Last week, the Edmonton Oilers faced some controversy on their latest move, when they officially agreed to terms with free agent goaltender Mikko Koskinen on a one-year contract.
Kontinental Hockey League insider Aivis Kalnins had recently reported that Koskinen and the New York Islanders had an agreement in place so that he would sign with the Brooklyn based team on July 1st. Kalnins then wrote on Hockey Buzz that it was not the case before the star netminder finally agreed to sign with Edmonton:
"Per multiple sources - Mikko Koskinen had misunderstood the situation. However, nothing has changed and the goalie still intends to make a move to the National Hockey League next season."
The 29-year-old former 31st overall pick was indeed expected to sign a two-year deal with the Oilers with an averaged salary of $2.5 M per season, and everything was finally confirmed last Tuesday morning.
The former 31st overall pick of the Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has spent the past seven years playing in the KHL, including five seasons with SKA Saint Petersburg where he backstopped the team to two Gagarin Cup championships. The 6’7, 202 pound giant posted a remarkable 1.69 goals against average and .931 save percentage for SKA this past season. He went 24-4-1 with five shutouts. Pretty remarkable.
It’s expected that Koskinen will provide some support and help push Oilers starter Cam Talbot. The Oilers goaltender looked tired and worn out at times this past season, having a solid 1B option behind him will surely help Talbot and the Oilers in 2018-19.
And it seems now, they will have more than just the one option. According to Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, Stuart Skinner is expected to be signed by the Oilers as soon as his postseason ends with the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL.
Skinner has made headlines lwhen he stopped 37 shots and was named second star as Swift Current went up 2-1 in the WHL Final with a 3-2 OT victory in Everett on Tuesday night. Skinner then turned aside all 32 shots he faced on Wednesday night as Swift Current hung on for a 1-0 victory over the host Everett Silvertips in Game 4 of the WHL championship series, taking a 3-1 series lead.
The 19-year-old goalie was selected in the third round, 78th overall, by the Oilers in last summer’s NHL draft. He could give Koskinen and the rest of the goaltender crew a run for their money at the training camp in Edmonton.