After staying off the scoresheet in his first few games, Leafs prospect Kasperi Kapanen has finally picked up his first point of the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships, scoring a goal late in Finland’s 8-3 victory over Slovakia.
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) December 31, 2015
After Ottawa Senators prospect, Christian Jaros headed to the box for a trip, the Finns went on their fourth powerplay of the game. Kapanen, a right-handed shot who is capable of ripping the puck from distance, was placed on the left point. Dallas Stars prospect Roope Hintz won the offensive zone faceoff over to Red Wings prospect Vili Saarijarvi who sent the puck over to his left, allowing Kapanen tons of room to add to the pile-on. His shot didn’t take a direct route into the net, deflecting off of undrafted Kamloops Blazers player Patrik Maier, but it found a way to get where it needed to go.
Overall, this was a good game for Kapanen, as he led all players on both teams with eight shots. The 19-year-old, who started his year with the Toronto Marlies on a rather slow note, needs to take advantage of every opportunity he can get to be an offensive leader, and tonight’s attempt at doing that was a good one.
The Finns play their last game of the preliminaries tomorrow against the Czech Republic at 11 AM. They’re also a lock to move on to the knockout round, though the date, time, and opponent has not been decided yet.
Meanwhile, In Sweden
Fellow Leafs prospect Dmytro Timashov also played today against Denmark but was held off the scoresheet and shot-sheet entirely. His line, which includes Alex Nylander and Rasmus Asplund were played entirely in offensive situations. Timashov and the Swedes will play tomorrow against Mitch Marner and Canada at 1 PM; William Nylander, who was the victim of a blindside hit against Switzerland, will remain out of Sweden’s lineup for precautionary reasons.