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Overview of Habs prospects: Oliver Kapanen dominates series in Finland
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Yesterday, I listed all the Montreal Canadiens prospect games to watch for the day, given that the Tricolore wasn’t in action.

In the end, the Rocket’s big win and Jacob Fowler’s domination of Lane Hutson were the most eye-catching.

But there was much more to yesterday’s action, and here’s a roundup of the best performances from the Habs’ top prospects.

Oliver Kapanen – Center – age 20

Here’s a Habs prospect about whom VERY little has been said since his second-round selection (64ᵉ overall) in the 2021 draft.

His performances are very little analyzed, and he is rarely named in conversations surrounding the Montreal Canadiens’ top prospects.

Yet Kapanen is performing very well in Finland’s top league (the Liiga) for a 20-year-old.

This season, the Swede has 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 51 games, and plays a very important role in the middle for his team.

However, the reason I’m talking about Kapanen right now is because he’s been on fire in Finland’s current playoffs.

In four playoff games, Kapanen has seven points, including four goals. His impressive points tally puts him at the top of the Liiga playoff scoring charts.

Kapanen is dominating the Liiga at just 20 years of age, which is quite a feat.

The habs hopeful is one of the main reasons why his team, KalPa Kuopio, are causing a surprise by leading their second-round series against Tampereen Ilves 2-0.

Tampereen finished the season second in the Liiga with 120 points, while KalPa finished seventh with 94 points.

Kapanen is firmly in the driving seat, especially considering he’s scored three winning goals in four games since the start of the playoffs.

Here’s his overtime goal from yesterday morning in a 1-0 win.

In the one game where Kapanen didn’t score the winning goal, well, he scored a VERY important one, the tying goal late in the third period in Game 1 of the series against Tampereen.

As for his two winning goals in the preliminary round, here’s the one from the second game, which took his team into the main draw.

In short, Kapanen is enjoying an excellent playoff streak, which began at the end of the season, given that he currently has 23 points in his last 20 games.

Now let’s see if the Habs prospect can sign with the Habs after his playoff run and join the Laval Rocket for next season.

This is by no means a certainty, considering that Timra, a team in the SHL (Sweden’s premier league), is trying to reach an agreement with Kapanen for next season.

The team’s general manager is none other than Kapanen’s father, Kimmo Kapanen.

Regardless, the fact remains that, in the long term, Kapanen could really develop into a solid third- or fourth-row center.

His two-way game is impeccable, and that’s what could take him all the way to the NHL.

Other notable performances by Habs hopefuls


  • Owen Beck extended his streak of games with at least one point to 19 games with two assists yesterday in the Saginaw Spirit’s 8-5 win over the Windsor Spitifires. Beck will try to make it 20 straight games with at least one point this afternoon, when the Spirit take on the Saul Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
  • Florian Xhekaj reached the 60-point plateau (in 62 games) yesterday with a goal (his 32ᵉ of the season) in a 4-3 overtime loss by the Brantford Bulldogs to the Kingston Frontenacs.

  • Adam Engstrom’s team, Rögle BK, are pulling off a huge upset in the SHL playoffs, as they lead 2-0 in their second-round series against regular-season champion Färjestad BK. Rögle won 3-0 yesterday.

In a gust

– Here’s Grant McCagg’s analysis of Kapanen, a prospect he’s always liked.

– Not to be missed.

– Ayoye.

– A dangerous gesture.

– To be continued.

– Predictions for the American League’s Western Section.

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