Another Pittsburgh prospect will miss some preseason action with a lingering injury.
On Monday, the Pens announced that Kasperi Kapanen — the club’s first-round pick (22nd overall) at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — would be held out of the club’s rookie tournament this weekend.
While the club didn’t release the type of ailment Kapanen suffered, it’s worth noting that he reportedly hurt his hand while playing for Finland at a World Junior camp in August. From NHL.com:
Kapanen had ice on right hand after game. Said he went hard into wall and hand got in way. “Rather have broken finger than broken neck.”
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) August 8, 2014
Kapanen, 18, is expected to be ready for training camp and sounds as though he’ll have a legit shot at cracking the Pens’ roster this year, as he wowed assistant general manager Bill Guerin during July’s prospect development camp.
“He’s even better than I thought he would be,” Guerin said, per NHL.com. “So I was very happy with him. He’s just high-end talent, high-end speed. He’s a very, very mature kid for his age. Obviously, having his father [Sami Kapanen] playing so many years in the NHL and playing with him and bringing him up that way, he’s already a pro.”
As mentioned above, Kapanen isn’t the only young Penguin that’ll miss time this fall. Defensemen Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta are both currently sidelined following offseason shoulder surgeries, and neither has been cleared to participate in training camp yet.