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Penguins’ first-rounder Kapanen heads to Finnish league

2014 NHL Draft - Portraits

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Kasperi Kapanen of the Pittsburgh Penguins poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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The Pittsburgh Penguins clearly seem excited about Kasperi Kapanen’s skill and potential, but they’ve decided to skip even a brief regular season audition, thus allowing him to get settled in Finland.

The team assigned him to KalPa of the Finnish league on Thursday. While the Penguins made some statements about the 18-year-old having a chance at making the opening-night roster, it became clear a couple days ago that the 22nd pick of the 2014 NHL Draft was headed home:

Considering the Penguins’ revitalized forward depth, Kapanen will almost certainly have a better chance at getting meatier ice time overseas. Naturally, another big plus is that they won’t “burn” a year off of his entry-level contract.

In other Penguins roster-related news, the team also placed Beau Bennett (lower body) on IR while recalling the following players: forwards Zach Sill and Andrew Ebbett plus defenseman Taylor Chorney.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins