Kasperi Kapanen
Kasperi Kapanen Maple Leafs 2017 Playoffs.png
Born 23 July 1996 (1996-07-23) (age 24),
Kuopio, Finland
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
192 lb (87 kg; 13 st 10 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
F. teams
Toronto Maple Leafs
Ntl. team Flag of Finland Finland
NHL Draft 22nd overall, 2014
Pittsburgh Penguins
Playing career 2013–present

Kasperi Kapanen (born 23 July 1996) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). He made his Liiga debut playing with KalPa during the 2012–13 SM-liiga season.[1] Kapanen was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, 22nd overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

On 12 January 2013, Kapanen played alongside his father Sami Kapanen in a SM-liiga game.[2]

Playing careerEdit


Prior to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Kasperi Kapanen's father, Sami Kapanen, was part of a group that purchased the latter's junior team in Finland, KalPa. Having owned the team since,[3] it was no surprise when Kasperi Kapanen made his bantam debut with KalPa's under-16 affiliate in the Jr. C SM-Sarja. Kasperi Kapanen led the team in goals and was second in points,[4] though failed to help them win their playoff qualifier.[5] The following year, as a 15-year-old, Kasperi spent only eight games on the under-16 squad (scoring 16 points in the process) before graduating to the under-18 team playing in the Jr. B SM-Sarja. Kapanen continued his torrid scoring with 24 points in 25 games, finishing second in both goals (13) and points.[6] His third season in Finland's junior system saw more of the same as he swiftly advanced to the under-20 team playing in the Jr. A SM-Liiga and recorded 29 points in 36 games, again leading the team in goals (14) and finishing fourth in points. During the 2012–13 season, he also spent 13 games with the senior KalPa team in the SM-Liiga, Finland's top professional league, playing alongside his father. At the end of the year, Kapanen was selected to play for the Finland under-18 national team at the 2013 IIHF World U18 Championships. Kapanen led Finland in goals and was second in points[7] as he helped the team to a bronze medal finish.[8]

Entering his draft year as one of the top European prospects,[9] Kapanen spent most of the season with KalPa, scoring 7 goals in 47 games for a team that finished last in the league.[10] He was expected to be an impact player for the Finland under-20 team at the 2014 World Junior Championship but was injured in the last practice before the tournament began and was unable to participate.[11] The lost opportunity did not affect Kapanen's draft stock as he finished atop both the mid-season and final Central Scouting rankings amongst European-based skaters.[12] With KalPa and its under-20 affiliate both eliminated from the respective playoffs, Kapanen was sent to the KalPa under-18 team for the end of their season and aided the Jr. B SM-Sarja team in its third-place league finish. Kapanen tied for the team lead in playoff goals with six despite playing in only four games.[13] Kapanen found himself on Finland's under-18 team for a second consecutive year, but managed just two points in five games as Finland was eliminated in the quarter-final round following a heavy 10–0 loss to Sweden.[14]

Despite being ranked as the 10th-, 13th- and 18th-best overall prospect by several NHL teams,[15] Kapanen was ultimately selected 22nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the second-straight year Pittsburgh had selected a Finn in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, after Olli Määttä in 2012. Jim Rutherford, the Penguins' general manager at the time, had also drafted Kasperi's father when he was general manager of the Hartford Whalers in 1995. On 11 July 2014, Kapanen signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Penguins.[16]

On 1 July 2015, Kapanen was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a blockbuster, multi-player deal involving star forward Phil Kessel.[17]

At the 2016 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, Kapanen scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Russia to win the gold medal.


Kapanen began the 2015–16 season with the Maple Leafs' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. As the youngest player in the AHL, Kapenen played well in his role on a deep Marlies team that finished first in league standings. He made his NHL debut on 29 February 2016 against the Tampa Bay Lightning as part of a night where four players would make their debut, including William Nylander.[18] Kapanen would play nine games for the struggling Maple Leafs, recording no points before being returned to the Marlies for the team's 2016 Calder Cup playoff run. Despite finishing as the top seed, the Marlies were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Hershey Bears.[19]


Kapanen returned to the Marlies the following season and quickly became one of their best players. Despite periods of injury, he scored at a pace of a point-a-game before an injury to Maple Leafs forward Nikita Soshnikov resulted in Kapanen being recalled to the Maple Leafs late in the season. Kapanen took a role on the fourth line alongside Brian Boyle and Matt Martin, playing well in limited minutes. He scored his first NHL goal on 8 April 2017 against the Penguins, the team that had drafted him.[20] The goal was a vital one in a game that saw the team clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2013, a remarkable feat considering the Maple Leafs finished last in the entire league the previous season. A week later, he scored with 8:07 left in double overtime in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as his Maple Leafs defeated the Washington Capitals 4–3 to tie the series at one game apiece.[21] The Leafs ended up losing the series in six games.[22]


Kapanen was sent down to the Marlies to begin the 2017–18 season, but was recalled on 28 October 2017 after playing six games for the Marlies.[23] He was sent back down to the Marlies on 7 November, only to be recalled again on 12 December.[24] He had been selected for the 2018 AHL All-Star Game, but was replaced by Andreas Johnsson.[25] Kapanen recorded his first and only goal of the 2018 playoffs in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins,[26] becoming the youngest player in NHL history to score a shorthanded goal in a Game 7.[27] The Maple Leafs lost the series 3–4.[28] Following the Maple Leafs' defeat, Kapanen joined the Finland senior national team at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.[29]


After attending the Maple Leafs' training camp, Kapanen began the 2018–19 season NHL. As teammate William Nylander remained unsigned and in contract negotiations with Toronto, Kapanen replaced his spot on the team's top line.[30][31] Kapanen finished the season with 20 goals and 44 points in 78 games.

On 28 June 2019, Kapanen signed a new three-year, $9.6 million contract with Toronto worth an annual average value of $3.2 million.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Despite being born in and playing in the city of Kuopio, Finland, Kapanen considers himself a Philadelphia native, having spent much of his formative years in the city while his father was playing for the Philadelphia Flyers.[33] Kapanen lived in Farmington, Connecticut, and Cary, North Carolina, prior to his father's trade from the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise.

Kasperi spent parts of the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons playing with his father for KalPa in the SM-liiga.[34][35]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2010–11 KalPa Jr. C 261482210
2011–12 KalPa Jr. C 211210 447110
2011–12 KalPa Jr. B 251311246 20000
2012–13 KalPa Jr. B 33360
2012–13 KalPa Jr. A 3614152916
2012–13 KalPa SM-l 134042 40112
2013–14 KalPa Jr. B 25160 46172
2013–14 KalPa Liiga 47771410
2014–15 KalPa Liiga 4111102114 60332
2014–15 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 41120 73250
2015–16 Toronto Marlies AHL 44916258 143582
2015–16 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 9 0 0 0 2
2016–17 Toronto Marlies AHL 43 18 25 43 16 9 2 6 8 8
2016–17 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 1 0 1 0 6 2 0 2 0
2017–18 Toronto Marlies AHL 28 12 12 24 12
2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 38 7 2 9 4 7 1 0 1 0
2018–19 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 20 24 44 27 7 1 1 2 2
Liiga totals 108 22 17 39 26 10 0 4 4 4
NHL totals 133 28 26 54 33 20 4 1 5 2
Medal record
Ice hockey
Competitor for Flag of Finland Finland
World U18 Championship
Bronze 2013 Sochi
World U20 Championship
Gold 2016 Helsinki


Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2013 Finland WHC17 7th 5 3 6 9 4
2013 Finland WJC18 Bronze medal icon 75384
2014 Finland WJC18 6th 51120
2015 Finland WJC 7th 51010
2016 Finland WJC Gold medal icon 72352
2018 Finland WC 5th 8 3 0 3 0
Junior totals 29 12 13 25 10
Senior totals 8 3 0 3 0


  1. 2012–13 KalPa player statistics. (2013-04-15). Retrieved on 2013-04-15.
  2. Sami Kapanen’s new teammate is his 16-year-old son, making us all feel ancient | Puck Daddy – Yahoo Sports
  3. "Sami Kapanen", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  4. "KalPa U16 2010–11", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  5. "Jr. C SM-Sarja 2010–11", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  6. "KalPa U18 2011–12", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  7. "Finland U18 2013", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  8. "2012–13 IIHF World Under-18 Championship", IIHF. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  9. "Kasperi Kapanen Draft Profile", Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  10. "SM-Liiga 2013–14", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  11. "Top prospect Kapanen out of WJC with injury",, 2013-12-21. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  12. "2014 Draft Prospects – European Skaters", Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  13. "KalPa U18 2013–14", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  14. "2013–14 IIHF World Under-18 Statistics", IIHF. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  15. "Meet Pittsburgh's 2014 NHL Draft Class", Pittsburgh Penguins, 2014-06-28. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  16. Pittsburgh Penguins sign forward Kasperi Kapanen to entry-level deal. Pittsburgh Penguins (2014-07-11). Retrieved on 2014-07-11.
  17. "Leafs trade Phil Kessel to Penguins in multi-player deal", NESN, 2015-07-01. Retrieved on 2015-07-01. 
  18. Johnson leads Lightning to seventh straight win (29 February 2016). Retrieved on 26 April 2018.
  19. Marlies eliminated by Bears from Calder Cup playoffs in five games. Retrieved on May 29, 2016.
  20. Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Penguins - 04/08/17 (8 April 2017). Retrieved on 14 March 2018.
  21. Kapanen seals double OT win for Maple Leafs over Capitals (15 April 2017). Retrieved on 26 April 2018.
  22. Capitals eliminate Maple Leafs with Game 6 OT win. Retrieved on April 24, 2017.
  23. Maple Leafs recall Kasperi Kapanen from Marlies. CBC News (28 October 2017). Retrieved on 17 December 2017.
  24. Maple Leafs Recall Kasperi Kapanen. Toronto Maple Leafs (12 December 2017). Retrieved on 17 December 2017.
  25. Andreas Johnsson Named to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic (27 January 2018). Retrieved on 14 March 2018.
  26. NHL playoffs 2018: Leafs' Kapanen outhustles Marchand to score must-see Game 7 goal (April 25, 2018). Retrieved on April 26, 2018.
  27. Template loop detected: Template:Cite tweet
  28. Bruins end Leafs' season with wild Game 7 win (April 26, 2018). Retrieved on April 26, 2018.
  29. Leafs’ Kapanen to play at worlds, Dermott and Johnsson to Marlies (27 April 2018). Retrieved on 6 May 2018.
  30. Speedy Kapanen savouring time on Matthews’ wing (16 October 2018). Retrieved on 16 October 2018.
  31. "Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen took long road to NHL stardom", Toronto Sun, October 16, 2018. Retrieved on October 16, 2018. 
  32. Maple Leafs Sign Kapanen and Johnsson to Contract Extensions. Retrieved on June 28, 2019.
  33. "Pens Get Their Guy in Skilled Winger Kapanen", Pittsburgh Penguins, 2014-06-27. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  34. "KalPa 2012–13 Statistics", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 
  35. "KalPa 2013–14 Statistics", Elite Prospects. Retrieved on 2014-06-28. 

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Olli Määttä
Pittsburgh Penguins first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Samuel Poulin

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