goals and ranking sixth with eight points in eight games. In addition, Jokinen was a member of the Silver Medal-winning Team Finland at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
|Forward Brandon Prust, who won the Memorial Cup as a teammate of current Blueshirts defenseman Dan Girardi five years ago in Prust's hometown of London, Ontario, was a third-round pick in 2004.|
Prust, who helped lead the London Knights to the Memorial Cup in 2005, appeared in 36 games for Calgary and the Phoenix Coyotes last season, recording one goal and two assists, along with 108 penalty minutes. He began the season with Calgary before being traded to Phoenix along with Matthew Lombardi and a first round pick, in exchange for Jokinen on March 9, 2009. He was dealt back to Calgary, in exchange for Jim Vandermeer on June 27. The London, Ontario native was originally selected by Calgary, in the third round, 70th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Higgins has skated in 55 games this season, registering six goals and eight assists for 14 points, along with 32 penalty minutes. He was acquired from Montreal along with Ryan McDonagh, Doug Janik and Pavel Valentenko, in exchange for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Mike Busto on June 30, 2009.
Kotalik has appeared in 45 games this season, recording eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points, along with 38 penalty minutes and a minus-18 rating. He signed with New York as an unrestricted free agent on July 9, 2009.