Rangers Roundup: Kaapo Kakko on Jack Eichel rumors and upcoming season; Tim Gettinger signs; and more

kaapo kakko injury
May 3, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Kaapo Kakko #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal at 4:35 of the second period against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers #2 overall pick from the 2019 Draft is excited about the upcoming season. Kaapo Kakko in a new interview with Finnish outlet Ilta Sanomat details his training, and addresses the changes made to the roster.

Kaapo Kakko on training, changes, and Eichel rumors

According to Ilta, Kakko is training with coach Marko Rautala along with several Finnish players, most notably Avalanche star Mikko Rantanen. This has been going on for several summers, but the 20 year-old Rangers forward is feeling really good this offseason.

We’ve been in the gym a lot,” he said. “Speed ​​training, a little endurance. It’s the same formula as before.” Kakko notes that they are now starting to do on-ice workouts and that’s where he’s already feeling the difference. “I’ve been on the ice a couple of times, but I have immediately felt that I am in better shape than in recent years. I expect more from myself heading into next season.”

kaapo kakko
Apr 27, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Kaapo Kakko #24 of the New York Rangers celebrates a second period goal by Brendan Smith #42 (not shown) against Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen #1 of the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on April 27, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Kakko was also asked about the changes the Rangers have made this summer, including trading Pavel Buchnevich which should help him get more ice time.

“I look forward to it,” Kakko admitted. “A lot of changes have happened, even a few new acquisitions. On paper, we have a good looking team.”

Entering his third full season, he realizes that the opportunity is a great chance to produce. “It sounds great and that’s what you want – what you hope for, but you can’t just hope,” he explained. “You have to be given opportunities as well. Now that there’s a new coach, there could be a bigger role for me”

Finally, Kakko was asked point blank about the Rangers looking to trade for Jack Eichel. “Excited to see,” he answered cautiously. “There are a lot of of rumors. Let’s wait and see what happens.”

Rangers sign Tim Gettinger

The New York Rangers also signed Wolf Pack forward Tim Gettinger to one-year two-way deal worth $750,000 and $75,000 respectively.

Last season, the 23 year-old forward scored 19 points in 23 games at the AHL level. He also appeared in two games for the Rangers towards the end of the season.

Latest NHL News: Did the Sabres overplay their hand with Eichel?

Have the Sabres mishandled Eichel’s trade request? Can they salvage the situation? Read more here.