Luca Caputi: What Do We Have?

Having recently re-entered the public conciousness with his atrocious commercial with Mike Zigomanis I’ve been thinking about Luca Caputi. Brian Burke took him in exchange for Alexei Ponikarovsky because it was felt he was a more mature prospect closer to stepping into the NHL.

Caputi put up big numbers in his last year in the OHL and I think they’re worth looking at. Follow me across the jump and we’ll get to work.

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In this table of Caputi’s stats I’m going to list his NHL Equivalency as a means to show true growth in his production as he transitions from the OHL to the AHL. As NHLe is essentially an average of similarly aged players it seems a fitting tool for this.

Year Age Team Lge GP PPG NHLe Factor NHLe PPG
05-06 17 MIS OHL 32 0.09 0.325 0.03
06-07 18 MIS OHL 68 0.96 0.325 0.31
07-08 19 MIS OHL 66 1.68 0.22 0.37
08-09 20 NIA OHL 66 0.68 0.49 0.33
09-10 21 WBS AHL 54 1.06 0.43 0.37
09-10 21 PIT/TOR NHL 23 0.35 1 0.35
10-11 22 TOA AHL 13 0.38 0.425 0.16

This data paints a pretty bleak picture of Luca Caputi as an NHLer. Conventional wisdom, or at least what we’ve heard in the echo chamber, is that Caputi is a scorer with a nose for the net. His junior numbers and AHL numbers don’t suggest a scorer in the NHL. 0.37ppg equates to a 30pt season in the NHL.

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Caputi is an RFA on July 1st and missed most of this season with an injury. His current ELC pays him $833,000 a year and I’m not sure he’s worth much more than the +5% qualifying offer the Leafs would extend to him. Thinking about how Burke handled the John Mitchell situation, not qualifying him and signing him below his QO, made me realize that John Mitchell is probably a pretty good comparable for Caputi.

What say you Leafs fans: is Caputi destined for a break out year or is he what he looks like? Does Luca Caputi have the foot speed to kill penalties and forecheck that are required of bottom six NHL forwards? My personal opinion is that he seems like a nice guy but I’m not expecting big things.

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On the bright side Caputi’s 0.35ppg compares favorably with Alexei Ponikarovsky’s 0.31 since leaving the Leafs.

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