The long wait is over. The Rangers made it official, drafting Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko with the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. We ran his draft profile two months ago when it became clear the Rangers were going to take him, and I’m assuming by now you all know how big this pick is.
Kakko is an elite, franchise level player. He’s not generational like McDavid, but he’s a bonafide top line winger who is set to make the jump to the NHL this year. He dominated the Finnish league as a 17/18 year old, finishing with a line of 22-16-38 in 45 games. He can score in many different ways, is tenacious on the forecheck, protects the puck well, and basically does everything right.
He’s also school in the Scandinavian ways of hockey, so he’s a solid two-way player as well. At 6’1″ and 180+ lbs, he’s not going to get pushed off the puck easily either.
For the Blueshirts and their rebuild, this is the player they’ve needed. He’s not a savior, he’s not a generational talent, but he’s the elite franchise level player that winning teams need.