Jackals Bring Back Veteran Defenseman

Steven Kaunisto Adds 315 Games of Experience to Jackals Blueline

The Elmira Jackals, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and AHL's Rochester Americans, announced today the team has signed veteran defenseman Steven Kaunisto to a Standard Player Contract for the 2016-17 season.


Kaunisto, 29, joins the Jackals for his seventh professional season and his second stint in Elmira. During his first campaign with the Jackals, which came during the 2012-13 season, the six-foot, 200-pound defenseman skated in 30 games and added 10 points (3g, 7a). In his half-season in the Twin Tiers, Kaunisto was fifth on the team with a plus-13 rating, while adding 12 penalty minutes. He appeared in one playoff game for the Jackals in 2013. 


Photo Courtesy of Rick Bacmanski 

Photo Courtesy of Rick Bacmanski 

"I am excited to be coming back to Elmira," said Kaunisto. "The last time I was here the fans made me feel welcome and playing in front of them will be amazing again. I am looking forward to getting the year going. Talking with Dave [Leger], I know what he expects from me and the team. We will be making a great run this year with the guys he has brought in."  


Kaunisto split the 2015-16 season between the Brampton Beast and Kalamazoo Wings. After joining Brampton midseason, Kaunisto registered 22 points (6g, 16a) in 49 games. He began the season with Kalamazoo and had four assists in 12 games for the Wings. 


The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan native has skated in 315 career professional games between the ECHL and CHL. In 128 regular season ECHL games, he has 47 points (11g, 36a) and 38 penalty minutes, splitting time with Elmira, Reading, Rapid City, Florida, Kalamazoo and Brampton. 


Prior to turning pro, Kaunisto appeared in 154 games at Lake Superior State, where he added 59 points (14g. 45a). He also had 68 penalty minutes and a plus-12 rating. He spent one season in the USHL with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, appearing in 57 games.

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Upcoming Games:


Friday, October 7th: Elmira Jackals at Reading Royals - 7:00 p.m. Preseason Game


Saturday, October 8th: Elmira Jackals vs. Reading Royals - 7:05 p.m. Preseason Game


Saturday, October 15th: Elmira Jackals at Reading Royals - 7:00 p.m. SEASON OPENER!


Friday, October 21st: Elmira Jackals vs. Norfolk Admirals - 7:05 p.m. HOME OPENER!


Saturday, October 22nd: Elmira Jackals vs. Norfolk Admirals - 7:05 p.m.


Tuesday, October 25th: Elmira Jackals at Adirondack Thunder - 6:00 p.m.