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Jokinen Signs for Three Years, Kings Expecting Him at Camp

July 17, 1997|LONNIE WHITE

The Kings signed No. 1 pick Olli Jokinen, the third player chosen overall in this year's draft, to a three-year contract Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jokinen, 18, played 50 games last season for IFK Helsinki in the Finnish Elite League and is currently serving military duty in his native country. Jokinen and Aki Berg, also taken third overall by the Kings in 1995, are the highest drafted Finnish players in NHL history. Jokinen is expected to be with the team for training camp on Sept. 9 and has said he can fulfill his military obligations in stretches during the summers.

"We are happy with our agreement with Olli," General Manager Dave Taylor said in a statement. "He has the raw talent and potential to be a complete player in the National Hockey League, and we like his intensity. He's a big, strong, fearless competitor."

Jokinen, a 6-foot-2 200-pound center, had 14 goals and 41 points along with 88 penalty minutes last season.

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