After spending the 2015-16 campaign in the Arizona Coyotes’ system, German goalie Niklas Treutle is heading back to Europe. He signed a one-year deal with Finland Liiga’s KooKoo, according to the team’s official site. The team had to find another goalie after their starter Juha Järvenpää suffered a serious injury that will likely force him out for most of the season.
The 25-year-old netminder moved to North America after an excellent 2014-15 season in the German DEL with EHC Munchen. However, he struggled at the NHL level, posting a disappointing 6.04 goals-against average and a .750 saves percentage, logging only 49 minutes of play. The Nuremberg, Germany-native played better in the AHL, with a GAA of 3.04 and a SAV% of .905, but apparently, this was not enough to guarantee him a new contract.
Treutle, who at the 2011 WJC in Buffalo posted better numbers than Washington Capitals backup netminder Philipp Grubauer, will also probably have a chance to represent his country on the pro international stage, but he will have two very solid goalies ahead of him in Dennis Endras and former San Jose Sharks draftee Timo Pielmeier. Team Germany will host the Deutschland Cup in November at the Curt Frenzel Stadium of Augsburg, during one of the IIHF calendar breaks.