Kapanen has been a pleasant surprise for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season so far. With Nylander holding out and the expectation so high on this team, Kapanen has taken his opportunity and ran with it.
As it sits right now Kapanen is tied with Auston Matthews (who’s been injured for a bit) for 4th in Leafs scoring with 16 points. 9 goals and 7 assists to be exact. Now the thing about Kapanen that has the Leafs salivating is his shot, his 2-way play, his insane speed and the ability to go hard to the net and fight for pucks in the corners.
Kapanen is one of these players where he doesn’t excel in one particular skill, but he doesn’t everything great. Not the best shooter but has good nhl shot, with good accuracy. His speed makes him a tremendous penalty killer and a threat to score 5 on 5 and shorthanded every time he’s on the ice. His grittiness is not on the level of a Tom Wilson, but make no mistakes he will finish his checks every time and battle in the corner every time for loose pucks.
Kapanen has all the tools to be a real good NHLer. In fact when I think of Kapanen I am always drawn back to the comparison of him to Justin Williams. Watch Williams play not the greatest shot, but he’s accurate, with grit out the corners all game despite not being the biggest player. Will penalty kill for you and scores big goals.
Kapanen is on pace for 33 goals and 20 assists and 63 points. Which would put him as one of the Leafs top point getters and easily replace William Nylander’s points. I’m not saying who is better here. But I will state that Kapanen brings a more rounded game, a game that seemingly has very little holes in it.
I’ve been very high on Kapanen since the Leafs acquired him from Pittsburgh in the Kessel deal. I said to many people Kapanen will be the deal breaker in the Kessel deal and right now he’s showing exactly why.
Exciting, explosive player to watch every game. Do I believe Kasperi Kapanen is the real deal? Yes, Yes I do without a shadow of a doubt.