When Oliwer Kaski left North America in 2020, after just one season in the AHL, the Carolina Hurricanes weren’t going to give up his rights completely. The team issued Kaski a qualifying offer, meaning he stayed on their reserve list and could only sign a contract with them if he wanted to return.
Those rights were only held through his age-27 season, though, which is this year for the undrafted defenseman. If Carolina wanted to bring him back, they would have to sign him by the end of June, or Kaski would become an unrestricted free agent.
It doesn’t appear like that will happen, as the Finnish puck-mover has signed a contract with HV71 in the SHL through 2024. That ends a short run in the Swiss league where he found little success, playing 20 games for Lugano this season.
He scored just four points in those games, but that’s not common for Kaski, who has filled the net wherever he plays. Over the last two seasons in the KHL, he scored 26 goals and 67 points in 105 games. When this contract with HV71 ends, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in North America too, meaning there could potentially be a return.
He’ll also be closing in on 30, though, so he may just continue to be an excellent offensive defenseman overseas, and never realize that dream of playing in the NHL.