The Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Kasperi Kapanen, their first-round pick (No. 22) at the 2014 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Friday.
Kapanen, 17, is the first 2014 draft pick to sign an NHL contract. He was the No. 1-rated European skater by NHL Central Scouting after finishing with seven goals and seven assists in 47 games for KalPa in Finland's top professional league.
He is the son of former NHL player Sami Kapanen, who had 458 points in 831 NHL games with the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers. Father and son were teammates last season with KalPa.
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford drafted Sami Kapanen, in the fourth round (No. 87) in the 1995 NHL Draft, when he was GM of the Whalers.
Kasperi (6-foot, 180 pounds) has starred internationally many times for Finland; he scored five goals at the 2013 World Under-18 Championships, including the game-winner in the bronze-medal game. He was an alternate captain at the 2013 World Under-17 Challenge and led Finland in scoring with nine points (three goals, six assists).
Kapanen was selected to play for Finland at the 2014 World Junior Championship but was unable to participate due to injury.