Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mikko Koskinen Autograph Card

Slowly but surely, Mikko Koskinen is fulfilling what many scouts - and particularly the New York Islanders' - saw in him when he became the first goalie drafted in 2009, at the 31st spot.

Though he left North America as the 2011-12 season began to return to the Kuopio KalPa ("Kalevan Pallo") and later the KHL, where his statistics are pretty much off the charts; he finished the 2014-15 season with a 1.89 GAA and .927 save percentage with SKA Saint Petersburg to end the regular season, and followed that up with a 1.61 GAA and .936 save percentage in 22 playoff games to help his team capture the Gagarin Cup.

In 2015-16, his regular-season stats were closer to average (2.42, .915%), but come playoff time, he did even better than last year, with a 1.47 GAA and .949 percentage.

He also claimed both Best Goaltender awards (by tournament organizers and the press) at the 2016 World Championships and made the All-Star Team as Team Finland captured the silver medal; Connor McDavid was the lone Team Canada player to score on him in the Final.

I think he certainly qualifies as one of the 60 best goalies in the world, probably even top-30 - which means should he want to return to the NHL, he'd probably find a suitor.

In the meantime, the only team he's ever known are the Isles, and he does look good in their blue (home) uniform, as can be attested by card #128 from Panini's 2011-12 Dominion collection:
It's signed on-card in blue sharpie and is numbered 60/199.

Here he is making a spectacular knob save:

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