VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 13: Lauri Korpikoski #28 of the Phoenix Coyotes tries to get around Dan Hamhuis #2 of the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in NHL action on February 13, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
We are now 28 days away from the Phoenix Coyotes' first scheduled preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings. Today on the countdown we look at a player who is likely to play an integral role in the success of the 2012-13 Phoenix Coyotes. That player is Lauri Korpikoski, affectionately known as "The Korpedo" Read on to learn a little bit more about the Coyotes own Finnish Flash.Korpikoski knows how to make an entrance. His first career NHL goal (apologies in advance for the poor video quality, I promise it's him) came in his first career NHL game, which happened to be Game 5 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He would play with the New York Rangers for one additional season, during which he only logged 14 points (6G, 8A) in 68 games. Korpikoski's career prospects would take a much brighter turn in the 2009 offseason.
On July 13th, 2009, Korpikoski was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Enver Lisin. Lisin spent only one season with the Rangers (in which he coincidentally scored the exact same number of goals and assists that Korpikoski had the year before) before moving on to the Kontinental Hockey League. Korpikoski has since produced 42 goals and 48 assists in three seasons with the Coyotes, with his speed and quickness an important asset to the Coyotes scoring attack and special teams.
Although Lauri Korpikoski has played an important role with the team, he will likely need to step up his game in 2012-13. He has broken the 40 point barrier only once in his career (2010-11), and has only 2 points total in the playoffs, none of which came in the Coyotes lengthy 2012 playoff run. Join us back here this afternoon for a more in depth look at current Coyotes players who will need to play a larger role in the upcoming season.