Wild prospect Kahkonen earns first AHL shutout

Rather than focus exclusively on the Minnesota Wild’s top prospects, we’re taking a look at the best players from across the State of Hockey every week.

From college to the pros, check out our recap of all the week’s events in Minnesota hockey, as we check in with college players, Wild prospects and State of Hockey alums.

Let’s take a look at our three stars of the week in the latest edition of the State of Hockey Tracker.

 

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FIRST STAR

Kaapo Kahkonen, G, Iowa Wild (AHL)

Kahkonen made his North American debut last month after spending three seasons in Finland’s top pro league, and he appears to be acclimating quickly while backing up starter Andrew Hammond. The 21-year-old has a .953 save percentage and a 1.32 goals-against average through three games after backstopping Iowa to a win over Rockford on Wednesday. Kahkonen made 28 saves, picking up his first AHL shutout just a few days after earning his first win, also over Rockford, on Saturday. His shutout streak now dates back to the second period of Saturday’s game. The organization isn’t particularly deep in goal, but Kahkonen could have some NHL upside. A fourth-round pick in 2014, Kahkonen posted a .922 save percentage in Finland last season, tied for fifth in the league, and led the league with six shutouts.

 

SECOND STAR

Charlie Gerard, F, Minnesota State (WCHA)

The Gophers’ days of running roughshod over their in-state rivals are long gone. No. 3 Minnesota State cruised to a home-and-home sweep over the weekend, beating Minnesota 5-1 in Minneapolis on Friday, then 2-1 in Mankato on Saturday. Gerard led the way, scoring the game-winner Friday and adding a pair of assists, then assisting on the game-tying goal Saturday, earning WCHA Forward of the Week honors. The Mavericks have now won six of the last eight meetings between the two teams.

 

THIRD STAR

Connor Dewar, F, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

The Wild’s third-round pick earlier this year, Dewar stretched his scoring streak to four games with a power-play strike in Everett’s 6-2 win over Spokane on Saturday. His point streak is up to seven games, a run that includes two four-point games and two multi-goal games. Dewar also had an assist in both of Team WHL’s games in the 2018 CIBC Canada Russia Series earlier this week.

 

AROUND THE RINK

— Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State are ranked 1-3 in this week’s USCHO.com poll.

— Meanwhile, Minnesota fell to No. 16, and has lost three straight. The Gophers have scored just three goals over that span after scoring seven goals each in consecutive wins over UMD, the U.S. U-18 team and Canadian squad Trinity Western.

— Providence forward Brandon Duhaime, a fourth-round pick of the Wild in 2014, had another multi-point game over the weekend, this time in a 3-0 win over Holy Cross.

— A fifth-round pick of the Wild in 2017, defenseman Jacob Golden scored his first goal of the season Saturday to help the London Knights (OHL) to a win over the Owen Sound Attack.

— St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling had two goals and an assist over the weekend to help St. Cloud State to a sweep of Colorado College.

— Defenseman Jimmy Schuldt had a solid weekend for the Huskies as well, racking up three assists.