Kaapo Kahkonen (via LeijonatTV/YouTube)
For the second time in 11 days, 18-year-old Finnish goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen has scored a goal. The Minnesota Wild prospect scored his first in the Finnish second league on March 28 and registered another tally Tuesday in a scrimmage between the Finnish U20 and U18 teams. Check out both.
Move over, Martin Brodeur, there’s a new sharpshooting goaltender. And as far as scoring by goaltenders is concerned, he might just be the equivalent of Wayne Gretzky.
For the second time in 11 days, Kaapo Kahkonen, the 109th overall selection by the Minnesota Wild in 2014, has found the back of an empty net.
The first goal came on March 28 in the Finnish second league, Mestis, when Kahkonen’s TUTO Hockey was playing KooKoo. Kahkonen collected the puck behind the net and when it looked like he was going to send it up the boards, the KooKoo winger sealed off the wall, leaving the middle of the ice open for Kahkonen to bury the end-to-end shot:
Almost more impressive than the shot is the reaction of the play-by-play man, who is so giddy about Kahkonen scoring he sounds like a cartoon character about to shoot through the ceiling.
But so what, right? Goaltenders have scored before. There have been 11 different netminders in NHL history that have buried markers and Colorado Avalanche prospect Reto Berra scored earlier this season in the AHL.
A goaltender scoring twice has only happened two times in NHL history, though. Ron Hextall scored his first goal in December 1987 and his second in April 1989. Almost exactly eight years later, Martin Brodeur scored his first goal, followed by his second nearly three years later in February 2000. To recap: it took Hextall two years to score twice and Brodeur three. Kahkonen has completed the feat in two weeks.
While it wasn’t in officially sanctioned game action, the clip below is from a scrimmage between the Finnish U20 and U18 squads, and just as impressive as his first marker. Most goaltenders who score do so when they have time, but Kahkonen went out on a limb, firing the puck down ice after an errant offensive zone pass by the U18 side.
That’s one poised goaltender. Nice shot, Kahkonen.