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HOCKEY DAILY REPORT | KINGS

Jokinen Stating His Case to Stay

September 24, 1997|LONNIE WHITE

Center Olli Jokinen of Finland, the Kings' No. 1 draft choice, appears certain to be with the team when it opens the regular season at Pittsburgh on Oct. 1. His play has impressed Coach Larry Robinson and General Manager Dave Taylor.

"Unless something serious happens in the next little while [Jokinen will make the team]," Robinson said.

"He's been one of our most consistent players. Craig Johnson, Glen Murray and Jokinen have been our most explosive, consistent players in all of our exhibition games."

If Jokinen, 18, is in the lineup to start the season, he will become the youngest Finn to play in the NHL.

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Mark Messier scored twice in the Vancouver Canucks' 4-2 exhibition victory over the Kings at Tacoma, Wash. The Kings were outshot, 41-27. . . . The Kings play the San Jose Sharks tonight at Boise, Idaho. . . . Left wing Josh Green was assigned to the Fredericton Canadiens of the American Hockey League.

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