Mystery solved: Jyrki Jokipakka of Dallas renamed ‘Kevin’ thanks to Starbucks

Greg Wyshynski

The Dallas Stars have a defenseman named Jyrki Jokipakka.

Looking at his name long enough can cause mild vertigo. It only has two “J’s,” but looks like it should have 16. It resembles the kind of words a 3-year-old might construct with refrigerator magnets of the alphabet. 

But his teammates don’t have to trouble themselves with wrapping mind and tongue around “Jyrki Jokipakka."

They just call them “Kevin.”

They’ve been a little mysterious about it, with Jason Demers having fun with “Kevin” in a fan Q&A last year:

So where did it originate? Incredibly blasé Starbucks baristas, that's where.

From Mike Heika, on Jokipakka’s Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers, in which he scored his first NHL goal and had one wiped away on a coach’s challenge:

There was a palpable disappointment in the arena for the 24-year-old from Finland with the lyrical name. Jokipakka has drawn fans of his nickname, which was created when baristas at Starbucks couldn't get his name right.

So, he just started saying he was Kevin.

"It was easier," Jokipakka said.

So there you go: The inherent stress of giving your name to a Starbucks barista and having it mangled with their hasty Sharpie scribble forced an NHL player from Finland to begrudgingly admit defeat and go with a generic English name.

Which is ironic, because guys name “Kevin” see their names written as “Jyrki Jokipakka” in one out of every three visits to Starbucks ...


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.