Name: Kasperi Kapanen
Position: Right Wing
Junior Team: KalPa (SM-liiga)
Rankings: NHL CSS – 1st (EURO), ISS – 13th, Justin’s List – 15th, Logan’s List – 12th
Kasperi “Son of Sam” Kapanen aka Kasperi The Friendly Ghost is a Finnish right winger and the NHL CSS’s top-rated Euro skater for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
His 14 points in 47 games in Finland’s top men’s league was tops for players under 18. Still, his stock has been a bit of a roller coaster ride all season, at times being considered a possible top 5 pick to some saying he might get taken in the top 15.
So yeah, he’s a bit polarizing.
Offense (a common theme of the players I have been profiling), skill, and a lot of Finnish (hahaha kill me now). Kapanen, like his father, possesses great speed, a great shot, and has shown that he will be physical…in the offensive zone only. He can be as much a playmaker as he is a goalscorer. He’s also shown that he can adjust his game and play fairly well in a competitive men’s league.
The flair and drive Kapanen shows in the o-zone is – quite simply – not mimicked in the d-zone, which makes scouts question his consistency and work ethic at times.
And even though he isn’t the tiniest player in the draft, he gets outmuscled pretty often, making him rely on his speed to drive around defenders instead of through them.
Is he a good choice?
He’s probably a reach at 8, depending on who you ask. Again, he is polarizing. I wouldn’t be aghast if someone took Kapanen in the top 10, but wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall into the late teens either.
My main thought about Kapanen is this – if you are considering taking him, it’s because you want a skilled winger with lots of upside. At 8, there are going to be better guys that fit that exact definition.
What are the scouts saying?
“Son of Sami Kapanen has more natural skill than his father had. He has really high upside and has a bright future in the NHL.” – Future Considerations’ 2014 NHL Draft Guide
“[Kapanen] sets up well as a shooter with a wicked release on his snapshot and wrist shot, maintaining a strong center of balance while shooting. Tends to keep plays to the outside on account of his physical frame, easily over powered and man handled – he relies more on his finesse and 1 on 1 offensive skills. Shows enthusiasm to finish hits and play physical only in the offensive zone while his efforts wane on the back check.” – McKeen’s 2014 NHL Draft Guide
His father cause duh.
Any top 6 speedy offensive winger