Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen to a two-year contract (two-way contract for $700,000/$250,000 in 2020-21 and one-way contract for $750,000 in 2021-22).
Kahkonen, 24, went 25-6-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average (GAA), a .927 save percentage (SV%) and seven shutouts in 34 games with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. He led the AHL in wins and shutouts and ranked fourth in GAA and SV%. Kahkonen was the winner of the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award as AHL's outstanding goaltender and named to AHL's First All-Star Team. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound native of Helsinki, Finland, allowed two goals or less in 22 of his 34 contests and was named Goaltender of the Month for February.
Kahkonen made 32 saves to earn a 3-2 win in his NHL debut at New Jersey (Nov. 26) to become the sixth goalie to win his NHL debut with Minnesota. He made 44 saves in his second NHL start, a 4-2 win at Florida (Dec. 3), to set a franchise record for saves in a game by a rookie goaltender and became the fifth goalie in franchise history to win his first two games. Kahkonen went 3-0-1 in first four NHL starts to become second goalie in team history to begin his career with a four-game point streak (Ilya Bryzgalov, 7-0-3). He posted a 3-1-1 record with a 2.96 GAA and a .913 SV% in five starts with Minnesota.
Kahkonen went 17-14-8 with a 2.78 GAA and a .908 SV% in 39 games during his rookie season in 2018-19 and led the AHL with six shutouts. He is 42-20-11 with a 2.45 GAA, a .916 SV% and 13 shutouts in 73 career AHL contests with Iowa. Minnesota selected Kahkonen in the fourth round (109th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He will wear sweater No. 34 with Minnesota.