HabsWorld.net -- 

While it took a bit longer than some expected, the Habs have indeed agreed to terms with Oliver Kapanen, announcing on Saturday that they’ve signed the forward to a three-year, entry-level deal.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The 20-year-old was a second-round pick by the Canadiens back in 2021, going 64th overall.  He bounced around in his post-draft season, playing in three different levels in his native Finland before locking down a full-time spot in the top-level Liiga in 2022-23.

Kapanen got off to a slow start with KalPa this season but improved as the season went on, eventually posting 14 goals and 20 assists in 51 games, numbers that were pretty good for someone that age.  He then found another gear in the playoffs, averaging over a point per game with seven goals and seven helpers in 13 contests, tying him for the most points in the Liiga playoffs.

That strong performance helped him earn a spot on Finland’s entry at the World Championship where his goal-scoring prowess continued, at least early on.  Kapanen had six goals in that event, holding at least a share of the tournament lead for the majority of round-robin play.

In between, Kapanen elected for a change of scenery for his club team as he inked a two-year deal with SHL Timra.  That agreement means that he cannot be sent to Laval for the 2024-25 campaign, or at least until Timra’s year comes to an end.  However, Montreal will be able to invite Kapanen to training camp to try to earn a roster spot with the big club.  Kapanen will be eligible to play in Laval in 2025-26, however.

With this contract, Montreal is now at 42 out of 50 for the upcoming season.  Kapanen’s agreement will count against the limit regardless of where he plays in 2024-25 as it’s not eligible to slide since he’s no longer a junior-aged player.