Kaapo Kähkönen

Minnesota Wild
Photo courtesy of TheAHL.com

Fantasy Summary

Starting goalie potential who has translated his game from the European ice surface to the North American rink


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country FIN
Position G
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth August 16, 1996
Height 6‘2”
Weight 223 lbs
Drafted 2014 Round 4; Overall: 109

Observations

March 2019 – Beginning the season in a backup role to Andrew Hammond with the Iowa Wild, Kähkönen has taken the lions share of the starts with 36. While he started off incredibly hot, he has come back down to earth without crashing. The goalie has been very good in the minors, earning an AHL All-Star nod and then receiving the Top Goaltender award at the AHL skills contest. The transition to North America has been seemingly seamless for the Finnish goaltender. His calm and controlled game and excellent positioning have helped in that matter. His rebound control has been praised in numerous occasions with the puck almost disappearing as soon as it enters his chest. He has shown quick lateral movement which has aided in his .911 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average. The stalky goaltender has good athleticism that has helped him work from post to post with ease. The remainder of the AHL regular season and playoffs will go a long way in determining whether Kähkönen could push for a backup job in the NHL next season. Tony Ferrari 
 

November 2018 – Kahkonen has made the jump from Liiga to the AHL look easy to date. His numbers in a small sample are exciting as he sits with .972 SV% and a 0.79 GAA in five games. Tack on an AHL player of the week as well. As encouraging as the hot start is, Kahkonen will have a decent amount of time in the AHL playing with veteran Andrew Hammond. I also need to point out that Iowa has been playing great hockey all season for Head Coach Army, currently sitting second in goals against. The Wild brass have been limiting Kahkonen starts so far but that will change if he continues to shine. Kahkonen is right where he needs to be in his development and could become the AHL starter by the start of next season with more dominate play. If you’re in a deep dynasty and can wait a few seasons, he is a good goalie prospect to own and his stock is rising. Tyler Matson

 

May 2018 – With Kahkonen’s rights expiring this June, the Wild decided to sign Kahkonen to a two-year entry level deal. Kahkonen has been a solid .920 goaltender in a good men’s league for two years and should slot in nicely on Iowa next season. He’s a tall, athletic goalie who will need some time to adjust to the smaller ice but his upside is there. With Minnesota’s weak goalie pipeline, Kahkonen will be given every opportunity over the next two seasons to leave a mark on Minnesota’s new management. Will Scouch

February 2018 – Kahkonen only continues to improve in the Finnish Liiga playing against men. The 21 year old is almost a shoe-in for an ELC at year’s end with his Liiga contract expiring, and his 2.13 GAA and .925 SPCT, 4th and 3rd in the league respectively. In the time since his last update, he’s gained a bit of notoriety after scoring a goal in a pre-season tournament. Kahkonen is a big, heavy goalie who can make saves, and looks primed to make the jump to North American ice. Will Scouch

March 2017 –- Kähkönen has finished his second full season in Finland’s top division of men’s hockey and he seems to have taken a big step forward with Luuko. The team missed the playoffs, winning just 17 of 60 games, but Kähkönen held the fort well as he faced nearly 33 shots per game, and managed to save 92 per cent of those shots. Being a starting goaltender in any top men’s league is an achievement and Kähkönen has done so for two years running. His contract with Luuko ends next year, so an entry-level deal likely won’t come until then, but it seems highly likely he will be a member of the Iowa Wild come 2018-19. Will Scouch

September 2016 – Kaapo Kahkonen’s learning curve can’t get much stagnant after getting peppered last year while playing for the Espoo Blues of SM-Liiga. The silver lining is that the worst is over when it comes to getting use to the workload he’ll see at that level. Good thing too, as he’ll most likely be reporting back there for another tour of duty this season. Edric Joseph

January 2016 – Kaapo Kahkonen’s individual efforts at the recent World Junior Championships left interested parties wanting more with a 0.909 save percentage, but his lackluster performance fell into the background easily with his four wins on route to Team Finland’s second World Junior title in three years. Had the team given up more chances it could’ve been a different story at the pace Kahkonen was stopping shots but onlookers need to keep in mind that this tournament doesn’t do him justice given his unfamiliarity with the team defense and how he’s a goalie that tends to thrive under a heavy workload. Edric Joseph

December 2015 – Look for Kaapo Kahkhonen to get some playing time for Team Finland in the Under-20 World Junior Championships. Not only is Predator prospect Juuse Saros no longer eligible to participate but Kahkonen has been holding his own (and then some) in the SM-Liiga including a 0.921 save percentage and 2.26 GAA. Edric Joseph

May 2015 – In an unprecedented April shower of goaltender goals, Wild prospect Kaapo Kahkonen manages to score two goals in just four games. While anything but sustainable, it is a testament to the raw ability that he has in the way of puck handling under duress when the opposition is fielding an extra attacker in the clutch. That being said, Kahkonen has his work cut out for him if he is to compete for a significant role in North America with the likes of other standout prospects such as Stephen Michalek and Brody Hoffman ahead of him on the depth chart. Staying abroad seems more and more probable at this juncture given how impressive the former two were this past season and how Kahkonen will get more starts in Finland. Edric Joseph

January 2015 – For a recently drafted project, Kaapo Kahkonen has been progressing nicely. Exhibits good decision making, when coupled with his athletic butterfly style gives Minnesota Wild fans something to look forward to in three years time or so. Thrives under duress, and seems to almost enjoy himself when experiencing a heavier workload. It was truly regrettable that we could not see him in action at the 2015 World Junior Championships but he is the favourite to be the starting goaltender for Team Finland in 2016. Edric Joseph

June 2014 – The Minnesota Wild selected goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen 109th overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Brendan Ross

June 2014 – Hailing from Finland, Kaapo Kahkonen should immediately be on radars after the nation has become arguably the best developers of goaltenders in recent years. Kahkonen is a hybrid goaltender using a variety of styles to keep the puck out of the net. He is exceptionally quick down low and is able to return to his feet sharply. A reactionary goaltender with good instincts, Kahkonen is expected to make the jump to the top Finnish league in 2014-15 and is a legitimate top 60 goaltender for the 2014 NHL Draft. Brendan Ross


Stats

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2010-2011 GrIFK U16 Jr. C I-divisioona 1 1.00 .958 |        
 2011-2012 Blues U16 Jr. C SM-sarja Q 5 1.74 .940 |        
  Blues U16 Jr. C SM-sarja 16 2.79 .901 | Playoffs 9 2.17 .936
  Blues U18 Jr. B SM-sarja 1 2.00 .950 | Playoffs 0 - -
  Finland U16 YOG 4 1.90 .923 |        
  Finland U16 (all) International-Jr 10 2.47 .926 |        
 2012-2013 Blues U18 Jr. B SM-sarja 2 3.00 .864 |        
  Finland U17 EYOF 2 3.00 .921 |        
  Blues U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 28 2.43 .917 | Playoffs 12 2.68 .901
  Finland U17 WHC-17 4 4.48 .858 |        
  Finland U17 (all) International-Jr 3 5.51 .855 |        
  Finland U18 WJC-18 0 - - |        
  Finland U18 (all) International-Jr 1 1.00 .957 |        
 2013-2014 Blues U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 38 2.49 .912 | Playoffs 10 2.20 .915
  Blues U20 U20 Super Challenge 5 2.21 .900 |        
  Blues Liiga 0 - - |        
  Finland U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 3 3.45 .881 |        
  Finland U18 WJC-18 5 3.37 .886 |        
  Finland U18 (all) International-Jr 15 3.29 - |        
 2014-2015 TUTO Hockey Mestis 47 2.11 .925 | Playoffs 13 1.95 .934
  Finland U19 (all) International-Jr 2 3.37 .844 |        
  Finland U20 (all) International-Jr 4 3.02 .900 |        
 2015-2016 Blues Liiga 27 2.69 .908 |        
  Blues Champions HL 4 2.76 .918 |        
  TUTO Hockey Mestis 1 0.00 1.000 | Playoffs 6 3.03 .885
  Finland U20 WJC-20 4 2.52 .909 |        
  Finland U20 (all) International-Jr 7 - .910 |        
 2016-2017 Lukko Liiga 34 2.58 .921 |        
  Lukko Champions HL 3 3.03 .890 |        
 2017-2018 Lukko Liiga 56 2.20 .922 | Playoffs 2 2.38 .921
 2018-2019 Minnesota Wild NHL 0 - - |        
  Iowa Wild AHL 39 2.78 .908 |        

Highlights