Whether looking at the top 2014 prospects from North America or Europe, NHL bloodlines run strong among several of those high-end players available for this year's NHL Draft. It is especially strong in the European contingent as the top two Euro prospects according to NHL Central Scouting – Kasperi Kapanen and William Nylander – both have fathers that turned in lengthy and successful careers in hockey's top league.
In fact, both Kapanen and Nylander have had the rare chance to skate on the same club with their fathers, albeit on a limited basis. Last season, the younger Kapanen and his father, Sami, played together on KalPa in Finland's Liiga while Nylander and his father Michael skated for Rogle in Sweden's Allsvenskan.
Kapanen's bloodlines run strong in Finnish hockey as, aside from father Sami, Kasperi also counts his grandfather Hannu, his uncle Kimmo, and his great uncle Jari as family members that have competed in Finland's top league.
For the 2013-14 season, Kapanen spent the majority of the season playing for KalPa in Finland's Liiga. In 47 games, the Kuopio native scored seven goals and seven assists for 14 points. An injury kept Kapanen out of the 2014 U20 World Junior Championship where his country won their first gold medal at that event since 1998. He did play for his country at the 2014 U18 World Championship, however, where he posted a goal and an assist in five games.
Kapanen took part in the 2014 NHL Combine that was held in Toronto, ON, where he spoke with the media following his testing session. Some of Kapanen's comments from that scrum are captured in this HF video.
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