Floridian forward Mike Vaskivuo joins Solar Bears

10-year veteran captured CHL championship with Fort Wayne Komets in 2012

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

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

“Mike brings experienced leadership and a scoring touch to our club,” Solar Bears head coach Drake Berehowsky said. “He has skated in some of the top leagues in the world and is coming off a fine season in Switzerland.”

Vaskivuo (VAHS-kih-VOH), 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.

“I’ve been playing professionally around the world the last few years and I felt that this opportunity couldn’t be passed up,” Vaskivuo said. “I couldn’t be more excited to be back home in Florida playing for such a great organization. I remember as a kid when the Solar Bears won the Turner Cup in the old IHL, and I want to be able to bring the Kelly Cup to the City of Orlando.

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.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward 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.

The Orlando Solar Bears drop the puck on their 2017-18 home schedule on Saturday, Oct. 28 against the Atlanta Gladiators at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center. Single-game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at the Amway Center box office and ticketmaster.com.

The Orlando Solar Bears are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and play all of their home games at the ARS.com Rink at Amway Center, the 2012 Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Sports Facility of the Year.

Full Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 season are on sale now. Purchase an Orlando Solar Bears Full Season Ticket Membership for as little as $440 today! Click here or call (407) 951-8200 for more information.

Officially licensed Orlando Solar Bears replica team jerseys, apparel, and headwear can be purchased online at orlandosolarbearshockey.com/shop.