LA Kings: Kasper Simontaival off to fast start with TUTO Hockey

LA Kings’ 2020 third-round pick Kasper Simontaival is off to a fast start with TUTO Hockey, scoring three points in Thursday’s contest.

The first order of business for Kasper Simontaival after being drafted. Locate another team for more playing time. The LA Kings selected the 18-year-old in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft. At the time, he was playing for Tappara of the Liiga.

But he tallied just one assist in four games in Finland’s top hockey league.

He was loaned to TUTO Hockey of the Mestis, the second-tier league. Regardless, he needed to see more time on the ice, and the results were almost instant. Last week, he had the overtime winner for TUTO. He followed that performance with a three-point game (1G, 2A) on Thursday.

Through the first four games, Simontaival has seven points (3G, 4A) with no penalty minutes and a +2 rating.

He’s no stranger to this happening. In fact, he played four games for Tappara last year before being loaned to KOOVEE of the Mestis Hockey League, where he posted four points in six games. The year before, he tallied two points in five games before being loaned to LeKi. In 21 games there, he scored 5 goals with 9 assists for 14 points as a 16-year-old.

He was drafted in the third round because of the point production he put up with Tappara’s U20 team. In 48 games, Simontaival had 25 goals with 32 assists for 57 points and a +11 rating.

He also recently added to Finland’s U20 roster for three friendly games against Sweden at the beginning of November. The three-game stretch will mark the final tuneup before Team Finland travels to Edmonton for the World Juniors.

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Assuming he remains overseas for the 2020-2021 season, it’ll be interesting to see if he makes the transition to the North American rink next year.