Oliver Kapanen signs entry-level contract with Montreal Canadiens
(Photo Credit: Vitalii Vitleo/ Shutterstock)

The Montreal Canadiens have signed one of their top prospects, forward Oliver Kapanen, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 20-year-old Finnish player, picked by the Habs in the second round (64th overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft, has impressed with his performances in Liiga, Finland’s top league, and on the international stage.

Kapanen, originally from Timrå, Sweden, has spent the last two seasons with KalPa Kuopio in Liiga. In the 2023-24 season, he scored 14 goals and made 20 assists in 51 regular-season games. He played even better in the playoffs, scoring 7 goals and 7 assists in 13 games, tying for the league lead in points.

Kapanen has also succeeded in international play. Representing Finland at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, he scored six goals in eight games, tying for fifth among all players in the tournament.

Canadiens fans have many reasons to be excited about Kapanen. The forward has great awareness in the offensive zone and can finish plays both up close and from a distance. He is also highly skilled at distributing the puck, putting his teammates in ideal positions to score.

Kapanen’s family has strong NHL ties. His uncle, Sami Kapanen, had a long career in the league, and his cousin, Kasperi Kapanen, currently plays for the St. Louis Blues.

As the Canadiens plan for the future, signing Oliver Kapanen to an entry-level deal is a positive step. The young Finn’s mix of skills, hockey IQ and international experience should lead him to a role with the Habs sooner rather than later.