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Entries with the tag: kaapo kakko

A New Beginning For Kaapo Kakko

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

This is the second season for Kaapo Kakko, whose four-month break at home just might prove to be the pause that refreshed the second-overall selection whose first try at the NHL wasn’t quite what anyone anticipated.

“Now I have a new chance,” said Kakko, who has been impressive through the first four work days. “I’m feeling better. I was on the ice [in Finland] every week at least two or three times, we had a good group [of players] over there, spent a little bit of time at the gym, and am feeling a little faster and a little stronger on the ice, so that’s good.”

Kakko, who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, does not seem to have had a second thought about returning to the fray despite the fact that those sharing that medical condition could be at a higher risk to develop more serious complications if contracting COVID-19.

“Of course I wanted to play hockey again,” the 19-year-old said. “I talked to my doctors about that a little bit and I think if I keep my [blood sugar level] down, it’s going to be OK and I can play hockey, again.

continued

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Morning Line- Brendan Smith On Kaapo Kakko

"I spend a lot of time with him because he lives out by me. I wouldn't call myself his personal chauffeur, but I pick him up a lot and make sure he gets to the rink on time. And the biggest thing with him is that it's a big adjustment. He's coming from Europe to North America. There's a smaller ice surface. The food is different. There's a lot of different things he has to adjust to. He's a diabetic and a celiac, so there's a lot of things he needs to be aware with, especially with food. But he's a very mature kid. What is he, 18? I forget that all the time. [He is, indeed, 18 and turns 19 in February.] He's got All-Star written all over him.

"The biggest thing is to make sure, as a team, we stay inclusive. He's very quiet. There's obviously a language barrier he's working on. I enjoy being around him, but I need him to talk more. I'm trying to break his shell, that's my job I guess. We've had a couple car rides where I think he just says 'good morning' to me and that's it. So I'm working on him, trying to ask him more things. I'm going to try to learn some Finnish, I think. The more comfortable he gets, the more skill and fantastic plays you'll see on the ice."

-Brendan Smith of the New York Rangers on teammate Kaapo Kakko.  Emily Kaplan of ESPN has many more NHL topics today.

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Handling Kaapo Kakko With A Different Approach

from Mollie Walker of the New York Post,

Luckily for the Rangers, the coaching staff is beginning to figure out what approach is most effective with the young Finn and how to bring the best out of him.

“About 2 ¹/₂ weeks ago, I told him I wasn’t going to talk to him anymore,” coach David Quinn said following practice Wednesday. “I’m not joking when I say that. I literally felt that as a staff we really wanted him to be good so fast and all of us were spending a lot of time with him. You could just see it in his face. Finally, I told our whole staff [to lay off of him]. I said to him, ‘The only thing I’m going to say to you is hello.’

“The one thing I will say [to Kakko], I’ll talk about effort and being physical, those are the only two things we’ll talk about. I said, ‘But we’ve got to let you play.’ I think that might’ve helped him a little bit, but I also think adapting to the NHL is hard for any 18-year-old. Sometimes the best coaching is no coaching and I think this is an example.”

Quinn wouldn’t say if that was a direct result of Kakko’s recent success, but it’s hard to ignore the difference it’s made. At first, the second-year coach experimented with Kakko on the top two lines. But after posting just three points and a collective minus-12 rating through the season’s first 10 games, Kakko was demoted — something that probably seemed more detrimental to him in his first NHL season.

read on

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Evening Line- David Quinn On Kaapo Kakko

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More Quality Ice Time For Kaapo Kakko Needed

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

It is true in the macro sense that what is good for Kaapo Kakko is good for the Rangers. At this moment, though, what is good for the Rangers is promoting Kakko from the second power-play unit to the first, if not also getting the second-overall draft selection onto the first line at five-on-five.

This is not a reaction to how the Devils are deploying first-overall Jack Hughes, who does play on New Jersey’s first man-advantage unit. Neither is this a knee-jerk response to the Blueshirts going 0-for-6 in 10:38 of power-play time in Thursday’s 5-2 defeat to New Jersey at the Rock. Not at all.

continued

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Video- Kaapo Kakko With His First NHL Goal

A beauty from the #2 pick in this year's NHL Draft.

 

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Hype Time

from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,

A dazzling U.S. centre who torched the National Development Program gets chosen No. 1 overall, followed by a hulking Finnish winger at No. 2 who is already dominating amongst men at the pro level.

It looks familiar, doesn’t it? After all, it was only three years ago when Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine went 1-2 in the NHL Entry Draft 2016.

On Friday night in Vancouver, a similar scene unfolded on the draft floor of Rogers Arena when the New Jersey Devils chose American centre Jack Hughes with the No. 1 pick and the New York Rangers followed it up by selecting Finland’s Kaapo Kakko at No. 2.

Not to heap too much pressure on the young kids, but their two respective franchises can only hope that they have a similar effect as Matthews and Laine have had on the Maple Leafs and Jets.

It’s obviously a high bar to meet.

continued

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Kaapo Kakko Goes #2 To The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, June 21, 2019 – With the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers selected forward Kaapo Kakko.

Kakko, 18, skated in 45 games with TPS of Liiga (Finnish Elite League) this past season, registering 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points, along with a plus-one rating and 10 penalty minutes. Kakko’s 22 goals in 2018-19 were the most any U18 player has registered in one season in the history of Finland’s top league, breaking the record of 21 set by Aleksander Barkov in 2012-13. In addition, Kakko’s 38 points this past season were the third-most in one season by a U18 player in the history of Finland’s top league, trailing only Barkov (48 in 2012-13) and Mikael Granlund (40 in 2009-10).

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