1. Oliwer Kaski – GP:3 | G:0 | A:1 | P:1
With somewhat of a slow start, the soon-to-be signee of the Detroit Red Wings has plenty of eyes watching him in this year’s tournament. SM-Liiga’s top scoring defenseman is looked upon to contribute offensively for a Finland team that hasn’t seen much offense from the blueliners thus far in the tournament.
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With only 1 assist, Kaski ironically is tied for the point lead for Finnish defenseman. This goes to show just how little offense they have produced. With only 9 goals across 3 games, Finland is in dire need of offense. While Finland currently sits at a record of two wins opposite one loss, they will need offense if they plan to compete the rest of the way.
Insert Oliwer Kaski. With only 1 point, it’s easy to say he hasn’t contributed offensively. What the stats, however, don’t say, are the amount go opportunities he has had so far. Will Kaski be able to breakthrough for Finland? Nobody can be certain. With that being said, regardless of what happens, he will have an opportunity to compete for a spot with the Red Wings come training camp.
Somewhat of a mystery, Kaski does possess high-level talent. The only remaining question outside of his defensive abilities is just how well he will play against stiffer competition. Not to say SM-Liiga doesn’t possess talented player’s, it just doesn’t carry the same weight if he put up 51-points in 57-games in the AHL. Will that translate over to the NHL? The answer to that at this time is unknown.
For only a one-year deal, I don’t see how anything bad could arise from something that contains no harm to the current and future of the team. What we do know so far, is that he hasn’t brought those offensive capabilities he had over in Finland’s top-league YET. I still think he has more to show. After all, Kaski was one of the more highly-saught after defensive prospects this season with multiple teams interested in his services. With plenty of holes in the Wings’ defense, Kaski has a wide-open opportunity to showcase what he can do in this tournament.