After a one-game stint that marked this AHL debut, the Checkers reassigned defenseman Tommi Kivisto to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades on Monday.
With Marc-Andre Gragnani out with a lower-body injury and Justin Faulk protected from playing three games in three nights, Kivisto entered the lineup for the Checkers' 4-3 win in San Antonio on Sunday. Technically a rookie in the AHL even after playing parts of the previous three seasons in Finland's top professional league, Kivisto recorded no points, no shots, no penalty minutes and an even plus/minus rating.
With Gragnani thought to be close to a return and Faulk set to play in Norfolk on Wednesday, the Checkers should have no problem dressing six defensemen for their next game, alleviating the need for an extra body.
Carolina’s seventh-round pick in 2009, one round later than the team chose compatriot and current Checkers defenseman Rasmus Rissanen, Kivisto ranks third on the Everblades in scoring among defensemen with seven points (2g, 5a) in 14 games.
Kivisto (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) played one season of Canadian junior hockey with Red Deer of the Western Hockey League in 2008-09, scoring 22 points in 65 games, before returning to his native Finland. In 86 total games with Jokerit’s top team in that country’s SM-liiga, Kivisto recorded 11 assists and a plus-2 rating to go along with 42 penalty minutes.
The sixth overall pick in the 2008 CHL Import Draft, Kivisto represented Finland in the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships.