Now, after Finland’s victory in the World Championship, Kaapo Kakko has kicked up talks on who is really going to be drafted first overall.
Kaapo Kakko has been predicted to go 2nd overall behind American Jack Hughes. Although recently, a lot of people are putting Kakko in the 1st overall spot. His performance with team Finland over at the World Championship only furthers the idea that he can be headed to the New Jersey Devils. Not to mention that in all 3 of Kakko’s World Championship appearances (U18, U20, and Men’s) have ended with a gold medal in his hands.
In the 10 game series at Worlds, Kakko put up 6 goals and 1 assist for 7 points. The young winger rode a +10 rating with 0 PIM. This comes after a season in the Liiga League where Kakko put up 38 points (22 goals 16 assists) in 45 games. His puck skills are put of this world and he showcased that well in the past Championship. In this video, keep your eyes out for #24 as he dances around the ice with the puck:
Meanwhile, Jack Hughes and rest of Team USA were eliminated in 7 games so the 18 year-old didn’t get a chance to hoist a medal. But in those 7 games, Hughes had 0 goals, 3 assists for 3 points and a +2 rating. Hughes thrived more on the U18 team where he had 20 points in 7 games, but he wasn’t facing NHL players then.
Kakko outplayed Hughes and it could have been the best thing to happen for the 18 year-old’s chances at going 1st. We can see Kakko heading over to the New Jersey Devils with the first pick and get to see him grow alongside players like Hall and Heisher. Or head over to the New York Rangers in 2nd and help them build a resurgence after they handed away most of their experienced players.
But nothing is for certain, there could be the curve ball of someone else going 1st. Until then, it’ll be a waiting game to see who is going to New Jersey and whose headed to New York.
Featured Image: EPA