Future top-six centre to sign with the Canadiens imminently?

Aaron Itovitch
April 11, 2024  (6:47 PM)

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: Sportsnet

In recent hours, a very interesting piece of news concerning a Montreal Canadiens prospect has been confirmed.

Indeed, according to what has been reported by Patrick Bexell, the CH General Manager, Kent Hughes, might announce a significant signing in the coming days. He is looking to offer a contract to Finnish forward Oliver Kapanen.
"According to Sportbladet, Timrå and Kimmo Kapanen (Oliver's father) have signed a contract with Oliver Kapanen. The Montreal Canadiens will sign Kapanen after his current season, and then Timrå will attempt to finalize a loan agreement with the Canadiens for Kapanen to play in the SHL rather than the AHL in 2024-2025." - Patrick Bexell

Wow! That's interesting!
Selected in the second round of the 2021 draft, the 20-year-old is currently the top player in Finland's SM-liiga, leading the playoff scorers with an impressive tally of seven goals and seven assists (14 points) in 10 playoff games.
However, as Patrik Bexell notes, Oliver Kapanen will likely remain in Europe next season, making his debut in the SHL, Sweden's top division. He will have plenty of playing time and continue his development before jumping to North America with the Laval Rocket in 2025-2026.
While fans are accustomed to discussing prospects like Owen Beck and Filip Mesar as potential additions to Martin St-Louis' attack, the Timrå native has fascinating potential. Even though his rise to the NHL may take more time, he could still turn into a key element for the organization.
"I can confirm what Marco is saying here. Expect Oliver Kapanen to participate in the Canadiens' camp but then return to play one last season in Sweden next year. Laval in 2025-2026 is very likely." - Anthony Marcotte

Moreover, even if the Montreal Canadiens decide to loan him out to Sweden next year, it seems likely that fans will have the chance to see him in action during the team's training camp next September. It's refreshing to see that the organization has so much young talent in its prospect pool, and it's certainly very promising for the years to come.
It's safe to say that many observers will closely monitor his performances, as he seems destined to become an impact player for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.
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Future top-six centre to sign with the Canadiens imminently?

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