What Next For Kaskisuo
Kasimir Kaskisuo has had his cup of tea in the NHL, however, his game was not up to par. Now he is stopping pucks in Sweden to fine-tune his game. Where does he go from here?
Kaskisuo made his NHL debut in the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and made his first start during the 2019-20 season with the same Maple Leafs. After the season, he signed with the Nashville Predators. He often was on the taxi squad and would occasionally be the backup to either Juuse Saros or Pekka Rinne. He would make one appearance in the Nashville crease, making three saves in 15 minutes of playing time.
This didn’t seem like he was being used to the best of his ability or full potential, eventually signing with Leksands IF of the SHL, one of Sweden’s premier hockey leagues. Kaskisuo is more relaxed, more comfortable, less stressed, and is having more fun. He is having fun playing hockey again and has already started more games in the Champions League than he did in his entire NHL career.
There is the question of why he did not succeed in the NHL. Was he not ready? Was he being misused? Was he not a fit? Those questions may not be answered. He does have aspirations of getting back to the NHL and being a starter. He has proven he is more than capable of leading a team and carrying a team to wins.
Kaskisuo, a vegan from Finland, signed to play in Sweden to focus on playing time and getting his game right. He knows he can play but wants to work on the small things to make his overall game better, having the right attitude and work ethic to be successful. If an NHL contract is presented to him does he sign it or remain where he is now? Everyone dreams of playing in the NHL but he has done that. Only 27 years old Kaskisuo has many playing days ahead of him but where do most of those starts come from? SHL or NHL?
Kaskisuo has the makeup of an NHL goaltender. At 6-foot-3 and 194 pounds, he has the size. What makes him stand out from the other netminders is that he has been to the NHL and knows what it takes to get there. Kaskisuo is playing his heart out for Leksands IF and showing he still has what it takes to be a starter you can depend on. Leksands IF is currently 4-0 in the Champions League, while Kaskisuo is 3-0 with six goals against and a .907 save %.
The past few years have been up and down for Kaskisuo with the travel and new teams. However, he has made the most of an opportunity to showcase his skills. He has found new life in Sweden. The pressure playing goal for Leksands IF is not the same pressure as playing in the NHL. Things are different but going well for Kasimir. He has played well thus far and his teammates are confident with him between the pipes.