Kasper Halttunen – 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Kasper Halttunen

2022-23 Team: HIFK / Liiga
Date of Birth: June 07, 2005
Place of Birth: Helsinki, FIN
Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 207 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-year eligible


Heading into the 2022-23 season, there were big expectations placed upon 2023 NHL Draft hopeful Kasper Halttunen. Despite being just 17 years old, the 6-foot-3 power forward was set to take on ice time against men for HIFK of Liiga, the top professional hockey league in Finland. If he was able to excel in this difficult position, many projected Halttunen would improve his draft stock from being a fringe first-round pick to a top-10 selection.

However, this is not how things went. In 27 games played for HIFK, Halttunen posted just 1 point and looked out of his element at times with sloppy play. Now, it shouldn’t be a major surprise that he was a bit over his head while competing in the top professional league in Finland, so his struggles could be looked past depending on how he handled the rest of his season.

2023 NHL Entry Draft Guide Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli
THW’s 2023 NHL Entry Draft Guide. (The Hockey Writers)

Following this slow start, Halttunen was eventually sent down to play with HIFK U20, which is the juniors hockey league in Finland for his Liiga club. This change of scenery did wonders for Halttunen’s production, as he went on to score 18 goals and 24 points in just 18 games played.

So, what we have is a developing forward who was simply outmatched while playing against men as a 17-year-old, but when facing opponents closer to his own age and development, Halttunen was able to showcase his full toolkit. He has a strong shot, impressive offensive instincts, and understands how to utilize his body to drive play around the ice, and when he is fully engaged in a game he can be a dominant force on the ice.

All this means that, while Halttunen wasn’t able to seize the title of draft darling during the 2022-23 season, he also didn’t tank his stock by playing against men in Finland. He has the intangibles that NHL general managers covet, and I expect that potential upside will outweigh any questions that may surround him.

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Kasper Halttunen – NHL Draft Projection

When you discuss a player with Halttunen’s toolkit, you see everything that defines a modern NHL Power Forward. He has a big body and offensive capabilities that will make him a top prospect in most teams’ farm systems, and he has the potential to grow into a two-way game that could become his biggest asset as a player.

However, it is possible that his struggles this season against top competition could scare away teams that are looking to draft players who have an easier-to-project path to the NHL. In most drafts, there aren’t a lot of those players available, but given the depth of the 2023 class, this could cause him to slip down boards more than normal.

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Despite these concerns, I still expect Halttunen’s positives to far outweigh his shortcomings, which means I wouldn’t expect him to fall past the late first-round to the early second-round range on draft day. He strikes me as a player who will be selected between picks 30 to 40 that we all look back on in five years as an absolute steal.


Going into the year there was some chatter of him (Hultunnen) being a potential top 10 pick. But this season he has struggled. He has not been helped by a brutal looking concussion he sustained in October from a massive hit to the head that put him out for a month, he has also not been helped by playing for the lowest scoring team in Liiga, and he certainly has been pretty unlucky. But he has also not helped himself.

smahtscouting.com – Alex Appleyard

He has an extensive goal-scoring arsenal, with one-timers being his biggest strength. However, Halttunen has had some problems hitting the net this season, which has been a bit concerning. He’s a good skater for his size and flashes some great physical play at times. He has real potential to become a serious offensive threat and a dangerous powerplay player as well.

dobberpropsects.com – staff

Halttunen is a skilled power forward and a big value asset for any power play. He is great in transition, pushes into dangerous areas by using his smooth hands, and takes on opponents fearlessly…Being 6-foot-3, he takes advantage of his size in corner battles and at the net front while playing a physical game involving big time hitting. Unlike a lot of taller players, Halttunen’s skating isn’t bad by any means; his top speed is good but acceleration and his first few steps need improving.

Wige Karle (from ‘March 19, 2023 Scouting Report of Kasper Halttunen,’ FCHockey, March 19, 2023)


  • Played against men in Finland
  • Has the frame and skill set of a top-six NHL Power Forward
  • Strong skater, especially for his size
  • Big shot

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Suffered a serious concussion in his young career
  • Doesn’t always display the Hockey IQ of a top-end prospect
  • Shooting often lacks control

NHL Potential

Without a doubt, Halttunen has everything to be an NHL starter. Even if he doesn’t develop his toolkit fully, he still easily projects as a bottom-six forward who could add size and a scoring touch to any lineup. If things go well, however, I could see Halttunen being a top-six power forward who is given duties on a team’s top powerplay unit and potentially the penalty kill as well.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

That is still years away, however, and the expectation should be that Halttunen will need a lot more time and development before he will be ready to dominate in the NHL. If the team that selects him gives him the proper time, however, he could be a staple in their lineup for a decade-plus.


Risk – 3/5, Reward – 5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 8/10, Defense – 7/10

Kasper Halttunen Stats