Skip to content
“Oliver Kapanen’s coach was irresponsible” – Mathias Brunet
Credit: Photo by Dale Preston/Getty Images

With the World Hockey Championships, we have the chance to see many European players who we don’t really see in action.

It’s pretty hard to form an opinion about a young prospect who performs well in Europe, because highlights and statistics don’t tell the whole story.

Oliver Kapanen is a second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, 64th overall in 2021, and he’s playing very well in the World Championship.

In fact, Kapanen is the tournament’s top scorer, with five goals in three games.

As you can see in the table above, Connor Bedard is right behind, with four goals, but in just two games.

Now, you’ll tell me that Kapanen hasn’t faced any big clubs with, among others, Great Britain and Norway, and I’d agree with you, because you shouldn’t inflate expectations for nothing.

It’s all very well to take a positive view of a hopeful, but you shouldn’t kid yourself either.

And that’s exactly what Mathias Brunet criticized Kapanen’s Finnish coach for during Monday’s broadcast of Le Retour des Sportifs on BPM Sports.

He was keen to calm the ardor of Tricolore fans who think he could be a very good hockey player in the NHL.

Let’s be honest, Kapanen will be a luxury third-line center at best.

However, Tommi Miettinen, Kapanen’s coach with Kalpa Kuopio, seems to praise him a little too much for Mathias Brunet’s liking.

Miettinen has already compared his protégé to none other than Sebastian Aho, the Carolina Hurricanes’ number-one center.

The Finnish star was already in the NHL at 20, the same age as Kapanen, who still plays in the SM-Liiga.

“Comparing him to Aho made me choke. Kapanen is 20, he’ll be 21 this summer. When Aho was 20, he had 65 points in 78 games in the National Hockey League. You don’t have the right to make a comparison like that.” – Mathias Brunet

This comparison is indeed very far-reaching, and brings to mind the case of Mattias Norlinder when he played in Sweden, where he was compared to Nicklas Lidstrom.

As Brunet says: you don’t make comparisons like that.

On the other hand, Brunet was keen to point out that Kapanen is making interesting progress, even if he still doesn’t rate him as one of the Habs’ top prospects.

However, one thing cannot be denied: his performances in the second half of the season in Finland and at the international tournament.

He’s clearly giving himself good ammunition for the development camp at the end of the summer, and possibly for the official training camp as well.

Even though he has just signed a two-year contract extension in Finland, he could still join the Habs if he impresses them.

He still hasn’t signed his NHL entry-level contract.

Let’s not jump to conclusions too quickly in the case of the young Finn, let’s wait and see what he can do in North America in a big market like Montreal.

Breaking news

– The Rangers are on a mission.

– Sean Avery had a lot to say about Jaromir Jagr’s superstitions.

– Well done.

– Incredible though.

More Content