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Pikkarainen hopeful as 2009 camp opens

Thursday, 09.10.2009 / 4:27 PM / 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 - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51