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Pikkarainen hopeful as 2009 camp opens

Thursday, 09.10.2009 / 4:27 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Pikkarainen hopeful as 2009 camp opens
Pikkarainen's looking for a shot at the NHL.
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Ilkka Pikkarainen is happy to be back in North America. Now he's hoping to nail down an NHL job for 2009-10.

Pikkarainen, 28, spent the last three seasons with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish league, collecting a team-high 24 goals and 149 penalty minutes in 2008-09. His 37 points were third best on the club.

The 6-2, 220-lb. right wing was drafted in the seventh round, 218th overall, by the Devils in 2002, and signed with New Jersey in July.

“It was good for me to have been drafted by the Devils, even though I didn’t make the NHL,” Pikkarainen said Thursday, when training camp opened for rookies at AmeriHealth Pavilion at Prudential Center. “It was good when I went back to Europe, but now I think I’m ready for the NHL.”

Pikkarainen got a taste of the North American game in three seasons with the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany from 2003-04 to 2005-06, and posted AHL career highs of 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 2004-05.

His role in Europe put him in a position to score, though he projected third or fourth-line duty if he’s able to make the Devils out of camp. Veterans hit the ice on Saturday.

“It’s played a little bit more with the puck,” the Sonkajarvi, Finland, native said of the European game. "My role is a little bit different here, but I try to play like I play whether it’s Europe or here.”

Comparing his playing style to a power forward, Pikkarainen talked about driving hard to the net, adding: “Obviously, I like hitting.”

For now, he’s focused on doing what it takes to become a New Jersey Devil.

“I know what they expect from me,” he said. “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to try to do it.“

Here's the list of rookies at 2009 training camp:

Goaltenders: Dave Caruso, Gerald Coleman, Jeff Frazee, Mike McKenna

Defensemen: Matt Cohen, Matt Corrente, Matt Delahey, Tyler Eckford, Mark Fraser, Eric Gelinas, Olivier Magnan-Grenier, Matt Taormina, Alexander Urbom, Harry Young

Left wings: Ashton Bernard, Jean-Sebastien Berube, Eric Castonguay, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Kory Nagy, Louis Robitaille, Brad Snetsinger, Myles Stoesz, Alexander Vasyunov

Centers: Patrice Cormier, Stephen Gionta, Adam Henrique, Brad Mills, Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito, Michael Swift, Ben Walter

Right wings: Niclas Bergfors, Kevin Cormier, Patrick Davis, Matt Halischuk, Nick Palmieri, Nathan Perkovich, Ilkka Pikkarainen, Vladimir Zharkov

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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