Jesperi Kotkaniemi is set to miss a few games, as the 21-year-old has entered COVID protocol. 
Although the NHL now only makes players stay in COVID protocol for a minimum of five days, the Hurricanes play three contests during that timespan. With that, two of those games are against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, so this isn’t an ideal time to lose anybody. Yet, when looking at how dominant Carolina has been this season, they shouldn’t be in too much trouble without Kotkaniemi. 
Since signing with the Hurricanes, Kotkaniemi has been playing well. In 42 games, he has nine goals, 20 points, and a plus-2 rating. He’s on pace to have the best season of his career, so it is a shame that it has to be paused – even if it’s only short-term. Furthermore, he clearly has been winning over the franchise, as general manager, Don Waddell has made it known that they want to sign him to a long-term extension.
Nevertheless, here’s to hoping Kotkaniemi only has to stay the minimum amount of days in protocol. 
Photo Credit: © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports 
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