The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that forward Kasperi Kapanen injured his lower body and will miss time. This injury comes at a time where Pittsburgh is trying to fight its way up the standings in the competitive East Division. Coach Mike Sullivan announced the extent of the injury as week-to-week.
Coach Sullivan says that Kasperi Kapanen is week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 25, 2021
Penguins’ Kasperi Kapanen Injured
Kapanen has been a quality secondary contributor for Pittsburgh in 2020-21. The 24-year-old has seven goals and 21 points in 30 games. That production translates to a career-high scoring rate of .7 per game. Such a rate would probably produce a new career-best in scoring for the Finnish skater in a normal 82-game season. His Corsi For of 48.3 percent and -1.9 relative Corsi aren’t great possession numbers, but he is doing a fine job from a traditional perspective while averaging 15:47 of ice time per night.
The Penguins originally drafted Kapanen in the first round of the 2014 Draft, but traded him the next year to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the huge Phil Kessel deal. He rejoined the Pens last summer in exchange for several players including Evan Rodrigues and Pontus Aberg. Overall, Kapanen has 48 goals and 111 goals in 232 games. His development stalled on a deep Toronto roster, but he’s still just 24-years-old with ample opportunity to excel moving forward. He is the exact sort of secondary piece Pittsburgh has used to great success during the Sidney Crosby era.
How Pittsburgh Replaces Kapanen
It won’t be easy to replace Kapanen’s numbers given his apparent breakout this year. The best option might be to promote Evan Rodrigues to Kapanen’s spot and back-fill with skaters like Josh Currie or Sam Miletic. This injury could also push the team to find a trade partner despite having very little cap space. The team still has firepower, but this injury thins their depth scoring considerably.
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