Is Kaapo Kakko poised for a breakout year under new Rangers coach Gerard Gallant? A deep


High expectations come with the territory of being picked second overall in the NHL Draft, and Kaapo Kakko has had a tough start to his New York Rangers career in that regard. He had one of the worst statistical seasons in the league as a rookie in 2019-20 and has yet to make an impact on the scoresheet through two seasons, with 19 goals and 40 points in 119 games.

But results are different than growth when it comes to a young player’s progress and trajectory. And expectations and results, in Kakko’s case, may be misleading.

The 20-year-old winger’s growth over the past year should inspire confidence, moving forward. With a new-look coaching staff and subtractions on the right side of the forward group, there will be ice time and opportunity for Kakko to thrive in his third NHL season.

Will he take advantage of that opportunity and produce a breakout year? Let’s take a look at the video and analytics from his first two seasons to get a sense of how he’s set up for year three.

The work of Michael Schuckers and The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn shows that second overall draft picks are often pretty valuable in their first seven seasons: worth 15.7 wins, in terms of Game Score Value added.

But within that set of players, there are variants and outliers. The viz below, by Prashanth Iyer, helps show the gap (in

window.fbAsyncInit = function() {
appId : ‘755512374574534’,
xfbml : true,
version : ‘v9.0’

(function(d, s, id){
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;}
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-72907525-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

fbq(‘dataProcessingOptions’, []);
fbq(‘init’, ‘207679059578897’); // Insert your pixel ID here.
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’, {
contents: [{
id: ‘2828846’,
quantity: 1
content_type: ‘product’,
league_ids: [“1”],
all_tagged_teams: [“12”] });


Read More: Is Kaapo Kakko poised for a breakout year under new Rangers coach Gerard Gallant? A deep