Prospect Profile: Kalle Kossila

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

By Thomas Harrington

Welcome to the first prospect profile of the summer: Kalle Kossila. In these prospect profiles, I’ll be going over any new prospects the Ducks acquired during last season, whether through free agency or trade, and give a brief overview of the player. When they are completed, I’ll transition to prospect updates, where I’ll update the status of every Anaheim prospect that I wrote about last summer and who is still part of Anaheim’s farm system.

The Anaheim Ducks signed Kossila to a two-year entry-level contract at the end of March. He had spent the previous four seasons playing NCAA hockey at St. Cloud University. After signing the contract, he joined the San Diego Gulls for the completion of their regular season and playoffs. At St. Cloud University, Kossila played in 157 games for the Huskies and scored 48 goals and 153 points in his four years there. With the Gulls, he played in six regular season games and scored two goals and four points, while scoring two goals in seven playoff games.

Kossila’s freshman season saw him score 15 goals and 33 points and play in 40 of St. Cloud’s 42 games. He finished tied for third on the team in scoring and his 33 points were seventh in freshman scoring in the NCAA. He also helped the Huskies reach the Frozen Four semi-finals that season. Kossila followed that up by leading St. Cloud in assists as a sophomore with 27, and he also hit the 40 point mark for the first time in his NCAA career. From late February to late March, he had a seven game point streak. However, Kossila stumbled in his junior year as he scored only six goals and 26 points. He appeared in 39 games but dealt with injuries throughout the season. He rebounded in his senior season, posting 14 goals and 54 points; his 40 assists were second in the nation to JT Compher and his 54 points were tied for fifth overall in the NCAA. He was tied for the lead in scoring in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and led the conference in assists, face off wins, and face off win percentage. For his efforts as a senior, he was a 2015-16 Second Team All-Conference selection. Overall, Kossila is tied for second in assists all time at St Cloud with 105, and is sixth in scoring in team history.

Kossila joined the Gulls in early April as San Diego made its push for the playoffs. He scored a goal in his first career professional game, but his best night came a few games later. In his fourth career game, he scored his second career goal and also posted two assists. He didn’t record any more points in the regular season. In the playoffs, Kossila played in seven of the Gulls’ 10 games. He failed to record any points in the first round win over Texas. Against Ontario in the second round, he played in three games and scored two goals.

At the recent development camp, Kossila played for Team Black, centered the second line and scored one of the team’s two goals. He was flanked by fellow prospects Grant Besse and Brent Gates, Jr.

Kossila is a high skilled forward who can play both wing and center and is known for his playmaking skills. He’s a little on the small side, but makes up for that with his skating ability and the good decisions he makes on the ice with the puck. He’ll attend Anaheim’s training camp in the fall and should start the season in San Diego. Depending on what happens with Anaheim’s roster through the rest of this summer and during the season, he’s one of a handful of players who I could see making his NHL debut sometime this season. However, I think it’s more likely that he spends the entire season with the Gulls and gets a shot at the NHL sometime during the 2017-2018 season.

Going forward, he needs to establish himself as a regular in San Diego’s lineup. He doesn’t need to lead the team in any statistical category, but his goal should be to become one of the Gulls’ go-to forwards this season. Given his versatility, he should be able to carve out a spot for himself in the team’s top six and on the power play. With Chris Mueller signing in Arizona this summer, a spot has opened up for one of the top two center positions with San Diego, and I’d love to see Kossila take it. Even if he is unable to, as long as he works hard and is in the running for it, that will be a very good sign for his development.

In terms of his NHL future, Kossila’s ceiling is probably that of a second line playmaking center or winger. Given the amount of depth the Ducks have at both center and right wing in Anaheim right now, he’ll have a tough time cracking their lineup this season, but with injuries and trades always being a possibility, he could get his shot. He’s small, but his speed and skill should serve him well as he adjusts to the pro game. It’ll probably be at least a year or two before we can really tell what his NHL future will be, but based on how he did in college, there’s definitely a lot to be hopeful for with this kid.

Kossila will be a restricted free agent in two years’ time when his contract is up. Assuming his offensive skills translate to the AHL if not the NHL, I’d expect Anaheim to re-sign him. Kossila’s play over the next couple of years will determine what kind of contract he gets from Anaheim. If he’s looking like a career AHLer who gets an NHL game here or there, he’ll probably get a year or two on his next contract and a two-way deal. If he’s able to establish himself as an AHL star who looks to have a solid NHL future, then he could end up with a slight longer deal, possibly on a one-way contract. If he can establish himself as an NHL player, he could get a three or four year deal and a one-way contract. It all depends on how the next two years goes for him.

The next prospect profile will be on Kevin Boyle.

To view past Prospects Profiles, draft info, and others news visit: Meet The Prospects

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