Three potential trade destinations for New York Ranger forward Kaapo Kakko among rumors

Jan 16, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson (56) celebrates
Jan 16, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Erik Gustafsson (56) celebrates / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Montreal Canadiens

This might be a more likable suggestion for some that want him out of the division if he is going to leave, but it's still an original six rival. The Montreal Canadiens are in the depths of a rebuild and are desperate for young talent up front. With aging veterans like Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia stuck in the french part of Canada, the Rangers winger could be a welcome addition as the Habs try to get back to their past glory.

After the Sean Monahan trade that saw the Canadiens ship him out to Winnipeg for a first round pick, there could be an asset of that quality coming the other way for Kakko, which would give the Rangers more fuel to try and find a good fit for the roster in the various positions that have started to show signs of needing addressing.

Now, the last time the Canadiens had a young Finn that went by the nickname "KK", he ended up getting an offer sheet that wasn't matched. Getting a winger back in the organization that has the potential to take that next step and truly become an elite goal-scoring winger is something Kent Hughes and company are going to have no choice but to consider.

Playing beside guys like Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki, there would be young players for Kakko to help adjust to the new settings in Montreal and build a connection on a line that the Canadiens could use for a long time. It would suck to see Kakko go somewhere that will probably have the ability to unlock his full potential into the destroyer of worlds we expected him to be when he was drafted, but it wouldn't be for nothing.

If the Rangers could net the Winnipeg Jets' first-round draft selection in the 2024 NHL entry draft that the Canadiens got in the Sean Monahan deal, it could make sense to use those futures to then address the situation in the top nine, whether that be down the middle or on the right wing. It's not something that is beyond the bounds of possibility, I don't think, but it would certainly be a stretch for Kakko.