Jeff Gorton and the New York Rangers stepped up to the stage and announced the selection of Kaapo Kakko with the 2nd overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Born and raised in Turku, the young dynamic winger has played his entire life for the local team, TPS. Some Rangers fans may recognize the name because it’s the same team Tarmo Reunanen played for when he was drafted by the Blueshirts in 2016 (98th overall) before he moved to Lukko where he played this past season. Last summer, the Rangers drafted another TPS player in Lauri Pajuniemi (132nd overall) and also goalie Alexandar Georgiev has a history with the team. Kaapo Kakko is the fourth TPS player added to the Rangers system in the last three years.
He has been ahead of the curve at every age level so far in his already impressive career. 36 points in 33 games as a 14-year old at the u16 level, 41 points in 35 games as a 15-year old at the u18 level and 55 points in 38 games as a 16-year old at the u20 level. But what was most impressive was him breaking Aleksander Barkov’s record for goals in Liiga by an u18 player with 22. Kakko was the consensus second overall pick for the 2019 draft, and was considered to be number 1 by many.
Rangers fans if you want a glimpse of what you will see from the Finnish Force, just take a look at this and dream until October.
Editor’s Note: Steven Voogel contributed to this article.