Kotkaniemi becomes the only Hurricanes player in COVID protocol. With the NHL scaling back testing protocol and slowly loosening COVID restrictions, there’s almost surely going to be a decrease in the frequency of players entering the protocol.
After signing a one-year, $6MM offer sheet to join the Hurricanes organization this summer, Kotkaniemi is on pace for a career season despite a limited role and limits. Most often seeing usage in the team’s bottom-six, the 21-year-old Kotkaniemi has nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points in 42 games, on pace to eclipse his career-high of 34 points set during his rookie campaign with the Montreal Canadiens in 2018-19.
It’s a tough break for the Hurricanes, who’ll likely lose a valuable depth piece for a few games. Assuming Kotkaniemi misses games within the normal five-day quarantine period, he’ll miss the team’s next three contests and could potentially return on February 12th in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild.