2019 NHL Entry Draft: Kaapo Kakko is a Satisfying Consolation Prize

Photo from HC TPS

No debate surrounds the future first overall selection of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. It’s Jack Hughes and that’s that. Similarly, there is no question that the second overall pick will be Turku, Finland native Kaapo Kakko.

The 6-foot-2 winger has unmatched offensive skill and possesses the necessary tools to consistently put the puck in the back of the net. His puck-handling skills are top notch and he is able to make something out of nothing on a regular basis. Kakko’s creativity breaks down the opposition, presenting constant opportunities for himself and his teammates. His decision making rivals some of the best in the NHL and he can make the hard pass when need be. Kakko is the total package in regards to the offense and will be an immediate asset to whoever drafts him.

Like any other 18-year-old hockey player, Kakko has apparent areas of his game that need improvement. He is far from the fastest skater on the ice. It would be unfair to categorize him as a slow but he is no speed demon either. Skating is simply an aspect of Kakko’s game that still needs some work. However, it will not prevent him from doing great things right from the get-go.


Currently, Kakko is lacing his skates for TPS of Finland’s Liiga. In his first full season with the team, he has posted 22 goals and 16 assists in 45 games. Kakko’s 22 goals is the most by any U18 player in the Liiga. Additionally, Kakko recorded five points in seven games for Finland in the World Junior Championships. Kakko’s point total in the Liiga may look slightly underwhelming at first glance. However, we must keep in mind that this is a professional league with older players further along in their development.

As the sure-fire second-overall pick in this year’s draft, the likelihood of Kakko winding up with Philadelphia Flyers is incredibly small. The Flyers will mostly likely pick towards the middle of the first round where there are still some top-notch prospects available. Still, crazy things can happen in the NHL Draft Lottery. Flyers fans only have to look back to 2017 where they unexpectedly received the second-overall selection. Of course, that pick turned into Nolan Patrick. So although Kakko is likely to play elsewhere next year, there is still some hope Flyers fans.


Mandatory Credit: Photo from HC TPS