Saturday, June 28, 2014

A New Face In The State of Hockey: Kaapo Kahkonen

Kaapo Kahkonen
200 lbs
Catches: Left
Born: August 16, 1996
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round (109th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft

With their second pick of the afternoon, Minnesota selected goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen out of Finland. He played for the Blues Under-20 team in the Finnish Elite League, and also played for Team Finland in the World Junior Championship Under-18 tournament.

Had Kahkonen not struggled in the World Juniors this past year, he probably does not drop into the fourth round. But, he did struggle for Team Finland and as you can see above it did not look pretty.

When he is on his game, Kahkonen uses his good frame, speed, and agility to move around in the net. He can effectively see the puck while being screened and has decent rebound control. He has good aggression in net and can effectively challenge opposing shooters.

It is unclear as to if Kahkonen will be back with the Blues' U-20 team or if he will be with the big club next year. Given his ineffectiveness from time to time, it could be a safer bet to see him back with the U-20 team, but again it is still up in the air. Given the nature of how long goalies take to develop, it will be quite sometime before we start to talk about Kahkonen coming to play in Minnesota.

Welcome to the Team of 18,001 Kaapo Kahkonen!

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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