Kapanen will start the 2020-21 campaign playing on the top line with Sidney Crosby, Tracey Myers of NHL.com reports. When acquired by the Penguins in the offseason, Kapanen was expected to join the first line with Crosby and Jake Guentzel, and now coach Mike Sullivan has confirmed that plan. The 24-year-old Kapanen registered 20 goals and 44 points during the 2018-19 campaign and should be capable of reaching those numbers again playing with Crosby. In addition, Kapanen should slot into a role on the No. 2 power-play, which will further bolster his fantasy value.
Kapanen was acquired by the Penguins on Tuesday from the Maple Leafs, along with Jesper Lindgren and Pontus Aberg, in a swap for Evan Rodrigues, Filip Hallander, David Warsofsky and a 2020 first-round pick, Rob Rossi of The Athletic reports. Kapanen was originally selected by Pittsburgh with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft before being sent to Toronto as part of the Phil Kessel deal back in July of 2015. Over the last five seasons, the 23-year-old Finn racked up 41 goals, 49 assists and 375 shots in 202 appearances. Back with the Pens, Kapanen could be a candidate to slot onto the first line alongside Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby, potentially making him a high-end fantasy option in 2020-21.
Kapanen registered two assists, one shorthanded, in Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Kapanen's two helpers were his first points in the series. The Finn has added 14 PIM, six hits and four shots in three games. Kapanen managed 13 goals and 36 points in 69 contests during the regular season.
Kapanen set up two goals in a 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday. He has three points in his last two games. But perhaps best of all, Kapanen is playing a grittier game than before. He's in the middle of the play and drawing penalties. His dad, Sami, made a career of playing on or just over the edge. The younger Kapanen already has his dad's speed, so the grit and edge could take his game to a new level.
Kapanen scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime win against the Coyotes on Tuesday. It was a big goal for Kapanen and the Maple Leafs, and it was the winger's first goal since Jan. 2. Fresh off being a healthy scratch, Kapanen has responded with a goal and three assists in five games.
Last 7 Games
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