Kotkaniemi after 1st fight: Grandma told me, 'Don't do that again'
Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

Jesperi Kotkaniemi caught everybody by surprise on Thursday when he dropped his mitts for the first time as an NHLer.

After teammate Ryan Poehling took a hit along the boards, the Montreal Canadiens forward didn't like what he saw and went after Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Robert Hagg.

The 19-year-old Kotkaniemi surprisingly held his own against the 24-year-old Hagg, landing multiple big punches in the process.

"I didn't really see it during the time, I looked up and saw (Kotkaniemi) fighting and I started chuckling almost," Poehling said to reporters, via TSN. "Then I saw the fight after the game and I was like, 'Wow, he can really throw.'"

Even though the fight worked out in Kotkaniemi's favor, Canadiens coach Claude Julien isn't planning to convert his young forward into an enforcer anytime soon.

"I don't have an issue with him stepping in to help his teammate," Julien said. "But certainly not going to tell him to start fighting and that's not his game, I think we expect other things from him. But nice to see that he can stand up for himself."

It appears Kotkaniemi's grandmother is on the same page as Julien when it comes to letting other players do the fighting.

"Grandma just texted me, 'Don't do that again,'" Kotkaniemi said with a laugh. "I think that was her biggest worry."

The former third overall pick has produced six goals and eights points through 34 games with Montreal this season.

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Kotkaniemi after 1st fight: Grandma told me, 'Don't do that again'
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