LA Kings: Kasper Simontaival’s deal with KalPa great for development

LA Kings (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

LA Kings prospect Kasper Simontaival signed a three-year contract with KalPa, and he’ll get more playing time than this past season.

According to ProHockeyRumors, LA Kings 2020 third-round pick Kasper Simontaival has signed a three-year contract with KalPa of Liiga.

"Liiga club KalPa has announced multi-year contracts with 2020 draft picks Kasper Simontaival and Jaromir Pytlik. Simontaival, a third-round selection of the Los Angeles Kings, is no stranger to the Finnish pros. The local product has spent time in the Liiga with Tappara over the past few years, but is seemingly looking to move on from his developmental club. Simontaival appears willing to take his time developing at home, signing a three-year deal with KalPa, but has already shown some potential NHL-caliber offensive skill. – Pro Hockey Rumors/Leach"

Simontaival, 19, had an impressive performance at the 2021 World Juniors for Team Finland. Playing alongside Florida Panthers’ top prospect Anton Lundell, Simontaival tallied four goals and seven points in seven games and helped Finland win the Bronze Medal.

He spent the beginning of the season loaned to TUTO of Mestis, the second-tier ice hockey league in Finland. There, Simontaival tallied three goals and seven points in five games before returning to Tappara of Liiga. With Tappara, his minutes were inconsistent, logging anywhere from 2:27 to 12:00 TOI per game.

With KalPa, he’ll get an opportunity for more consistency, and he’ll also get the chance to develop some chemistry with LA Kings 2019 fourth-rounder Kim Nousiainen. The Finnish defenseman put together one of his best seasons, tallying nine goals and 27 points in 54 games.

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At this time, I am unsure if he’ll be able to leave for North America earlier than when his contract expires. If not, he’ll be 22 when he’s eligible, which could end up being a good thing for his development. I had the chance to speak with Lassi Alanen, the Director of European Scouting for Elite Prospects, about this topic, and he indicated that “he’s likely at least two years away from being ready.”