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Hannes Björninen, 25, took a big step in his career, when he joined Jokerit to play in KHL for this season. The centerman had been fluent in Pelicans in Finnish league for a few seasons. He also earned a spot in the national team to compete 2021 World Championship and came back with silver medal around his neck.

Jokerit has now played three games in regular season and Björninen has been playing like he used to back in Finland.

"I see it that way. I tried to show my ability right from the start and play good overall hockey. I am on a path of development, trying to do things better each day", Björninen stated after a game against Traktor on Monday.

Jokerit took their first win of the season in their last game, when Kalle Kossila scored the overtime goal, putting the numbers to 5–4 for the Finns. Björninen thought that the game had its’ ups and downs.

"We were good at power play and penalty killing. We also scored from our chances. Although we let the opponent to have too many scoring opportunities and gave them a few easy goals. It is good that we dug the win from there anyway", Björninen said.

Björninen realised that the team could do better after losing their first two games of the season. He mentioned that they had more speed than sense in their game on the ice.

The travelling is without a doubt a different kind of a thing coming from Finnish league to multinational KHL. Björninen does not mind the long distances.

"The conditions have been perfect on the road and it makes things so much easier for us players. All we need to focus on is recovering from the matches and be ready, when the puck drops. The first trip went well".

After spending almost his entire career in the same area and teams in Finland, KHL is without a doubt a new kind of experience.

"In general, there are more talented players here. It shows particularly in battling around the rink and in defensive situations".

Björninen has been playing on the fourth line of Jokerit lineup. According to the player the order of lines does not reflect to much.

"Every guy wants and tries to play as well offencively and defencively as possible. It does not matter in which order we go to the rink. I have to be prepared for power plays and penalty kills. Those are my strenghts, so I will bring possible momentum through those".

Before jumping to the KHL, Björninen had been playing 344 regular season games in Finnish Liiga and had summed up 171 points in them.

Lassi Seppa Lassi Seppa
exclusive for khl.ru

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