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Grade the Players: Joakim Nordstrom was signed two years ago for a purpose, and it’s been served

The Bruins needed a bridge to the younger talent in the pipeline, and JoNo performed his role well.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: C+

Going into the ‘18-’19 season, Boston knew that they needed some depth at forward that would be defensively responsible.

Enter Joakim Nordstrom from the free agent market, on a relatively friendly $1 million, two-year deal. Signed at 26, it was a stopgap contract as the Bruins watched the prospect pool age a little bit more, and it was also a ‘show me’ deal after having earned $1.25M the previous two years.

The cause of THAT contract with Carolina were NHL career highs at age 23 - 10 goals and 14 assists. That proved to be a unicorn of Nordstrom’s scoring prowess, but just as we appreciated the game of Daniel Paille, so too can we respect Nordstrom’s role.

There were a few factors bearing down on Nordstrom this past season, beyond the obvious disruption. He only appeared in 48 games, with most absences due to injury, beginning in training camp and including an infection related to one of his injuries and some sort of allergic reaction (news was reported in early, COVID is not impossible, but no one was asking that at that point in the year).

Father Time continued his march, and the prospect pool was indeed another year older, and we saw glimmers of potential in players like Karson Kuhlman and Anton Blidh.

He also had a good year possession-wise the year before (PDO over 100, despite his overwhelmingly-defensive usage) and was in the bottom five on the team this past season.

Unfortunately for Nordstrom, he’s right at the spot where careers of players like his start to trail off. (Hell, HockeyReference had Greg Campbell in his comparables list, so... yeah.)

Yes, he could catch fire in Calgary (pun intended); there’s some fun speculation that the Flames are buddying up for next season. Do whatever works for you, I suppose.

They also signed Nordstrom at the league-minimum $700K, with no bonuses attached.

I think we can be honest with ourselves and understand that this is probably what he is worth, and Boston was wise to move on.

Show Your Work

Nordstrom brought the spicy mustard to the bubble, and it showed. Thanks for bringing your best to Boston, Nordstrom! Good luck in Alberta.



What’s your grade for Joakim Nordstrom?

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  • 5%
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  • 41%
    (78 votes)
  • 40%
    (77 votes)
  • 12%
    (23 votes)
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