Montreal Canadiens prospect Oliver Kapanen
Photo credit: The Athletic

Skilled Two-Way Forward Officially Acquired by the Canadiens: The Finnish Centre Oliver Kapanen is Looking Like a Steal

Published March 24, 2024 at 6:17 PM

When discussing the Montreal Canadiens' prospect pool, there's often a focus on the depth at the defenseman position.

After all, Martin St-Louis can look forward to greatly appreciated reinforcements in the coming years as young players like Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, and Logan Mailloux should all be able to earn a spot in the Montreal lineup, eventually.

However, the Tricolore also has some forwards who could play a significant role in the team's success in the years to come. Indeed, players like Joshua Roy, Filip Mesar, and Owen Beck all have the potential to become key elements in the top-9 in the near future.

Yet, a particular prospect is sometimes overlooked by fans, despite his undeniable talent. This is Finnish forward Oliver Kapanen, who was selected 64th overall (2nd round) in the 2021 draft. The 20-year-old center is currently continuing his career in his home country, playing with KalPa Kuopio in the SM-liiga.

Despite his young age, the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge prospect is simply dominating, in a league that is notably known for the defensive efficiency of its teams. In his last 20 games, the forward has accumulated 23 points, bringing his total to 18 goals and 23 assists this season.

«Oliver Kapanen is having an amazing playoffs. Goals in every game - three decisive goals and the decisive goal that led KalPa to an overtime victory. He leads the Liiga in goals during the playoffs. He has scored 23 points in his last 20 matches.

He is dominating the Liiga at 20 years old.» - Grant McCagg, former scout for the Montreal Canadiens

He will certainly be a prospect to watch at the next training camp, potentially making his North American debut during the 2024-2025 campaign. It is worth noting that according to some observers, Oliver Kapanen has the potential to become a top-6 forward in the NHL.

It will be very interesting to follow his progression over the next few months, but expect to hear much more about this player in the coming years. If Kapanen is truly able to establish himself as a leading forward with the Canadiens, Montreal's offense could quickly reach a new level.

March 24   |   176 answers
Skilled Two-Way Forward Officially Acquired by the Canadiens: The Finnish Centre Oliver Kapanen is Looking Like a Steal

Do you think Kapanen has the potential to be a top-6 forward?

Yes12772.2 %
No4927.8 %
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