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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 69 16 24 -3 40
M. Cammalleri 62 25 13 3 38
P. Elias 63 11 21 -16 32
S. Gomez 52 7 24 -7 31
S. Bernier 61 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 68 11 12 -4 23
A. Larsson 58 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 76 3 18 3 21
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 56 6 11 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 28 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 5 3 .918 2.47