Prized Avs prospect Rantanen to play for Finland at World Juniors

The Finnish entry at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships will be stacked.

After word broke that Toronto would release Kasperi Kapanen for the tournament, the Denver Post reported the Avalanche would do the same with Mikko Rantanen, their first-round pick (10th overall) at this year’s draft.

Rantanen, 19, is currently starring with Colorado’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio, leading the club with 21 points in 17 games.

Rantanen played at last year’s World Juniors and, like he’s doing with the Rampage this year, led the Finns in scoring (with four goals in five games.)

The former SM-liiga standout actually made the Avs out of training camp this year, and appeared in six games before getting demoted to the American League.

He, along with Kapanen, should make Finland one of the favorites at this year’s WJC, which will be held in Helsinki.

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