Ice hockey centre
| 29 April 1978 (age 37)
Hattula, Finland (1978-04-29) |
Ak Bars Kazan
HC Lev Praha
173rd overall, 1998
Ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Men's tournament
Niklas Hagman, Jarkko Immonen, Mikko Koivu, Janne Niskala, Lasse Kukkonen
HC Lev Praha (Centerman)
Niko Kapanen Wikipedia
Niko Klaus Petteri Kapanen (born 29 April 1978) is a Finnish professional ice hockey centre, currently playing for HPK of the Finnish Liiga.
Kapanen was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 6th round as the 173rd overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2005–06 season, Kapanen recorded a career high in goals (14) and points (35). He scored his first career hat-trick on February 9, 2006 against the Phoenix Coyotes in a 5–1 victory.
On June 24, 2006, Kapanen was traded by the Stars to the Atlanta Thrashers, along with 7th round draft pick in 2006, for defenceman Jaroslav Modrý and centerman Patrik Štefan. During his first season with the Thrashers, Kapanen was picked up off the waiver list by the Phoenix Coyotes.
On June 9, 2008, Kapanen left the NHL and signed for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League.
After five seasons with Ak Bars, Kapanen left as a free agent to sign a multi-year contract with Czech club HC Lev Praha of the KHL on August 11, 2013. Hampered by injury, Kapanen had a less than successful regular 2013–14 season with Praha, but redeemed himself in playoffs to post 11 points in 21 games as Lev reached the Gagarin Cup finals.
Kapanen association with Lev was ended after one-year upon the club announcing financial bankruptcy. On July 10, 2014, Kapanen signed a one-year contract with new Finnish KHL entrant, Jokerit.
Kapanen had a highly decorated international career with Finland in collecting a medal at every level played. He made his debut as a junior in the 1997 World Junior Championships, claiming a gold medal at the following junior Championships in 1998. At the senior men's level Kapanen competed in 9 World Championships in capturing 5 medals, including a gold at the 2011 World Championships. He twice represented Finland at the Winter Olympics claiming a Silver and Bronze at the 2006 and 2010 tournaments respectively.