Toronto Maple Leafs 2nd year right wing Kaperi Kapanen(28) scores his 1st NHL goal at probably the most important moment for the team going forward.

He potted the game-tying tally late in the third period to help them gain a playoff position for the first time in 4 years and was his first point in 16 appearances.

Now listed at 6’1″ 185 lbs. he played 9 games in 2015/2016 and 7 so far this year.

2016/2017 is actually being counted as his rookie campaign, as he played last season entirely in both leagues on an entry level slide.

The Finnish flash scored 9 goals and 16 assists in 44 AHL games and another 3-5 for 8 points in 14 postseason contests for affiliate Toronto Marlies.

In the current calendar he’s doubled his goal production up to 18 and raised his assist mark to 25, while doubling shots on net for a career year in the minors, possibly his last.

The 20-year old will turn 21 this summer but likely has some playoff hockey to pursue in both top leagues.

He’s signed through 2019, so there is plenty of time for this prospect to develop.

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Kasperi Kapanen (43)


Toronto Maple Leafs‘ rookie right wing prospect, Finnish-born Kasperi Kapanen(42) was permitted to play the 2015 World Juniors’ Championship hosted in Helsinki.

He would score the overtime goal to solidify his country’s second win in the tournament in three years.

Originally a Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 1st round pick in the 2014 draft (#22 overall), he was a piece of the puzzle in the Phil Kessel trade.

He actually appeared in 2014 training camp and was a late cut before being sent back overseas to continue his development.

It was his second season in Liiga with KalPa and he even appeared in 13 games with the team as a 16-year old, while playing under 20 junior hockey.

He returned at the end of the season to join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he picked up a goal and an assist in his first 4 AHL games, then made even further strides in the postseason notching another 3 goals and 2 assists in 7 contests.

At 5’11” 180 lbs. he isn’t exactly power forward size yet but plays a swift skating, great puck control style game.

He has yet to score his first recall to the big club but with affiliate Toronto Marlies he has 5 goals and 5 assists with a +6 rating in 17 games with the league’s top team.

No doubt the 19-year has a bright future as a goal-scorer and his opportunity to prove it at the highest level may come soon.

He is also the son of former 13-year NHL veteran mini-might Sami Kapanen, which makes this one another good hockey story.