With the remainder of the Minnesota Wild’s season still in limbo, the American Hockey League revealed an interesting nugget on Tuesday. Wild goalie prospect Kaapo Kahkonen has been awarded the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award, given to the AHL’s most outstanding goalie of the year.
Kahkonen was nothing short of sensational in the AHL in 2019-20. In 34 games for the Iowa Wild, he recorded a 2.07 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. Not only did he lead all AHL goaltenders in wins with 25, but he also led the pack with seven shutouts on the season.
Though Kahkonen spent most of his time in Iowa, he did have some success in the NHL as well. He appeared in five games for the Minnesota Wild in 2019-20, earning a 3-1-1 record and posting a 2.96 goals against average and .913 save percentage. His best performance with the big club came on December 3 against the Florida Panthers when he set a franchise record for saves in a game by a rookie netminder with 44 on the night.
He also tried to score a goal, and it was kind of amazing.
With goalies Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock both on the wrong side of 30, Kahkonen seems to be the Wild’s future in net. And based on what we’ve seen from him early in his career, he certainly has the potential to be a heck of a player in Minnesota one day.