Canadiens officially set to sign the best player in Finland

Aaron Itovitch
April 22, 2024  (3:40 PM)

Montreal Canadiens prospect Oliver Kapanen
Photo credit: The Athletic

After a third consecutive season without playoffs, Montreal Canadiens fans are eagerly awaiting the time when the team will finally play meaningful games in April.

Many observers therefore expect the Canadiens' General Manager, Kent Hughes, to make a trade or acquire the services of a top 6 forward via the free agent market this summer, which would certainly give Martin St-Louis a big boost for the upcoming campaign.
Moreover, according to comments disclosed by the head coach at his last press conference of the year, he firmly believes that his team will be able to compete for a spot in the spring playoffs. A statement that, with the potential addition of a forward, could prove true.
In this regard, according to information reported by journalist Nicolas Cloutier, an offensive forward could soon sign a contract with the Montreal organization, namely Finnish prospect Oliver Kapanen.
This would be a very interesting acquisition, especially since the 20-year-old center is currently leading the scorers from the start of the playoffs in the SM-liiga, with 14 points in 13 games.
"European insiders with whom I discuss backstage expect Oliver Kapanen to sign his entry-level contract with the CH during the summer and be present at the next training camp." - Nicolas Cloutier

Selected by the CH in the second round of the 2021 draft, Oliver Kapanen is a 6-foot, 178-pound center. He has played the last four seasons with KalPa Kuopio in the Finnish top division, having a breakout year this season.
Indeed, the Canadiens' prospect amassed 34 points, including 14 goals, in 51 games, in a league known for its defensive play. It should also not be forgotten that, despite his young age, the forward was playing among adults, unlike in the Canadian junior ranks.
However, still according to information reported by Nicolas Cloutier, if Oliver Kapanen is unable to secure a spot with the main team during the next training camp, he will return to Europe to play under his father's tutelage with Timra in Sweden.
"Kapanen completed his military service last summer in Finland. If he doesn't secure a spot with the CH, he will go play in Sweden with Timrå." - Nicolas Cloutier

Seen as the top prospect playing in the Finnish league, it will be very interesting to see his first steps in North America. Although he may not be the short-term solution to fix the Canadiens' offensive issues, he could become an important addition to the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge lineup.
Certainly, everything suggests that he could be Kent Hughes' first signing this summer as the offseason promises to be very eventful for the Canadiens' pilot.
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Canadiens officially set to sign the best player in Finland

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