Leafs allow Kasperi Kapanen to participate in World Junior Championship

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs have confirmed today that Finnish forward Kasperi Kapanen will be allowed to represent his country at the World Junior Hockey Championships in the upcoming weeks.

Kapanen, a 2014 first round pick who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade, has spent his year to date with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. In seventeen games, Kapanen has five goals and five assists; not overwhelming numbers by any means, but still decent given that he’s one of the league’s youngest players.

The 19-year-old also started the season with illness and injury struggles, which kept him out of the lineup for several games and not feeling 100% for the ones he did play. He seems to be picking up his stride, though; eight of those points have come in his last ten games, including the game-winning primary assist in last night’s overtime win against the Syracuse Crunch. According to Urheilusanomat writer Juha Hiitela, Kapanen will join Finland’s camp tomorrow. The Marlies can expect him back shortly after new years.