Michael Kapla

by Kevin Wickersham on July 1, 2017

Michael Kapla, D

Shoots: L

Height: 6-0

Weight: 201

Born: 1994-09-19

Hometown: Eau Claire, WI, USA

Drafted: Signed as a FA - NJ 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

July 2017 – Kapla skated in five late-campaign New Jersey contests after finishing his U Mass-Lowell career. He averaged 17:26 minutes per game with more than two-thirds of his starts in the offensive zone, and saw a few minutes on the power play. With their defense in tough shape, the Devils will look to the former River Hawks captain and skilled NCAA blue line playmaker to contend for a job in the fall. While he may make a play for a bottom-pairing, the AHL seems more likely at this point. Kevin Wickersham

 

March 2017 – Seeking immediate reinforcement and a brief look at a potential future leader on their blue line, New Jersey signed University of Massachusetts-Lowell captain Michael Kapla to a two-year, entry-level contract. Kapla will report immediately to the NHL club to remain through the end of the campaign, using up one year of his deal and rendering him a restricted free agent after 2017-18.

A durable two-way player for his three prior years with the River Hawks, Kapla’s offensive production grew as a senior as he totaled 30 points (including a team-high 27 assists among defensemen) in 41 games. He never missed a collegiate game, playing 161 in all. Somewhat small by NHL standards but his puck skills, instincts for the game and defensive positioning look league-ready. While he shoots from the left, he is comfortable playing on the right as well. Widely praised for his character by college coaches and Devils’ brass alike, he will audition during these last few games hoping to prove he can bring the stability, poise, confidence and winning attitude he showed at UMass-Lowell to the pro ranks.  

 

Fantasy Outlook: C+

Great intangibles. Now has a golden opportunity to prove his promising two-way skills translate to the NHL.

 

Footage:

UMass-Lowell goal by Michael Kapla vs. UMass-Amherst – February 2017

http://player.tout.com/lowellsun/4bexhr

 

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