Solar Bears add veteran forward Vaskivuo

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have agreed to terms with veteran forward Mike Vaskivuo for the 2017-18 season.

The Solar Bears are the ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs and the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies.

Vaskivuo, 31, joins Orlando after spending most of last season with Switzerland’s National League B club Thurgau, where he posted 34 points (22g-12a) and 43 penalty minutes in 30 games. He was also loaned to National League A side HC Davos for three playoff games, recording two points (1g-1a) and two penalty minutes, and skated in four contests for Vaasan Sport of Finland’s Liiga, adding eight penalty minutes.

Born in Helsinki, Finland, Vaskivuo relocated with his family to Palm Beach County as a child, and grew up playing his youth hockey in the Sunshine State, which he still calls home.

The 10-year pro has skated in 412 career professional games, recording 377 points (173g-204a) and 341 penalty minutes. Vaskivuo previously skated in the ECHL during the 2013-14 season, when he finished 14th in league scoring after tallying 59 points (19g-40a) and 42 penalty minutes in 65 combined games with the Fort Wayne Komets and Elmira Jackals.

Vaskivuo also boasts a championship to his pedigree, as he led the entire Central Hockey League playoffs in scoring with 24 points (10g-14a) and four game-winning goals in 18 games to earn postseason MVP honors while helping the Komets capture the Ray Miron President’s Cup in 2012.

Prior to turning pro, Vaskivuo played two seasons of collegiate hockey for Merrimack College from 2006-08, collecting four points (1g-3a) and 32 penalty minutes in 53 games for the Warriors.