The New York Islanders seem to be on the verge of getting former goalie Mikko Koskinen back. What has he done since leaving for the KHL?
Going into the 2018-19 NHL season the New York Islanders are going to have a goalie issue. Jaroslav Halak is out of a contract. Thomas Greiss has had a sub-par year, and Christopher Gibson has barely played at the NHL level.
Who exactly is going to be the Islanders starter this season? Linus Soderstrom? A player that’s never played at the NHL level or on NHL sized ice before?
What about a guy the Islanders drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft and even played four games for the Isles? How about Mikko Koskinen?
The Finnish… We Don’t Know
The Isles drafted Koskinen 31st overall in 2009. In his draft year, Koskinen put up a 1.91 GAA and .932SV% playing for the Espoo Blues of Finland’s Liiga. A 20-year-old putting up those numbers in a men’s league was great.
It just didn’t pan out with the Islanders. Within three years of being drafted and having played 41 games for Bridgeport (with a 2.93GAA and a .907SV%) and another four games with the Isles (4.33GAA and .873SV%) he was sent back on loan to KalPa of the Liiga.
And he wasn’t heard of again, until just recently when noise out of the KHL said Koskinen might be making a return to the NHL, and that could involve the New York Islanders.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
According to another source, the Isles are an unlikely destination.
But lets for the sake of argument say he’s coming to the Isles. Let’s say that Koskinen does sign with the Islanders. What are they getting out of the now 29-year-old shot stopper?
Over his last five years, Koskinen has been a top-level goalie in the KHL for about two of those seasons. Only twice did he put up numbers that ranked in the top five.
*All Stats from the KHL.ru
*All stats for goalies that played 20+ games in a season
Koskinen is coming off a great year. With a 1.57 GAA and .937SV%, he was outstanding for SKA St. Petersburgh. Yeah, that team. The one that has all the superstar players, is back by Putin, and essentially won the Olympic gold medal. Yeah, that team. So some of these numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt and consider the context.
but even considering that, Koskinen’s numbers are great. This year. The last three before 2017-18 were average to good.
I wouldn’t be so quick to believe that because he was good at the KHL level he can be good at the NHL level. Not to mention if he lands on a team like the New York Islanders that were the worst defensive team in the league last season.