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No. 15 Kasper Halttunen: Future NHL power forward?

We’ve hit the top 15 in Fear the Fin’s 25 Under 25 list, so it’s time to look at Kasper Halttunen. Halttunen is a member of the 2023 Sharks draft class that received a lot of praise. He didn’t make the headlines like first rounders Will Smith and Quentin Musty, but he’s still a great pickup for the Sharks.

Position: Right Wing
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 lbs.
Age: 18
Date of Birth: June 7, 2005
Draft Year: 2023, 36th overall by the San Jose Sharks
Shoots: Right
2023-24 Team: London Knights (OHL)

Halttunen started his 2022-23 season playing in a lower tier in Finland. In 18 games for HIFK’s U20 team, the then-17-year-old scored on a goal per game pace. He had 24 points (18 G, 6 A) in 18 games. That was enough for him to receive the call-up to HIFK’s Liiga team, where Halttunen had one assist in Finland’s highest league. We won’t count the lack of points against him, considering he was a teen playing against full-grown men.

Halttunen’s game also has a leadership quality that cannot be discounted. He captained Finland’s U18 Men’s team at the 2023 World Junior Championship this past April. Halttunen had ten points in the tournament, four of which came during Finland’s game against Norway.

The 2023 World Juniors was Halttunen’s second stint on Finland’s U18 Men’s team. He also played as an underaged skater in 2022 where he had five points in six games. Halttunen was on Finland’s team that won bronze at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

What we like

Halttunen has a bomb of a shot. During the U18 World Championships, he often played the point on Finland’s first power play unit. From there, he would fire the puck and either find the back of the net or cause a deflection that one of his teammates could put in. He’s not afraid to shoot the puck and that’s a mindset that will serve him well in the NHL.

Halttunen has an ideal frame for an NHL forward. He’s big, and we’re not just talking height but weight as well. He uses that body to get the puck.

Areas of improvement

One of the reasons that Halttunen’s game has developed to that overpower your opponent style is that he’s not the most fleet of foot and doesn’t have the best hands. Make no mistake, he’s still an excellent hockey player and better than most his age. However, don’t expect him to razzle dazzle his way through defenders with fancy stick moves or footwork.

Halttunen will help move the puck in transition but usually won’t be the one to take the puck out of the zone. He’s more of an outlet pass than the guy driving the play.

These are things that the young forward will have the chance to work on this fall when he joins the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League. Halttunen will play under former NHL player and Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter.


We’ll focus on Halttunen’s four-point game against Norway in the 2023 U18 World Juniors Championship. His first goal comes at the 2:42 mark of the video below. The clip shows his strong wrist shot that snaps the puck past Norway’s goaltender.

If you watch the play just after that, you can see what a strong shot Halttunen has from the point on the power play. He gets the primary assist on the power play goal for Finland. At 3:32, you get another look at Halttunen’s point shot on the power play. This one finds its mark for the goal.

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