Player Profile: Kasperi Kapanen

NHL.com

Don’t worry, be Kappy!

Did you know that Kasperi Kapanen’s nickname is Kappy? If not, don’t sweat the small stuff. My player profile can help you get to know St. Louis Blues forward Kasperi Kapanen, born Samu Kasperi Kapanen on July 23, 1996.

Kasperi, the oldest of four children, was born and raised in Kuopio, Finland. His siblings are Konsta, Camilla, and Cassandra. He comes from a hockey family, as his grandfather, Haanu, played in the SM-Liiga, his father, Sami, played in the NHL, and his brother, Konsta, played in the 2023 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. As far as his sisters go, Camilla and Cassandra didn’t play hockey but competed on the Finnish national team for gymnastics.

Aside from hockey, Kapanen likes to play golf. Golf takes his mind off of hockey. He’s a fan of the golf courses in his native Finland, such as the ones south of Helsinki, but he’s equally a fan of the ones in the United States. Since his home’s in Florida, he joined a country club with a golf course.

When Kapanen watches golf, his favorite golfer’s Jon Rahm. He told NHL.com: “I didn’t know who he was at first, but I just liked his energy … He’s from Spain, so he’s got that fire. He’s just one of those guys I like to watch.”

Kapanen likes to watch movies, particularly James Bond movies with Daniel Craig. Also, he can’t live without his AirPods, AppleTV, and iPhone. In addition, he has a passion for fashion, as you can see in some of his game-day suits.

Despite being born and raised in Finland, Kasperi considers himself a Philadelphian because he spent most of his childhood in Philadelphia due to Sami’s tenure with the Philadelphia Flyers from 2002 to 2008. Kasperi told NHL.com: “I lived here for six years. I consider this my home, so it’s really an honor to be drafted in Philly.”

To clarify, the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Kapanen with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He signed a three-year, $2,775,000 contract with the Penguins on July 11, 2014. Pittsburgh traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs the following year in a blockbuster, multi-player deal with star forward Phil Kessel. After splitting his time between the Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies, he eventually signed a three-year, $9,600,000 contract with the Maple Leafs on June 28, 2019.

Kapanen’s tenure with the Maple Leafs was rocky, to say the least. Toronto traded him back to Pittsburgh on August 25, 2020, along with Pontus Aberg and Jesper Lindgren, in exchange for Filip Hallander, David Warsofsky, and Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. His second tenure in Pittsburgh was from 2020 to 2023, where he recorded 29 goals and 53 assists in 162 games.

The Penguins made a qualifying offer to Kapanen to keep his North American signing rights. He then filed for salary arbitration and signed a two-year, $6,400,000 contract with the Penguins in July 2022.

The Penguins eventually placed Kapanen on waivers. The Blues claimed him off waivers after he scored one goal in 15 games for the Penguins.

Blues general manager, Doug Armstrong, told NHL.com: “Knowing that the number of players we lost this year, we get a player that hopefully is motivated, he should be motivated.”

“We just felt that getting a player in here at his age that has a lot to prove, under contract next year for us, so we don’t have to go searching the market this year as you retool, and we have a player that we know the cost, we get a good look at him. He gets a chance to play in a situation, get more ice time, and prove what he is as a player.”

So far, Kapanen has recorded seven goals, four assists, and a +4 rating in 15 games for the Blues. He collected one assist in the Blues’ home game against the Vancouver Canucks on March 28, 2023. He appears to be motivated to prove himself in St. Louis. After all, he seems to have the support of his family and friends, whether near or far. Previously, he dated Annika Boron, a Canadian model, and Paige Lorenze, an American Instagram model.

Do you think Kapanen can resurrect his career as a St. Louis Blue? Sound off in the comments!

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

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Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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