player: Casperi Cabanen
Boy: July 23 1996
to rise: 6’1
Weight: 194 pounds
hometown: Kuopio, Finland
Shoots: the correct
Draft: Pittsburgh, 1st round (22 total), 2014 NHL Draft entry
2021-22 Statistics: 79 GP, 11 G, 21 A, 32 P, 16 PIM
Contract Status: Cabanen signed a three-year, $9,600,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs ahead of the 2019-20 season. He will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.
During the seven-game series against the New York Rangers, Kapanin played in all seven games, scoring three assists and claiming a 4+.
One word to describe Caspere Cabanen season? to retreat. Regression in nearly every category is discernible.
The 2020 season saw Kapanen scoring 30 points in 40 games. Hey Jim Rutherford probably knew what he was doing by getting his previous pick in the first round.
The start of his 2021-22 season wasn’t all bad either. The striker has scored four points (all assists) in his first five matches. Throw in the trilogy on November 6 and it looked like Kapanen was ready for another solid year of production. Looking at his monthly splits, it kind of tells the whole story. November proved to be the best month for Cabanen of the season. After that, the wheels fell off.
Cabanen never found consistency. By January, coinciding with Evgeny Malkin’s return, the 25-year-old was reunited with Malkin, hoping to repeat the spark he had found with the center in the previous season. It saw a brief spike in production, but the scoring pace that Kapanen hailed in 2020 never really came through.
In fact, after the January 23 match, Kapanen played 13 matches without scoring a single point and went into 20 consecutive matches without a goal.
In the last month of the regular season, another drought occurred. Cabanen will only make two passes between March 29 and April 29.
Advanced stats for the regular season 5v5
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Rank out of the 17 strikers in the team that qualified by playing for at least 150 minutes.
Corsi%: 51.57 (tenth)
Goals for %: 55.22 (Seventh)
xGF%: 52.37 (Eleventh)
Score chance %: 51.73 (12)
High Risk Score Chance %: 52.72 (Eleventh)
Snow Shooting: 7.02 (thirteenth)
Snow Savings Ratio: 93.85 (Fifth)
Targets / 60: 0.6
help / 60: 1.1
point / 60: 1.7
These advanced metrics are a huge variety of placements. It was fair to assume that Cabanen’s shooting percentage would fall behind his 2020 production (16.2 percent career rise), but Cabanen followed up with the lowest shooting percentage of his career at 8.5 percent. His average career is 11%.
Don’t ask Kapanen to take the disc out of the area for you because it won’t be pretty. These proportions show that a player is not terrible, but insanely crazy up and down.
– Hockey Daily 365 l NHL News & Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) March 27 2022
Kasperi Kapanen has put together some great games.. which is the best indication that it builds confidence
He uses his speed to create an opportunity…attacks the front of the net…doesn’t delay at the last minute and is a skate blade from a highlight reel target. pic.twitter.com/gLtwiO2H9U
– Nick Berlansky (@Nick Berlansky) March 23, 2022
Kasperi Kapanen, when in his game, is a good player, not great. The problem is, how often does he participate in his game? On some nights he seemed to run, well deserved my best six minutes. On other nights, for the most part, he was invisible. And it’s not like he didn’t recognize him. Kapanen set a record multiple times throughout the season detailing his struggles.
In the top nine, Cabanen has the tools to succeed and has proven this in the past, both in Pittsburgh and Toronto, but the inconsistencies in his game, and his being known and relied upon as an offensive player, may also be a lot to deal with.
Ideally, Kapanen’s 2022-23 season isn’t as bad as his 2021-22 campaign. Yes, it is obvious, but can he reach the 40-50 point mark? If the Penguins bring him back, you’ll likely be on a one-year deal. I don’t understand, unless something changes drastically, that the team is eager to connect its wagon with two cabins.
He’s a fast skater and has a high-quality right-handed shot. However, Cabanen is heading into a season at the age of 26 with some uncertainty about his future.
A question to think about
What do you do with Casperi Cabanen? What player penguins or any other team that will hire his services will get him? What is the real value of Cabanen? For a team dealing with some salary cap questions, is this player worth $3.2 million? Could this money be better used?