Joni Ikonen started the game against defending champion Tappara as KalPa’s first line center. He played also on the 2nd power-play unit.
During the game Ikonen fell down a bit in the lineup and ended up getting 12:27 of ice time. He didn’t get on the scoresheet, as KalPa was shut out.
In the first two periods Ikonen was KalPa’s most dangerous forward along with Frank Gymer. He showed soft hands and creative thinking in the offensive zone with great confidence.
He also backchecked effectively and forced a couple of turnovers. On the flip side, his over-confidence in the neutral zone resulted in a few turnovers going the other way as well.
KalPa’s head coach Sami Kapanen commented on Ikonen after the game:
The offensive game is his biggest strength. He has very good instincts when it comes to offensive game. He is a good volume shooter and is used to scoring goals.
His most important development goal right now is to identify when to play with the puck and when to give it away. There is a big difference in the game flow between the juniors and pros.
Joni has been good in defensive game as well. It hasn’t been his heel of Achilles at all. Sometimes he plays there with too much confidence, but we’ve been able to reduce it constantly.
When an 18-year-old player can play with two 400 pro game veterans, it’s a great spot to develop.