Position: Right Wing
2013-14 Team: Kalpa (FIN.)
From: Kuopio, Finland
“He’s the youngest guy on our team, the only guy born in 1996… I already last year saw him … I like his attitude. He’s a talented player, good scorer, but I like his head. He’s competitive, he likes to compete. That’s what I like. His father still plays and his grandfather played in the top league. It goes in the family.”
– Kalpa Kuopio Head Coach Karri Kivi
Kasperi Kapanen is one of many second-generation players entering the 2014 NHL Draft. The son of former NHL-er Sami Kapanen, Kasperi spent some time in North America while his father was playing in the NHL.
Kapanen played on a struggling Kalpa team that didn’t give him much chance to succeed. In 47 games this season, he only scored seven goals and added seven assists for 14 points. Because of an injury, he missed out on playing for the gold medal-winning Finnish team.
Despite all that, Kapanen will be a top-15 pick in this year’s draft. After playing with his father at times this season, he has more than likely soaked up as much knowledge as possible from him. That could lead him to be more NHL-ready than most prospects after the top-four.
Kapanen could be a fit for one of his father’s former teams the Carolina Hurricanes. He might also fit with the Anaheim Ducks.