ROCKFORD, Ill. – As the Chicago Blackhawks prepare to battle the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. tonight, goaltender Kevin Lankinen is prepared to become the 124th IceHogs alum to make his NHL debut and the 94th player to go from Rockford to the Blackhawks.
Lankinen, 25, becomes the first IceHogs goaltender to make his NHL debut since current Blackhawks netminder Collin Delia made his first appearance back on March 29, 2018. Last season, the Helsinki, Finland, native earned an 8-10-2 record in 21 appearances with the IceHogs with a 3.03 goals-against average and .909 save percentage and set the team’s franchise record for saves when he stopped 55 Milwaukee Admirals shots in a 2-1 overtime win over the top-ranked AHL club on December 10, 2019.
His consistent performances throughout the 2019-20 season earned him an all-star nod as the IceHogs’ representative to the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic. In 40 career appearances with the IceHogs over two seasons, Lankinen racked up a 15-22-3 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.
Off the ice, Lankinen earned international acclaim when he was awarded the Role Model of the Year Award (Vuoden Esikuva) at the annual Finnish Sports Gala (Urheilugaala) on January 16 for his efforts in promoting youth literacy across Finland.