— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 23, 2018
Toronto Maple Leafs Recall Kasperi Kapanen and Send Down Frederik Gauthier
The move comes as a surprise to many fans in Leafs Nation. Gauthier, 22, has appeared in nine games with the Leafs this season, recording a goal. In 27 games with the Toronto Marlies this season, Gauthier has registered five goals and three assists.
Leafs Nation thought Gauthier was the fourth line centerman of the future. A big, strong and plain scary centerman like Gauthier was what the Leafs needed in their lineup. The Leafs brass may see things a bit differently than their devoted fan base. Most fans worry that this may affect Gauthier’s development, but the message from the Leafs’ camp is to “trust the plan”.
What Does Kapanen Bring To The Leafs?
Kapanen, 21, previously skated in six games with the Maple Leafs this season, registering two goals. He has appeared in 27 games with the Toronto Marlies this season, recording 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points while being named to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic. In 2016-17, Kapanen appeared in eight regular-season games with the Maple Leafs and scored one goal before adding two goals in six Stanley Cup playoff games with the club. He also recorded 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 43 games with the Toronto Marlies last season and had an additional eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) in nine Calder Cup playoff games.
Kapanen will give the Leafs bottom six an offensive boost. Ideally, he will slate in on the fourth line with Connor Brown and whoever centers them. It looks the Maple Leafs are trying to create more of an offensive lineup after their inability in past games to score goals. Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock is trying to shake things up and this move is a testament to that notion.
Kapanen seems determined to stay up with the big club this time around.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 23, 2018