The Milton Keynes Lightning confirm that they have reshuffled their roster with the transfer deadline only days away, signing import forward Janne Jokila from Finnish side Forssan Palloseura. With EPL teams allowed only four non-British trained players to dress for each fixture, Canadian player-coach Nick Poole has announced that he will concentrate on bench coaching the team for the remainder of the current season; Lewis Clifford remains the team's assistant coach.
Born in Turku, Finland, Janne has spent the majority of his playing career in his homeland, including representing his country at U18 and U20 levels. In 2000 he was drafted to the NHL Columbus Bluejackets, and subsequently played in the United States for three seasons, from 2002 to 2005 - including a spell with Dayton Bombers, where Nick Poole had played several seasons earlier.
Nick said he hopes Janne's signing will benefit the team on several fronts. "You don't play in the Finnish U18 and U20 teams without having a very high degree of talent. Janne will bring more skill to the Lightning, giving us more options in attack and also improving our powerplay. We've been quite 'top heavy' lately, relying on our first line to score the bulk of the goals. Bringing in Janne gives us two lines that will be able to compete with the top two lines of any other team in the EPL.
"Janne has a fantastic pedigree but hasn't been playing this season, so it could take a few games to find his feet - but we know our supporters will give him the time he needs to settle in. It's always a bit of a gamble bringing in a new player but we feel strongly that the addition of Janne, coupled with myself becoming full-time coach, will add value to both our performance and accountability.
"It'll take a little time to settle the lines, particularly in Adam Carr's absence, but we are absolutely not throwing in the towel on the league title. Our objective for the remainder of the season is to move up the table and try to finish as high as possible. Then we want to go into the playoffs full of confidence and battle our way to Coventry.
"Janne is very excited about coming to MK to add to our team, and looking forward to a strong push for some silverware."
Janne Jokila will wear number 12 and the Lightning hope to have completed the necessary paperwork for him to take part in this weekend's fixtures, against Guildford and Sheffield. Any supporters wishing to sponsor Janne's warm-up, home or away jerseys should contact
for full details.
DOB: 22 April 1982
Hometown: Turku, Finland
Drafted: 2000, round 7 (200th overall) by Columbus Blue Jackets