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CONNOR MCDAVID
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NEW YORK RANGERS RE-SIGN FORMER 2ND OVERALL PICK KAAPO KAKKO TO BRIDGE DEAL

JUL 28, 2022  (11H06)      JON
The New York Rangers announced today they have signed F Kaapo Kakko to a two-year bridge deal worth $4.2 million ($2.1M AAV):


Kakko, 21, was selected 2nd Overall by the New York Rangers in 2019. Or as I like to call it, the Jack Hughes Draft. The Finnish forward has shown flashes of brilliance in his 157 NHL games. He's managed only 58 points, but he is an effective NHL-caliber forward. He has yet to fully develop into what Rangers' fans had hoped for after being selected so highly in the draft, so naturally Kakko is criticized a fair amount.


His underlying analytics are good-not-great. As Jack points out, the next couple of years of his development will determine whether he is a true top-six NHL contributor or someone who supports better players up & down the lineup. The Rangers, still fresh off an Eastern Conference Final defeat, may not be interested in waiting for Kakko to fully bloom & seek a trade for more of a prime-aged player. Some speculated he could be included in a JT Miller trade with Vancouver, but cap space makes that deal difficult to pull off.

Nevertheless, the Rangers & Kakko have two years to figure it out. Otherwise, they may have a Jesse Pujujarvi or Valeri Nichushkin situation on their hands.
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