Still just 23 years old, forward Petteri Nokelainen — who the Boston Bruins traded today to Anaheim for defenseman Steve Montador — has battled several injuries over the years while attempting to reach the potential that made him a first-round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 2004.
Even this season, he missed 19 games with an upper-body and an eye injury. But today after his team practiced and made the first of their two trades, head coach Claude Julien stressed the dealing of Nokelainen was more in no way an indictment of the Finnish forward.
“In order to get something, you have to give something. It’s pretty clear that we liked Nokelainen,” Julien said of the player who when healthy totaled three assists in 33 games and averaged 9:40 of ice time. “He had a lot of upside to him. He was still a young player. We forget he came into the league at a really young age, so we have a tendency to look at him more as a veteran. But he was still a young player that I think will only get better.”