Minnesota Duluth goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL team announced Monday.
Kaskisuo, 22, gives up his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility to turn pro. According to the Maple Leafs, his two year entry-level contract will begin in 2016-17.
Minnesota Duluth's season came to an end Saturday against Boston College in the Northeast Region Final. A late charge by the Bulldogs was a last second clear away from tying the game after trailing 3-0.
The 6'3" Kaskisuo has been a constant in net for the Bulldogs since coming on campus from the NAHL's Minnesota Wilderness. (He proved our Chris Dilks to be a genius.) The Vaanta, Finland native played in 39 of Minnesota Duluth's 40 games this season, finishing with a .923 save percentage and 5 shutouts. Since February 1st (a span of 15 games), Kaskisuo had a .929 save percentage as the Bulldogs fought its way into its second straight NCAA Tournament berth.
He also made this behind the back save as a freshman that nearly two years later still seems impossible.
Toronto already has a Minnesota Duluth pipeline. Two Bulldogs - Tony Cameranesi and Dominic Toninatto - were drafted by the Maple Leafs.
Without Kaskisuo and graduating goalie Matt McNeely, the Bulldogs will be turning to incoming freshman Hunter Miska. Miska currently plays for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL where he has a .915 save percentage in 41 games. Prior to this season the North Branch, MN native played with the Penticton Vees (BCHL) and USNTDP.