May 28: The deal is official. Kaski has signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings, after helping Finland all the way to the gold medal at the World Championship.
May 13: Oliwer Kaski will indeed sign with the Detroit Red Wings following the current IIHF World Championships, agent Todd Diamond confirmed to Ansar Khan of MLive. Kaski is currently playing for Finland and had been linked to the Red Wings over the last few weeks. The 23-year old defenseman will sign a one-year contract after the tournament ends later this month.
If Kaski plays for the Red Wings next season it won’t be the first time he suits up for a Michigan-based club. The Finnish defenseman played parts of two seasons at Western Michigan University before returning home to continue his career. Through the first two seasons while playing for HIFK Helsinki, Kaski was a depth player who was reliable but relatively unimpressive. This season for the Lahti Pelicans though that all changed.
In 59 games for the Pelicans, Kaski recorded 19 goals and 51 points to lead all Liiga defensemen in both categories. The 6’3″ defenseman went undrafted years ago but was pursued by several teams this spring. He has a single assist through three games with Finland, but could find himself competing for a full-time roster spot in Detroit this season. Even if they don’t re-sign 38-year old Niklas Kronwall the Red Wings have an aging defense corps with Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley and Mike Green all in their mid-thirties. Kaski and other young players like Madison Bowey, Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski could play substantial roles on the NHL club in 2019-20.