The Canadiens hit the jackpot with an incredible forward

David St-Jean
April 26, 2024  (1:18 PM)

Oliver Kapanen
Photo credit: Habs Eyes on the Prize

Kent Hughes will have an important decision to make this summer, but one that could be crucial for the future of the club. According to many, he may have hit the jackpot.

Indeed, young Oliver Kapanen has been generating a lot of buzz in recent weeks. He has been singled out by many as the best player in Finland's top league during the recent playoffs, tallying 14 points in 13 games.
Compared to Sebastian Aho for his efficiency without being flashy, Kapanen is definitely a hidden gem for the Canadiens' future offense. He is progressing very well.
His coach in Finland had high praise for him, even mentioning hitting the jackpot.
"You hit the jackpot with Oliver," he said, making his colors known from the start of the phone interview. "What I told him at our last team dinner was: First, earn a spot with Finland at the World Hockey Championship, and second, make sure that in October, you're playing in Montreal." - Petri Karjalainen

Kent Hughes has an important decision to make as the maximum number of contracts approaches quickly. Currently, the Canadiens have 46 out of 50 contracts, and that number is likely to increase. Blocking a spot for Kapanen, if he plays another year in Europe, could be a problem.
"Although nothing is confirmed, behind-the-scenes discussions suggest that Kapanen could soon sign with the Habs, but he may still play another season in Europe before joining the NHL."

Regarding Sebastian Aho, the comparisons are quite striking.
"Aho and Kapanen have similar attributes. They are both players who may not be flashy but are very effective in both ends of the ice. You win hockey games with players like them on your team. Oliver won't be leading the first line in Montreal, but he could become a second or third-line center for a while."

If Kapanen is indeed ready for the NHL and plays with the Canadiens next year, it would be a pleasant surprise. However, I believe he will play a year in Laval first to adjust to North American ice.
If he has to play another year in Finland, it remains to be seen what Kent Hughes' decision will be regarding signing him this summer.
Source RDT
Le Canadien a un Sebastian Aho dans ses rangs
APRIL 26   |   463 ANSWERS
The Canadiens hit the jackpot with an incredible forward

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