Rangers should strongly consider loaning Kaapo Kakko back to TPS until next season

New York Rangers Draft
Jun 21, 2019; Vancouver, BC, Canada; From left Kaapo Kakko (New York Rangers) , Jack Hughes (New Jersey Devils) and Kirby Dach (Chicago Blackhawks) pose with their new team jerseys after being drafted as the top three overall picks in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers won’t be playing hockey again for several months. That is a long time to wait, especially when you want to develop young talent. One player in particular that showed great improvement in the qualifying round was Kaapo Kakko.

Rangers should loan Kaapo Kakko to TPS in Finland

At 19 years-old, Kakko is still a developing prospect, regardless of the fact that he played the whole season with the Rangers last year. It is imperative he continues to hone his skills and grow as the offensive juggernaut many project.

That is why, just like they did with Vitali Kravtsov, the Rangers should loan Kakko back to his old Liiga club, TPS. If they chose not to, that means Kakko will have only played 3 games in the span of eight months. That’s eight months if the NHL preseason begins in mid-November like the league hopes.

Listen, other teams are doing it with their top prospects as well. Yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers loaned German Rubtsov to Sochi, and today the Nashville Predators loaned Eeli Tolvanen to Jokerit, both in the KHL.

jeff gorton kaapo kakko gordie clark
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Liiga and TPS are getting ready to start the season

Liiga is currently ramping up their season with a 3 on 3 Super Series, which TPS in one of the four teams participating. That will take them into preseason action in mid-September with their first regular season game on October 2, 2020.

When I reached out to a team source about the possibility other prospects like Kravtsov being loaned, the response was as non-committal as you can get. Unfortunately, due to the fluidity of COVID-19 they can’t give a definitive answer.

This prompted me to try and reach Kakko’s agent to see if it was a something he would consider. At this time, I have yet to hear from them. However, it makes way too much sense to let Kakko play meaningful games with a team and league he’s familiar with.

If the Rangers opt to loan him, Kakko could play anywhere from 10-15 games before coming back in November for training camp. It is a move both sides should strongly consider.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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