3 more excellent suitors for Kaapo Kakko at the trade deadline

Kaapo Kakko is one player the New York Rangers could use as bait at the trade deadline for an underperforming team looking for a high-potential skater.

Feb 9, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) skates with the
Feb 9, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) skates with the / Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
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Sometimes, things don’t work out the way all parties have planned, and for New York Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko, this has been the case. But as a young, former second-overall pick who has enjoyed some solid production at times in his NHL career, Kakko should be a hot name among quite a few front offices as the trade deadline nears. 

Recently, Kakko has found himself on a points streak, with two goals and three assists between February 9th and February 20th. One of those goals was a game-winner, and it shows us that when he’s taking shots at the net - 10 in the last five games compared to just 38 in his first 30 contests, he can be consistent. 

Kakko’s 47 takeaways last season also indicate he has two-way tendencies, and the same goes for his possession metrics this year in on-ice save percentage at even strength and 5-on-5, which sit at 94.0 and 94.2, respectively, as of February 22nd. Overall, he has shown more than a few flashes during his time with the Rangers. 

Kaapo Kakko has played well despite never living up to expectations

While some contenders would love to bring in Kakko and see if he fits their respective systems, there will be hordes of underperforming organizations looking to get rid of some remaining talent with a year or two left on their respective contracts. That said, it would be easy for the Rangers to insert Kakko into a potential deal that will further facilitate a trade. 

While there are quite a few teams that have been all but eliminated from playoff contention, three stand out more than the others as excellent suitors for Kakko. Each team listed below has an asset that will help the Rangers, and if Kakko proves to be a good fit, he can transform into a late-blooming top-five draft pick. So, if traded at or before the deadline, where should Kakko ultimately land and why?