Laakkonen back for 21/22
The Coventry Blaze are pleased to announce the return of Finnish forward Janne Laakkonen for the 2021/22 Elite League season.
The 39-year-old winger enjoyed a sensational season with the Blaze over 2019/20, during which he led the league for assists (40) and also scored nine goals in 43 regular season games.
Additionally, in eight Challenge Cup games, he registered six assists and two goals and was voted to the Elite League fans second All-Star team.
Laakkonen also iced in the recent Elite Series for the Blaze, contributing eight points (one goals, seven assists) in 14 appearances.
The popular Finn possesses a wealth of European experience which includes over 550 games and near 380 points in the top-level Finnish Liiga with HPK and KalPa.
After leaving his home country in 2013/14, Laakkonen has had numerous stand-out seasons in Sweden, Kazakhstan, Belarus, France and Poland.
With GKS Katowice of Poland in 2018/19, his ten points led all players over the two rounds of the IIHF Continental Cup which took place in Belfast.
In 2016/17, his 55 points in 52 regular season and playoff games helped Neman Grodno to a Belarusian Championship.
He is also a three-time bronze medallist, and once silver medallist of the Finish Liiga.
Head Coach Danny Stewart said, "In Janne we get an elite playmaker. In 2019/20 he led the league in assists, and was a big reason for our powerplay being one of the best. He makes guys around him better and his experience is crucial with a younger team. He’s a big part of our group. He’s a true pro in how he takes care of himself, and he may be the best passer we have had here in my time with the Blaze. His ability is tough to replace, and we wanted to get him back on our side for the upcoming season."