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Oliver Kapanen is Liiga’s leading playoff scorer
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

More and more, we’re hearing about Oliver Kapanen among the Montreal Canadiens’ prospects.

First, he finished the regular season on a high. Then, he started the playoffs in Finland’s top division (SM-Liiga) like a lion.

Now, the 20-year-old is the Liiga’s leading playoff scorer.

In nine playoff games, Kapanen has collected no less than seven goals and six assists (for a total of 13 points).

No mean feat for a 20-year-old.

He’s currently tied for first with Juuso Mäenpää, followed closely by Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Ville Koivunen, who was acquired in the Jake Guentzel trade:

(Credit: QuantHockey)

It’s quite rare to see three 20-21 year-olds leading the Liiga in the playoffs.

Even if it’s not the best league in the world, the Liiga is still a very competitive league with many veterans and former NHL players.

Kapanen was the 64th player selected overall in 2021, the very last pick of the second round. He was selected immediately after Riley Kidney, another interesting Habs prospect.

It’s still too early to say for sure what kind of NHL player Kapanen will be, if he makes it this far.

What is certain, however, is that he is very dominant at a young age in a professional league, and that’s very encouraging.

What’s more, Kasperi Kapanen’s cousin is not only a very good offensive player, but he’s also extremely reliable defensively and can be used in any number of ways.

If his development continues in this way, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the Habs bottom-6 in a few years’ time, possibly alongside Owen Beck.

I could see a third line made up of Beck, Kapanen and Joshua Roy to create offense with two versatile players who know how to support the attack.

In brief

– Big statement from Vlad.

– Pretty ordinary.

– Jarome Iginla’s son is simply unstoppable in the playoffs.

– A very nice plateau reached by John Carlson.

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