Kaski's Agent Makes It Official
What had been rumored for a week became official Monday when Todd Diamond, agent for Oliwer Kaski, confirmed the free-agent Finnish defensemen was signing a contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s a one-year, two-way entry-level deal for the 23-year-old who Monday played for his country against the USA and his possible future coach Jeff Blashill at the world championship in Slovakia.
Due to his age, that was the only contract Kaski was eligible to sign under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Playing for Pelicans Lahti, Kaski led all Finnish Liiga defensemen with 19-32-51 totals in 59 games this season.
“He’s an offensive-minded defenseman, a really good shot from the point, very good on the power play,” Diamond told Mlive.com. “He had a breakout year this year in Finland, although he showed some signs last season.
“He’s an offensive-minded guy, just a late bloomer. But he’s got a lot of the tools teams are looking for these days.”
Kaski is not unfamiliar with the state of Michigan. He spent two seasons from 2015-17 playing NCAA hockey for the Western Michigan Broncos.
He played two seasons at Western Michigan but decided not to continue there,” Diamond said. “He has some ties to the state of Michigan.”
Last year, the Wings signed free-agent defenseman Libor Sulak from Pelicans Lahti to a similar one-year deal. Sulak, 25, saw six games of early-season action for Detroit, displaying a creative flair but was often deficient in taking care of his defensive duties.
A restricted free agent, Sulak is currently weighing whether to return to Europe or sign on for another year with the Wings.
Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha is the second-leading scorer at the world championship. Through three games, Mantha has collected 3-4-7 totals for Canada.
Granted, five of those points came against Great Britain, in the A-pool of the world tourney for the first time since the 1960s. But Mantha had a goal and an assist Monday as Canada edged Grand Rapids Griffins goals Patrik Rybar and the host Slovakians 6-5.
Dylan Larkin did was he so often achieved during the NHL season. The Red Wings center tallied in overtime to give the Americans a 3-2 verdict over the Finns. Larkin and Artemi Panarin of the Columbus Blue Jackets shared the NHL lead in 2018-19 with four overtime winners.
Detroit’s Filip Hronek of the Czech Republic leads all defenseman in world championship scoring with 2-3-5 numbers.
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