Penguins sign top pick to three-year deal

The Penguins announced Friday that they have signed 2014 first-round draft pick Kasperi Kapanen to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The contract won’t take effect until Kapanen turns pro.

Kapanen, 17, will be the youngest of the 37 prospects and rookies expected to be at Consol Energy Center next week for the annual development camp. He turns 18 July 23.

Team management and scouts had Kapanen, a 6-foot-1, 181-pound forward, rated much higher than the 22nd overall slot in which they drafted him last month, and the club is not ruling out Kapanen making the NHL roster out of training camp for the 2014-15 season.

However, it seems likely that Kapanen will return to his native Finland, where he played the past two seasons for KalPa in that country’s top league.

The son of former NHL player Sami Kapanen, Kasperi Kapanen had seven goals, seven assists in 47 games last season for KalPa, where one of his teammates was his father.

Shelly Anderson:, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly. First Published July 11, 2014 12:00 AM

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