The Toronto Maple Leafs put pen to paper with goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo on Tuesday, signing the Fin to a two-year extension with the team.
With less than a month to go until the 2018 NHL Draft and free agency, the Toronto Maple Leafs got a minor deal done.
On Tuesday, the team announced that they had signed goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo to a two-year extension.
The Leafs originally signed the Finnish goaltender to a two-year entry-level contract at the end of the 2015-16 season. Kaskisuo had just finished his sophomore season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he posted a 1.92 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
He made his AHL debut with the Marlies at the end of that season, but last year was his first full campaign in the organization.
Kaskisuo, unfortunately, served as the third goalie for the Marlies for the majority of the year, making only seven starts in the regular season. He posted a .934 save percentage over that stretch, which was a good sign of what could be to come.
In a surprise move, Kaskisuo started 10 out of the 11 Marlies’ playoff games. While his .892 playoff save percentage isn’t anything to write home about, he helped the Marlies win their first-round series against Albany, and then helped the team push Syracuse to a Game 7, where they eventually fell to the Crunch.
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Kaskisuo made one appearance with the Marlies this season, before he was sent down to play with the Orlando Solar Bears. With Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard holding down the fort in the AHL, the Leafs loaned the 24-year-old to the Chicago Wolves, the affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Kaskisuo led the team in appearances on the season with 29. While splitting time with the likes of Oskar Dansk and Maxime Legace, he had a 2.33 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
With the signing, which is a two-way deal, all eyes will now be on the Marlies’ goaltending situation. With the strong play of both Sparks and Pickard this season, it’s hard to see the AHL’s top goaltending duo sticking together in the AHL next season.
Sparks has said on the record that he expects to be in the NHL next season, whether it is with the Leafs or otherwise.
This move gives the Leafs insurance in the case that they have to move one of their goaltenders. Kaskisuo is a proven name now, after getting regular reps with Chicago this season.
He will either serve as the backup for the Marlies or as the third goaltender, where he would get the occasional chance to play on three-in-three weekends and back-to-backs.
In due time, it will be more clear what his role will be. With several names ahead of him on the depth chart, this training camp will be the biggest of Kaskisuo’s career.
What do you think of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltending situation next season? Will someone be moved? Who will be Frederik Andersen‘s backup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.