Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil heading to World Championship

Now that the New York Rangers season has ended prematurely, it will allow for several players to compete for their countries on the international stage. Both Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil will suit up for Finland and Czechia respectively at the IIHF’s World Championship.

The tournament will take place in both Finland and Latvia from May 12th through the 28th. It was originally slated to be hosted by Russia but was changed after their incursion of Ukraine.

Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil to World Championships

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils Kappo Kakko
Apr 20, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) celebrates his goal against the New Jersey Devils during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are conducting their end-of-season media sessions when each player broke the news to reporters in attendance.

Kakko, 22, registered 22 goals, 18 assists, for 40 points in 82 games this season. All were career-highs. During the postseason, he added just 2 points (1 goal, 1assist) in 7 matches but was one of the few Blueshirts that competed hard every time his skates hit the ice.

The second overall pick in 2019 is entering the final season of a two-year deal with an AAV of $2.1 million. He will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. Before leaving for the tournament, he made it clear what his goals are for next season.

“Get some power play time and also play more, that’s the next step,” Kaako said. “There was some good things in the o-zone, staying with the puck close to the net and getting some chances. That’s my game.”

Chytil, 23, also posted career-highs this year for goals (22), assists (23), and points (45). The Rangers signed him to a four-year contract extension back on March 29 with an AAV of $4.4375 million. For these playoffs, Chytil struggled to make as big of an impact as he did last season. In 7 games, he recorded four points (1 goal, 3 assists) with half those points coming in the Rangers 5-1 victory in Game 1.