Kaskisuo back in the spotlight

Photo: Matt Garies / Arena du Rocket Inc.

by Justin Vézina | AHL On The Beat

Kasimir Kaskisuo’s phone has been blowing up lately.

After two years in Sweden, the goaltender who was an AHL All-Star during the 2019-20 season made a comeback to the American Hockey League in December. And despite having returned to action after nine months without a team, he’s been red-hot since he signed with the Laval Rocket organization.

He won all of his three starts and kept a .943 save percentage. The Rocket have won 11 of their 13 last games and Kaskisuo has been a strong influence for it.

Or it might be because the Finnish netminder is also producing some top-quality content on his YouTube and TikTok channels, where he has a combined total of more than 160,000 followers – and over 2 million likes on TikTok alone.

It’s most likely due to all of the above that he’s been noticeable in the past few weeks.

Kaskisuo, who signed with the Rocket on Dec. 18, has already become a fan favorite due to his impressive return and renowned name.

He also started with a statement, making 36 saves in a 3-2 win against the Syracuse Crunch on Dec. 29.

“I was just mostly excited to come and finally get the chance to play,” he said. “I feel like with the way the season started, being stuck at home and getting this opportunity, I got really lucky. So yeah, I was just grateful and excited about the opportunity.”

Excited, yes. But Kaskisuo was definitely not stressed. When the puck was in the opposing zone, the goalie had both arms on the net and kept his poise when it buzzed in front of his net.

“He hasn’t been with the team long, but you can easily spot that he’s a guy with a lot of experience,” said Rocket head coach Jean-François Houle. “He’s very calm and that relaxes the rest of the team.”

His confidence about his game is a stark contrast to the dazzling playing style of his rookie counterpart, Jakub Dobeš.

“I’m just trying to be in control, not to do too much. Have some sort of calmness,” Kaskisuo said. “It’s a little different than Dobby, but I think we’re going to balance each other out pretty well.”

There are as many hockey players as hobbies that take up their time after practices and during travels. For Kaskisuo, it’s been vlogging. He started his YouTube channel during the NHL playoff bubble of 2020, where he was the third goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Inspired by a couple of NBA players he decided to record what would be a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.” And the fans absolutely adored it. His first bubble video got more than 150,000 views, launching him into stardom.

And he kept going. He never stopped vlogging about the lifestyle of a pro hockey player, an idea that almost seemed frivolous at first.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to make it past the first video,” he said. “The fans loved it and I saw how much it meant to a lot of people at that time and I enjoyed doing it.”

It also helps him to document the unique lifestyle his family is experiencing, which one day he “will look back to.” It will act as a sort of logbook for the number 73, which he wears in reference to the numbers of letters in the names of his wife Whitney and daughter Fox.

Kaskisuo assures that none of his new teammates have chirped about his pastime as a content creator.

“I think my numbers are in pretty good shape right now, so I don’t think they can chirp me that much,” he joked. “They’re moreso just curious of how long it takes to edit and all this kind of stuff. I think some guys, probably deep down, think they want to do it, but they just don’t have the courage to do it.”

It’s easy to see why Kaskisuo is cherished on and off the ice.


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