Kaapo Kakko

The players that Kaapo Kakko is compared to

In describing his game, Kaapo Kakko said that his style is similar to Toronto’s Auston Matthews and that Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen “is someone that I look up to and try to copy some of his moves.” (2019 Hockey News Draft Preview issue)

Kakko dismisses comparisons to fellow Finn Patrick Laine and notes that he plays more like Rantanen, “I’ve scored goals, but my goals come from closer range.” (2019 Hockey News Draft Preview issue)

Ray Ferraro said on TSN 1050 Toronto on 5/17, “Kakko is good. He reminds me a little bit of Mikko Rantanen, he’s got good size, really good hands, he can shoot, he drives the puck to the net and protects it really strongly and he’s 18. He’s going to get stronger and better.”


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Kalle Kaskinen, Kakko’s coach with TPS in the Finnish league said that Kakko is a combination of Saku Koivu, Auston Matthews and Peter Forsberg. (2019 Hockey News Draft Preview issue)

Craig Custance spoke with a scout that compared how Kakko uses his “body and power” to the way that Forsberg did. (The Athletic)

Kaskinen said that Kakko’s “pride and competitiveness” draw a comparison to Forsberg and that Kakko has the same kind of “fire” in his game that Koivu had. (2019 Hockey News Draft Preview issue)

Jussi Ahokas, who coached Kaapo at the World Juniors, said that Kakko is a better skater at this age than Rantanen was, “they have really good hockey sense but Kaapo would be a little bit ahead of what Mikko was at that point in his career. Patrik is more of a shooter and goal-scorer, the comparison to Rantanen is better, but I still think they’re different. Kaapo is a special kid.” (2019 Hockey News Draft Preview issue)

Matt Larkin writes of Kakko, “Like Rantanen, Kakko earns praise from scouts and coaches for his intelligence and skill ragging the puck in the offensive zone. Call up some highlight clips and you’ll witness Kakko’s unique ability to slow the action down and give himself extra time. He backs off defenders with quick dekes and cuts, creating space to set up teammates. He projects to be prodigiously dangerous on the PP.” (2019 Hockey News Draft Preview issue)

In The Hockey News draft rankings they list Kakko’s best case as Mikko Rantanen.