Kaapo Kakko happy to be back on New York Rangers Kid Line
Kaapo Kakko spent a lot of time back home in Finland this offseason, and while he had some fun, the strapping winger worked on his different facets of his game in preparation for New York Rangers training camp.
On Thursday, Kakko suited up with some familiar linemates at the team’s first practice. The 21 year-old second overall pick in 2019 was centered by Filip Chytil and flanked by Alexis Lafreniere to reunite the Kid Line.
“I’m happy about that,” Kakko said. “I like to play with those guys. I think we know each other and we play the same style.”
Kaapo Kakko back on the Kid Line
Kakko suffered through three separate injuries last season and missed 39 games. He was only able to post 18 points in the 43 matches he played but in the playoff appeared fresh and strong.
The Kid Line was often the team’s best line at controlling the offensive zone and Kakko’s work along the boards was a key factor. He only registered 5 points in 19 playoffs contests, but showed that he would not wilt under pressure along with his linemates.
“They worked hard and played good,” Gerard Gallant said after practice. “They all look good. They came to camp in great shape. They’re happy, smiling, and having fun.”
Kakko recently signed a two-year deal with an AAV of $2.1 million per season. He’s entering his fourth NHL season and has amassed 58 points in 157 games career games.
Kakko worked on his shot this offseason
One area in particular that Kakko worked on was his shot. Over the summer a TikTok video surfaced out of Finland where he ripped a 107 mph slapper.
“I started with the gym and did more skating after that. I think my shot is getting better– a little bit,” Kakko said with a smile.
Zdeno Chara holds the NHL record for Hardest Shot with 108.8 at the 2012 All-Star Game. It should be noted that the rules have you start at the offensive blue-line, not the defensive blue-line as it appears Kakko began skating from.
Still, 107 mph is no joke and he definitely needs to start letting it fly once entering the zone. It appears that he will put some emphasis on getting pucks to the net more.
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