Photo courtesy of Liiga.fi

Fantasy Summary

Offensive defenseman with great size. Despite his size, he doesn’t play a physical style and instead relies on his positioning and stick-checking on defense. Loves to join the rush and create offense. Has a heavy and accurate slap shot, and he is capable of shooting from imperfect passes. His release on the wrist shot is extremely quick. He loves to shoot the puck as much as possible. Very dangerous on the power play. Needs to work on his defensive game and avoid unnecessary risks. A late-bloomer.


Observations

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March 2020 – Picked up in a trade for Kyle Wood in December, Kaski has scored 20 points in 31 games thus far for the Charlotte Checkers. An offensive minded defenseman, Kaski brings some significant upside with his mobility and ability to push the pace offensively. It is not sure when we could possibly see him, or if we will with the Hurricanes, but there is some potential here. Jack LeGwin

 

February 2020 – Kaski was traded from Detroit to Carolina in December. Since the trade, he has scored 15 points in 21 games in the AHL.  Jokke Nevalainen

 

May 2019 – Kaski has signed a one-year entry level contract with the Red Wings. The signing is made official after the IIHF World Championship tournament where Kaski won the gold medal with Team Finland. Kaski may start the season in the AHL but a strong training camp and preseason could push him onto the NHL roster. Even if he starts in the AHL, he should be one of the first call-ups when an injury occurs.  Jokke Nevalainen

 

March 2019 – Kaski finished the season with 19 goals and 51 points in 59 games. He led the league in goals and points by a defenseman, and his points total was good enough for sixth on the league among all players. He also led the league in shots. Only two defenseman have had a higher points total in the history of the Finnish Liiga. After the regular season, Kaski received the Lasse Oksanen award which is given to the best player in the league during the regular season, and he won that award voting by a huge margin. After the Liiga playoffs, Kaski will likely represent Finland at the World Championship tournament, and after that he is expected to sign an NHL contract with one of the interested teams. It’s easy to overlook his NHL potential because he turns 24 before next season starts but it’s good to remember Kaski was an undersized forward at age 17 before his delayed growth spurt and move to defense at age 18, so it’s actually very understandable he hasn’t been pushed to the spotlight until now.  Jokke Nevalainen

 

February 2019 – Kaski is a 23-year-old defenseman who is having an amazing season in the Finnish Liiga. He switched teams over the summer, going from HIFK to Pelicans, which has led to a massive breakout season for him. He leads the entire league in shots, and he leads all defensemen in goals and points by a wide margin. He’s an offensive defenseman who loves to join the rush. He has a great shot, he likes to use it a lot, and he shoots from the right side which is always valuable. He’s especially dangerous on the power play where his shot, vision and passing skills get to truly shine. At 6-foot-3, Kaski has great size as well but he’s not very physical. One great part about his game is that he doesn’t take a lot of penalties. He needs to improve his decision-making to avoid unnecessary risks, and there’s room for improvement in his defensive game as well. Even though he has been used on the penalty kill, he’s not the type of player coaches want to use on their top unit. But his offensive upside is very good which makes him a great free gamble in many fantasy hockey leagues.  Jokke Nevalainen

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.0
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth September 4, 1995
Height 6‘3”
Weight 187 lbs
Drafted No

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2010-2011 Ässät U16U16 SM-sarja15 0 00 0|        
  Ässät U16 IIU16 Aluesarja7 6 713 10|Qualification2 0 00
 2011-2012 KJK U17Jr. B2 SM-sarja Q4 4 26 2|        
  Ässät U17U17 I-divisioona13 12 1224 6|        
  Dallas Penguins 18U AA18U AA1 0 00 0|        
 2012-2013 Ässät U18U18 SM-sarja37 14 1024 6|        
 2013-2014 Ässät U20U20 SM-sarja37 10 717 10|Playoffs7 1 12
 2014-2015 Ässät U20U20 SM-sarja48 10 2737 12|Playoffs4 0 11
 2015-2016 Western Michigan Univ.NCAA31 4 812 4|        
 2016-2017 Western Michigan Univ.NCAA1 0 00 0|        
  HIFK U20U20 SM-sarja3 3 25 2|        
  HIFKLiiga36 2 46 0|Playoffs12 1 12
  Kiekko-VantaaMestis3 0 11 2|        
 2017-2018 HIFKLiiga49 9 716 10|Playoffs13 3 47
  HIFKChampions HL6 1 34 0|        
 2018-2019 PelicansLiiga59 19 3251 10|Playoffs6 2 24
  Finland EHT6 2 02 2|        
  FinlandWC10 0 22 4|        
  Finland (all)International22 3 36 6|        
 2019-2020 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL19 2 35 12|        
  Charlotte CheckersAHL35 11 920 2|        
 2020-2021 Avangard OmskKHL12 3 36 2|        

Highlights