After breaking out as a late-bloomer in Russia, it appears Mikko Koskinen is ready to make his second attempt at an NHL career.
According to Aivis Kalnins, a KHL Insider, Koskinen and the Edmonton Oilers have agreed on a two-year deal that will pay the Finnish goaltender $2.5 million annually per season.
Koskinen was selected with the 31st pick in the 2009 NHL draft by the New York Islanders but only played four games in the NHL before heading overseas. Over the past couple of seasons, Koskinen has established himself as one of, if not the best goalie not currently in the NHL.
Last year, he helped SKA St. Petersburg to the Gagarin Cup with a .916 save percentage, then, this year, he posted an incredible .937 save percentage in the KHL. Koskinen was also Finland’s goalie at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, posting a .932 save percentage in five games.
The Oilers struggled last season for a wealth of reasons, but one of them was Cam Talbot dropping from Vezina Trophy form. Edmonton went through Al Montoya and Laurent Brossoit as backups, but neither were sufficient. For a team seeking a stable backup, Koskinen, who doesn’t have any NHL pedigree to speak of, is certainly a high-risk decision.