Drafted by New York Rangers in 2019 #2
- 2018-12-29 at Finland - Slovakia, WJC by Asko Huuki
Kakko has been one of the best forwards of Team Finland, if not the best at the beginning of World Juniors. He got his third point of the tournament against Slovakia with fantastic primary assist for Ville Heinola’s goal in 4-on-4 play.
Kakko’s offensive game has been fantastic. His shot might not be his best asset, but he gave huge amount of quality passes in this game. Kakko has a lot of skill and he is very poised with the puck, but he knows when to keep the puck and when to rely on passing play. His vision is great, his movement with and without the puck has been top notch, and despite not having the best top speed yet, his agility and lateral movement stands out already.
Despite his young age, he is really strong in board battles and he wins most of his one-on-ones. Kakko’s physical side is still immature, but already now he is rarely outmuscled and thanks to good balance and skating, he is a physical threat at this level. When he will be physically ready, the combination of high hockey sense, above average mobility, great hands and size will be huge asset for any pro team.
Overall, Kakko has really shown in this tournament why he will be one of the first picks in 2019 NHL Draft.
- 2018-12-12 at TPS - Jukurit, Liiga by Miika Arponen
Kakko played his first Liiga game as center, when he was pivoting TPS’ top line. He didn’t look at all out of place in the position. On the contrary he seemed to be involved in the game even more than he normally is on the wing. Kakko recorded one assist on the power play, but could’ve had a couple more with the chances he created for his linemates.
Kakko has progressed nicely during the fall, and is very poised with the puck. His skating is clearly above-average in Liiga level, and he almost never gets outmuscled near the boards or in front of the net.
There is a possibility that Kakko gets a chance to play center in the upcoming World Juniors, which would be very interesting showcase for him before the draft.
- 2018-09-18 at TPS - Kärpät, Liiga by Asko Huuki
Kakko had a big role in one of the strongest teams in Liiga playing in the first line of TPS. He was not a constant threat from shift to shift, but his potential is undeniable. He was also the only player from TPS who was able to score in the shootout.
To me, Kakko’s skating looked really smooth for a player of his age and size. While his top speed still needs to improve, he is surprisingly agile and he changes the direction quickly. He obviously has a frame to fill up and he got off the balance many times, but he is already pretty strong player for this level of play and he isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas or board battles. However there is a room for improvement in his defensive play and play off the puck, even though his forechecking was pretty effective already.
Kakko has a nose for goals. He was not able to score against Kärpät, but he had couple of quality chances. On top of that, his hands are magical, he protects the puck really well and he showed great hockey IQ and creativity in the offensive zone. His offensive skill-set is impressive and he should be able to make a lot of points this season against grown-up men.
- 2018-04-19 at Finland - Slovakia, U18 World Championship by Asko Huuki
Kakko didn’t get any points in the opening game of the tournament against Slovakia. He had five shots however, he created a lot of scoring chances and showcased why he is touted as a top quality prospect.
Kakko has pretty much every asset that you would like to see from an offensive player. He is already a very good skater, especially impressive in agility, and he is bigger than most of the players at this level despite being still incomplete on the physical side. The forward has quick shot, he has excellent hands and his ability to change the direction and protecting the puck in the tight space are stellar. He constantly gave good passes and for the most part, his positioning was really good.
His decision-making is still bit immature, he occasionally could play simpler game and despite having a good work ethic, his defensive play was not at the same level with his offensive qualities. There’s nothing too worrying about that though and these aspects of his game should improve greatly when he matures and enters the pro game. All in all, Kakko is an excellent prospect and he should do really well in the pro game next season.
- 2018-02-13 at Finland - Czech Republic, U18 Five-nations by Miika Arponen
Kakko played a very impressive game against players a year older than him. He was constantly a threat on the offensive zone with his speed, positioning and shot. He was also very strong on physical battles. He also set up quite a few good scoring chances to his linemates, and also scored Team Finland’s second goal from a rebound.
He showcased his skills multiple times during the came by handling the puck impressively in high speeds. While he still has to work on his defensive game, he forechecked effectively and forced a pair of turnovers in the game.
There’s no doubt that Kakko is the biggest star of his age group in Finland, and he may end up being a very high draft pick in the 2019 draft.
- 2017-09-17 at HIFK - TPS, U20 by Marco Bombino
Kakko got on the scoresheet by assisting the game-winning goal in the third period. The 16-year-old winger moves extremely well and can accelerate in a hurry. Has good footwork and agility, as well as smooth stops and starts. His combination of size, speed and athleticism already makes him an interesting prospect.
Furthermore, Kakko is a highly skilled player with good understanding of the game. He has soft hands and controls the puck well at varying speeds. He delivers smart, simple enough passes and makes composed plays under pressure. His quick wrist shot is another strength. Like a lot of young players, he must work on his defensive game and reliability away from the puck, even though he already shows some versatility.
All in all, Kakko has first round skills and could be the first Finn selected in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com
|2015-2016||TPS U16||U16 SM-sarja Q||8||3||7||10||2||||
|TPS U16||U16 SM-sarja||25||14||12||26||2|||||Playoffs||4||0||3||3||0|
|2016-2017||TPS U16||U16 SM-sarja||0||0||0||0||0|||||Playoffs||2||2||1||3||2|
|TPS U18||U18 SM-sarja||35||24||17||41||8|||||Playoffs||5||7||0||7||2|
|TPS U20||U20 SM-sarja||7||0||4||4||0|||||Playoffs||3||0||1||1||0|
|Finland U16 (all)||International-Jr||8||6||2||8||2||||
|Finland U17 (all)||International-Jr||3||0||0||0||0||||
|2017-2018||TPS U18||U18 SM-sarja||6||7||4||11||4|||||Playoffs||5||4||5||9||2|
|TPS U20||U20 SM-sarja||38||25||30||55||16||||
|Finland U17 (all)||International-Jr||1||0||0||0||0||||
|Finland U18 (all)||International-Jr||13||6||11||17||4||||
|Finland U20 (all)||International-Jr||18||4||10||14||2||||
|2019-2020||New York Rangers||NHL||66||10||13||23||14|||||Playoffs||3||0||0||0||0|
|2020-2021||New York Rangers||NHL||48||9||8||17||10||||
|2021-2022||New York Rangers||NHL||43||7||11||18||10|||||Playoffs||19||2||3||5||2|
|2022-2023||New York Rangers||NHL||48||9||14||23||8||||
Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com