According to multiple reports, including rock solid source Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Edmonton Oilers are expected to announce the signing of KHL star goalie Mikko Koskinen once the free-agent season officially gets underway on July 1st.
The 29 year old, former 31st overall pick of the New York 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.
While Koskinen’s game is very much an unknown at the NHL level, there’s no denying his proficiency in Russia. 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. Again, pretty remarkable.
Again, it remains to be seen whether or not the former top prospect can translate his game to the NHL, but regardless it looks as if the Oilers are going “all in” on Koskinen. Especially if you believe the early reports on his pending contract.
KHL insider Aivis Kalnins reports that the Oilers are expected to sign Koskinen to a two-year, $5 million contract for a $2.5 million cap hit per season.
On Koskinen from story: The 29-year-old former 31st overall pick is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers with an AAV of $2.5mil per season.
Ouch. $2.5 million for a guy who hasn’t played in the NHL in almost 10 seasons? That… that seems expensive? Of course, that’s likely the price that the Oilers have to pay to pry Koskinen away from a stellar and stable career over in Russia. No doubt he’s taking a huge risk by coming back to North America where he may or may not have success, so maybe the extra cash is just added incentive?
In any case, 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.