The Rangers moved from sixth to the second overall pick in last night’s draft lottery.
Craig Button of TSN says that the Rangers should select Kakko with the second overall pick and that he plays his game with “skill, power and will.”
Button added, “he adds to a tremendous group of young players in their system with Vitali Kravtsov.”
Sam Cosentino ranked Kakko first in his March rankings and noted that some think he could be a center. Kakko was ranked 2nd, behind Jack Hughes, in Cosentino’s April rankings.
Corey Pronman wrote at The Athletic that in Kakko the Rangers would be getting a player as close to “NHL ready” as most under-18 players are and is “exactly what their rebuild needed: a true impact prospect they can build around.”
Pronman adds that Kakko is a “highly skilled” and competitive winger that can win battles against NHLers “right away. (The Athletic)
All three writers on NHL.com have the Rangers selecting Kakko with Adam Kimelman writing he has “game-breaking offensive abilities, including high-end vision and hands, and can make plays at top speed. He could step right into a top-six role in the NHL next season.”
David Quinn told Larry Brooks that he has already began watching clips of Kakko, saying “he’s impressive” and that “sees the play ahead of the play.” (NY Post)
A scout told Brooks that Kakko is, “very competitive, highly motivated and extremely skilled. He’s a goal-scorer with outstanding instincts. He likes to use his body, too.”
Adam Rotter: There are going to be whispers and rumors and a whole lot of speculation between now and when the Rangers make their pick but it’s either going to be Kakko or Jack Hughes. Some believe that the Rangers are one of the teams that have Hughes and Kakko neck and neck for first overall and if that is the case then they can just simply walk to the podium and announce the name of the person the Devils don’t take.