The Wild avoided going to arbitration with prospect Kaapo Kahkonen, signing the goalie to a two-year contract Monday.
Kahkonen will make $700,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the minors next season on a two-way deal, and he’ll be on a one-way contract worth $750,000 in 2021-22.
A restricted free agent, Kahkonen filed for salary arbitration Saturday ahead of the league’s player-elected deadline. But he and the Wild could continue to negotiate, and a deal is usually worked out ahead of a hearing.
Kahkonen, 24, led the American Hockey League in victories (25) and shutouts (seven) for the Iowa Wild. He went 25-6-3 with a goals-against average of 2.07 and save percentage of .927 and was recognized as the AHL’s most outstanding goalie.
He also made a splash with the big club, winning his NHL debut and later setting a franchise record for saves in a game by a rookie during a 3-1-1 stint in which he had a 2.96 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Kahkonen has been in the Wild’s system since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2014.
Although General Manager Bill Guerin has said Kahkonen could get games next season with the Wild, he is likely headed back to Des Moines this season after the Wild signed Cam Talbot to a three-year, $11 million deal.
Alex Stalock, who took over as the No. 1 goalie when Devan Dubnyk struggled, is also returning. Stalock is on a three-year, $2.355 million deal that will pay him the minimum this season. Dubnyk, entering the last season of a six-year, $26 million deal, was traded to San Jose.
The Wild has two other restricted free agents unsigned in defensemen Louie Belpedio and Brennan Menell. Both received qualifying offers from the Wild, so the team retains their rights.