The twenty-three year old Loktionov, joined the team on Thursday for practice and was put in the fourth line, flanked by Manny Malhotra and Drayson Bowman.
“For us, he brings a different dimension. He’s a good half-wall guy on the power play, and he makes plays,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “We’ll start him off probably on the fourth line at center and see what chemistry he has with different guys and just move along as we get to know him better.”
In 135 career NHL games, Loktionov has recorded 19 goals and 19 assists (38 points). A fifth-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Loktionov made his NHL debut in the 2009-10 season and was a member of the Kings’ Stanley Cup Championship team in 2011-12.
Loktionov’s first NHL game actually came against the Hurricanes in Los Angeles on October 20, 2010 in his fourth-career game. Ironically enough, it was in this game that Jeff Skinner scored his first of 31 goals in his rookie season that won him the Calder Trophy.
“I was driving over here, and I heard (about the trade) on NHL SiriusXM. I remembered he scored on me,” said Peters, who returned to Raleigh yesterday after a two-week conditioning stint with Charlotte. “It went off my stick. I know that. I don’t know if it just went in directly off my stick. I guess they all count.”
In six career games versus Carolina, Loktionov has scored three times, his most against any team in the league.“It’s my lucky team,” he said with a smile.
Ruutu leaves the Hurricanes after seven seasons with the team. He’s joining that team that happened to be his first opponent in the NHL, a landmark game that endeared him in the heart of Caniacs everywhere.
So far his time as a Devil has been riddled by the devil, himself. His flight was delayed and he arrived at the arena, with police escort, ten minutes prior to face-off. In the third period he suffered an injury that required 40 stitches to repair deep cuts above his left eye and spanned down his nose.
Though Ruutu struggled statistically on the ice this season, his game showed signs of improvement, especially in the 2014 Winter Olympics as he helped Team Finland capture a bronze medal, his 11th medal in 11 major international tournaments.