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Kasper Pikkarainen – 2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile – Hockey Writers – NHL Entry Draft

Kasper Pikkarinen

2023-24 Team: TPS (Liiga)
Date of Birth: Aug. 7, 2006
Place of Birth: Helsinki, FIN
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 195 pounds
Points: R
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: First year eligibility


Sometimes the word is overused, but the word “sleeper” applies here to Kasper Pikkarainen. Overall, scouts like the playmaking ability he brings along with his size. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated into much production for Pikkarainen over the past year. However, that may have more to do with jumping between the Liiga, the Finnish top flight, and its U20 league, which may have his disagreements.

Kasper Pikkarainen, Team Finland (Photo Credit: Pasi Mennander)

What all the scouts like about him is that he is a true player. He knows how to make quick plays to his teammates and has an eye for passing routes that no one else can. If he can’t find the place he wants to pass to, he may also move the puck into an empty space where his teammates are looking. You will find ways that others always miss.

Related: THW 2024 NHL Draft Guide

His father, Ilkka Pikkarainen, was an aggressive, powerful offensive player who played 31 games for the New Jersey Devils, so it’s not easy to see where Kasper got his skills and hockey IQ. At the recent U18 Worlds, he showed that he is not afraid to be part of the action and will really want it.

His offensive skills are a work in progress. He can shoot in a variety of ways, along with the occasional catch and flash play, but he lacks great skill and sometimes makes poor choices with the puck. That’s why his stats show a lack of 5 to 5 chances. Despite that, he is putting up decent numbers, as he did in December’s Five Nations Championship in Switzerland, where Pikkarainen led the Finnish team with three goals and four points in as many games.

Some THW Draft profiles

Kasper Pikkarinen – NHL Draft Projection

NHL scouts like that Pikkarainen is a big, versatile forward who always finishes his forechecks and isn’t afraid to make a big impact in the open ice. The big question is, how much improvement do teams think he can make to his offensive ability? If they think it will be better, he may be selected in the third round but his name will be called in Round 4.


“Bringing size and strength to the lineup, Kasper Pikkarainen has seen his draft stock rise in the same way as his TPS teammate Koivu. He has the power to go forward, but he also has some finesse with subtle handling and occasional flashy play.” Lassi Alanen – EP Rinkside (“Meet the Team: Finlands 2024 U18 World Championship Hockey Roster”, EP Rinkside, April 28, 2024)

“Pikkarainen is a defender whose playmaking skills are among the best I have seen in this draft. He can do magical things with the puck. He has an eye for passing lanes that no one else sees. If he can’t find any directions he wants to pass, he might as well play the puck into the empty space where his teammate just went. Pikkarainen is always able to move the game forward.” Arrtu Myllymaki – FC Hockey

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“The power blossomed forward with big tools and big size and blood, as his father, Ilkka, was a player on the offensive power wing. He didn’t fall too far from the tree, but he also has big wheels, a full toolbox and an energetic game. He got off to a slow start but started to shine with the TPS U20s in late November and December. The spring before he had a strong World Junior Under-18. There might be a little concern about his hockey sense in some situations but that’s why guys like this can still add their size and skills with every game. ” Bill Placzek –


  • Puck skills and handling
  • Hockey IQ
  • Competing in board battles
  • 200-foot game

Under Construction – Improvements To Be Made

  • The shooting skills are top notch
  • Consistent decision making

NHL Power

Pikkarainen’s game will likely translate more quickly at the pro level compared to other draft-eligible prospects from Finland. His floor is set with a ready frame for performance, a strong physical game, and a strong work ethic. Expanding his offensive skills would make him a reliable middle-six striker.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk- 2/5, Reward 3/5

The Power of Fantasy Hockey

Case- 5/10

Defense 5/10


2023 – EYOF bronze medal
2023 – U17 WHC Bronze Medal
2023 – U20 SM-sarja Bronze Medal
2024 – U20 SM-sarja Silver Medal

Statistics of Kasper Pikkarinen


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