The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Finnish goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo (U of Minnesota-Duluth) to a two-year entry level contract (effective 2016-17 and 2017-18).
Teammate of Leafs prospects Tony Cameranesi and Dominic Toninato, Kasimir Kaskisuo started a remarkable 39 of 41 games for UMD this past season, finishing with a 19-15-5 record, a 1.93 goals against average (a school record), five shutouts, and a .923 save percentage. The 22-year-old made the 26-goalie shortlist for the Mike Richter Award given annually to the NCAA’s top goaltender.
As is customary for goalie prospects these days, he stands well north of six foot at 6’3, 200 pounds.
The Maple Leafs have drafted two goalies since 2011 (Sparks and Bibeau) and none since 2013, and traded away Christopher Gibson before the season in the Michael Grabner deal. With Reimer traded, Bernier’s future in limbo, and Sparks posting around a .900 save percentage in his 12 NHL games so far, the Leafs could certainly use more depth and options at the position.
As Canucks Army points out, the fact that Kaskisuo was playing in the NAHL during his final draft-eligible year likely hurt his chances of a selection.
He is currently ranked 8th in GAA (1.89) in the NCAA and has played an eye-popping 95.6% of Minnesota-Duluth’s minutes. He also has five shutouts, which has him tied for 5th in the country. Other than three games between October 31 and November 7, where he gave up 14 goals, he has been remarkably consistent, only allowing 4 goals against on two other occasions. Like Demko did on two occasions this season, Kaskisuo had a three game shutout streak in November.
It’s likely Kaskisuo will join the Toronto Marlies on an ATO for the remainder of the season.
With Sparks a pending RFA, this gives the Leafs three goalies under contract for next season in Jonathan Bernier, Antoine Bibeau and Kaskisuo. Kaskisuo is the only one of the three signed beyond July 1, 2017.
A breakdown of his freshman and sophomore seasons courtesy of the UMD Bulldogs website:
Was a member of the 2014-15 Preseason All-NCHC Team … pieced together the fourth longest shutout run (263:58 — a school record) in NCAA history) in late November and early December …. already has four shutouts this season (including a program-high three in a row between Nov. 20-Dec. 4), which is one whitewash shy of the team record held by both Alex Stalock (2008-09) and Brant Nicklin (1997-98) … has tended goal for all of his team’s NCHC games (36 thus far) since the start of the 2014-15 season — the only individual who can make that claim … currently ranks second in the NCHC in goals against average (1.85) and fourth in saves percentage (.923) and has appeared in the highest percentage of his team’s overall minutes (97.598) than all but four netminders in the entire country … has made 31 consecutive starts dating back to Feb. 13, 2014 when the Bulldogs hosted St. Cloud State … was selected the NCHC Goalie of the Week on Nov. 23.
Turned in one of the most prolific seasons ever by a first-year Bulldog netminder and backstopped UMD to within one game of the NCAA Frozen Four … nailed down a spot on the NCHC All-Rookie Team after ranking second among the nation’s freshmen goalies in victories (18), fourth in winning percentage (.557 off an 18-14-3 record), fifth in goals against average (2.30) and seventh in saves percentage (.917) … also shared the NCAA rookie lead for netminding starts and appearances (each 36) … his goals against average and saves percentage were both the third best single-season marks in program history … had one shutout (a 3-0 victory at Minnesota on Nov. 14 — UMD’s first blanking of the Gophers in Minneapolis since the 1972-73 season) and two assists to his 2014-15 credit … was voted UMD’s Most Valuable Player (Mike Seiler Award) for 2014-15 — just the third Bulldog freshmen to be so honored since that citation was first handed out in 1956-57 (center Keith “Huffer” Christiansen in 1963-64 and goaltender Isaac Reichmuth in 2002-03 were the two others) … held the distinction of being one of just two individuals to see exclusive crease time in all of his team’s 24 league outings last season (North Dakota’s Zane McIntyre joined him) … was chosen The Hockey Commissioners’ Association Rookie of the Month for November and both the NCHC Goalie of the Week and NCHC Rookie of the Week one time — the only individual to pull off that double-double … accompanied teammates Tony Cameranesi and Willie Raskob on the six-member 2015 NCAA Northeast Regional All-Tournament Team … made a “one for the ages” save against Miami’s Cody Murphy on Halloween night 2014 at AMSOIL Arena that generated nearly 600,000 views on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSHr3UFvBGE).
Kasimir Kaskisuo Statistics
BIRTHPLACE: Espoo, FIN AGE 22
HEIGHT: 191 cm / 6’3″
WEIGHT: 91 kg / 201 lbs
YOUTH TEAM: Jokerit
|2009-10||Jokerit U18||Jr. B SM-sarja Q||4||3.35||0.904||||
|Jokerit U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||13||2.99||0.922|||||Playoffs||3||2.37||0.934|
|2010-11||Jokerit U18||Jr. B SM-sarja Q||4||2.24||0.937||||
|Jokerit U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||6||3.19||0.911|||||Playoffs||2||3.72||0.91|
|Jokerit U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||6||2.51||0.92|||||Playoffs||2||2.43||0.919|
|2011-12||Jokerit U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||9||2.82||0.888|||||Playoffs||0||-||-|
|2012-13||Jokerit U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||13||2.72||0.905||||
|2014-15||Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth||NCAA||36||2.3||0.917||||
|2015-16||Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth||NCAA||39||1.92||0.923||||