Kasperi Kapanen THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 7/23/1996
Place of birth: Kuopio, Finland
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 181 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2014): 11
THW War Room Rankings (April): 12
Craig Button: 14
Kasperi Kapanen comes from a long line of hockey players, most notably his father Sami. He’s one of the most talented kids in the draft this year and has been playing the majority of his young career against much older and smarter competition.
Kapanen can’t fly around the ice quite like his father, but he does have above average speed. His wrist shot and very fast release haunts goalies who are slow to make reactions. He can handle the puck through tight spaces and is just as potent a passer as he is a scorer.
He’s going to need some extra time in Finland before he makes the jump to the NHL. He’s not looked at as a defensive player, but he does play a North American style when he backchecks. Kapanen has some time to grow into his body which will help with his physical game and board play, an aspect he need to work on.
All in all, Kapanen is going do be a dangerous NHL player if things pan out.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Kapanen will go somewhere in the 12-18 range.
“Kapanen is a small and slippery with very creative hands and impressive 1-on-1 arsenal. He has a decent shot with good release but needs added velocity. He has quick feet and impressive lateral agility and is a dangerous goal scorer who can make skilled passes and offensive zone reads. (August 2013)”
Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations
“The NHL bloodlines continue in this draft as Sami Kapanen’s son headlines the crop of Finnish-born draft eligibles this season. And like William Nylander, Kapanen also has the pleasure of calling his father a teammate on the ice as well. The undersized forward might not be the most dynamic, but his understanding of the game and acumen for being around the puck makes him one of the draft’s most dangerous snipers. Kapanen is an efficient scorer who takes high percentage shots and doesn’t force the puck on net if he has an open teammate. He will need to continue to get stronger as he only checks in around 170 pounds right now, but Kapanen should have no troubles hearing his name earlier than his dad did as a fourth round pick in 1995.”
“He was selected to the roster for the World Junior Under-18 Tournament in April. Saw time on the Finnish first line, where he did set up a few scoring chances and also display good responsible work in his own zone. Son of Sami. His Bloodline will call on many scouts to make decisions on just where he fits on their draft boards. So far he looks like a long term project that has some abilities but is still a bit tentative in his play, unwilling to pay the price to make the play.“
Bill Placzek – Draftsite.com
Kapanen has played for Team Finland from U16’s all the way through to U20’s. He’s represented Finland nine different times and won a bronze medal at the U18 World Junior Championships.
Risk: 1.5/5 Reward: 5/5
Dangerous scoring top-six winger that can play on the powerplay
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
Growing into his body
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 9/10 Defensive:4/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Kyle Okposo
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
Follow Shawn on Twitter: @ShawnTHW
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