For the first time in ten years the Penguins drafted a European forward.
The Penguins drafted the Finnish born Kasperi Kapanen. ISS Hockey ranked him as the 13th best player available overall. And he was also rated as the number one European skater available.
From Hockey’s Future:
Kasperi Kapanen plays a cerebral game with the skills and speed to allow him to make the proper plays in all situations and make the players around him better. While not over whelming from a physical standpoint and with room to continue growing, his hockey sense is on par with the other top players in his age group and he maximizes his talents to get the best out of his game.
Like other top Finnish prospects Aleksander Barkov (FLA) and defenseman Risto Ristolainen (BUF), Kapanen has played in Finland’s elite league as a teenager and shown the ability to compete and have success against players that are bigger and older. Though the physical elements of North American hockey and the size and strength of NHL players will be a challenge for him, Kapanen has a rare combination of skill and hockey IQ that put him among the better forward prospects in his age group.
Kapanen is the son of Sami Kapanen , who was as solid of an NHLer as there was.
Other writeups on Kapanen: