Ducks prospect Kalle Kossila making most of big opportunity
ANAHEIM – In his first call-up to the Ducks, Kalle Kossila was put in a low-pressure spot where providing offense wasn’t the primary part of his operation. Yet, he did so anyway.
What did setting up Brandon Montour for his first NHL point and scoring his initial goal in back-to-back games do for Kossila? It got him in a seat in the press box at Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena.
The former St. Cloud State standout might not have been needed then but he is now. And the pressure was turned up Wednesday when he was put on Ducks’ top line in the spot normally occupied by Ryan Getzlaf, who’s now sidelined due to a facial injury.
“We didn’t expect we were going to have to use him as much in this situation,” Carlyle said. “But that’s what happens. You get injuries and you’re going to have to call on the depth of your organization to supplement your lineup.”
Kossila would be officially assigned back to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls and that seemed unfair, but the young forward was caught in a numbers game with the Ducks carrying three goaltenders instead of two and the need for roster spots with Sami Vatanen and Ryan Miller set to come off injured reserve.
His quick return has illustrated that the Ducks were in needed of an offensive-minded center and his brief body of work on the Ducks’ successful road trip left a positive impression. Carlyle lauded Kossila’s hockey sense and his new linemates joined in that chorus.
“All I’m going to say to him is just to keep playing,” said Rickard Rakell, who stayed at left wing with Corey Perry on his usual right side. “Keep making plays and be him. Don’t change. He knows what he’s good at and I think he’s got great skills. Good speed […]