Kapanen, 17, is a forward prospect from Finland who spent the last several years playing for KalPa of the SM-Liiga (beginning in 2010 as a member of the club's U16 team). Kapanen played for the major club in each of the last two seasons and spent 13 games with the team during the 2012-13 season.
Kasperi is the son of former NHL player Sami Kapanen, who was selected with the No. 87 overall pick by the Hartford Whalers in the 1995 Draft. Sami played in over 800 career regular season games in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes franchise (the club relocated from Hartford after his rookie season in 1996-97) and the Philadelphia Flyers. Sami joined KalPa during the 2008-09 season and has played with the club ever since. His brother, Kimmo Kapanen, is the club's general manager, which resulted in a family affair when Kasperi dressed alongside his father for his first game in January of 2013.
Kasperi was ranked as the No. 1 international skating prospect by the ISS in its year-end ranking. Listed at 6'0, 181 pounds, the right-handed shooting prospect is praised for his dynamic skill and explosive speed:
Battled through adversity this year whether it was injuries, a disappointing U18 team performance or being forced to lead the last place KalPa team in the SM-Liiga. His statistics with KalPa don't give a true representation of what he is able to produce as he had a limited supporting cast and was looked at to lead the offense as a 17 year old. He grabs your attention everytime he has the puck as his explosive speed, creativity and lethal offensive weapons show gamebreaker potential. His lower body strength and ability to maintain possession while being harassed by opposition checkers is excellent. Kasperi takes charge on the puck and displays the potential to be that go-to forward who can get the job done on the puck and puts a lot of pressure on himself to step into that role regardless of what team he's playing for.