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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Florida Panthers

This is one I could see happening. Florida's offense has been a shell of what it was last year when they got all the way to the Stanley Cup final, and part of that can be attriuted to the issues on the blueline to Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad, but it doesn't fix the issues they are having. Kaapo Kakko would be a solid fit down in Sunrise, Florida as someone that could help the Panthers get back to that promised land.

With leadership from Aleksander Barkov, the Finnish winger would be able to learn from a Finnish captain. He would quite possibly end up on a line with Anton Lundell as well, which would give him another national connection to let him feel at home in the lineup in Florida. This could help the Finn break out into what everyone wanted him to be when he was drafted as high as he was in the 2019 NHL entry draft.

When the New York Rangers start to analyze the trade market for Kakko, if they cannot include him in a package for a piece that will help the roster in its current state, then the Southern parts of Florida will be interested as they also have a history of reclamation projects. Gustav Forsling was a waiver claim of theres that is now a strong top four defenseman, and taking another project winger may appeal to that organization.

Where would you like to see Kakko move to if he is dealt? As I said, I'd personally prefer to see Kakko remain in New York, but that is not my decision as people get paid a lot more than I do to make decisions about this sort of thing. We will see what happens as the Rangers can only wait for the right moment, and if it never appears, they will have to stay the course with the Finnish winger.