The verdict is in on Kaapo Kakko's future with the New York Rangers

Published June 19, 2022 at 11:37 PM

In the previous round of playoffs, in the very last game of the year for the New York Rangers, before their elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning, there was a story that caused a huge stir.

For this crucial game, New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant chose to leave out the young Kaapo Kakko, former 2nd overall pick of the Rangers.

Kakko, 21 years old and selected second overall in 2019, has 18 points in 43 games this season and 5 points in 19 games in the most recent playoffs.

But for the Rangers' most important game of the year, he was in the stands. So several New York reporters drew parallels to what happened with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the Montreal Canadiens.

Kakko, like Kotkaniemi last year, is a top-3 draft pick who does not meet expectations and will become a restricted free agent this summer. He will be eligible to receive a hostile offer and has been removed from the lineup for his team's most important game of the year.

In addition, since the departure of Jeff Gorton, the young Kakko seems to have a stormy relationship with his organization.

Will the Rangers bring back the Kid line (Kakko-Chytil-Lafreniere) for next year? Will Kakko change his address?

Let's remember this anyway:

"Kaapo Kakko revealed that no one gave him an explanation for the decision to leave him out. He only saw the lineup on the board. His coach never came to him to explain the decision."

That doesn't sound ideal for a youngster's development, and Kakko knows it, his agent knows it. According to many, Gerard Gallant really lacked judgment on this one, and some even talk about a lack of respect for a young player.


There is a new development in this case. According to New York reporter Arthur Staple of The Athletic, Kakko, who was scratched from the lineup in Game 6 vs. Tampa, is NOT likely to leave the Rangers this summer.

He reportedly has no intention of requesting a trade, and is reportedly on track to sign a one-season contract with the Rangers worth $2 million.

More details to follow!

June 19   |   127 answers
The verdict is in on Kaapo Kakko's future with the New York Rangers

Who's better?

Kakko10683.5 %
Kotkaniemi2116.5 %
Latest 10 stories