Kaapo Kakko Scouting Report
- Upside: Franchise Scoring Right Winger
- Floor: Top Line Scoring Right Winger
- Comparable: Elias Pettersson
This is my scouting report on TPS Turku right winger Kaapo Kakko. As mentioned above, for me the difference between Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko is ever so small. I truly believe that if Kakko had been a natural center, he would be #1 on a lot of people’s lists; including mine. It’s been really apparent, for some time now that Kakko was going to be a special talent the way he was performing as an underaged player. Has been a dominant force at every level of competition for well over a year – from the U18 tournament in 2018 to playing for TPS in the Liiga to the World Junior Championships to the most recent World Championships – he hasn’t just been good which would be an accomplishment in itself – he’s been an impact player.
Kakko has outstanding offensive awareness and understands positioning not only to get himself into areas to create plays but he creates space for his teammates as well. He’s a very skilled playmaker that can make tape-to-tape passes with a high degree of accuracy. He has a large repertoire of moves and dekes that can leave defenders wondering what the hell just happened (they just got “Kakkoed”™ – that’s what happened!). Not only that but what really sets him apart is the way he protects the puck and shakes off defenders along the boards. He doesn’t give up the puck easily once in control down low and he knows how to use his size to his advantage. He just keeps going until he can setup a good chance for himself or a teammate.
What I like most about Kakko apart from his immense talent is that he’s a very determined player who wants to be the best. It is glaringly obvious. He is the kind of player that wants the puck on his stick as much as possible so that he can be a difference maker every night and for a player with that kind of talent to have that kind of drive is impressive and also very scary…for other teams.
In March, Kaapo Kakko broke Aleksander Barkov’s record for most goals by an underaged player in the LIIGA. Not too shabby… that’s some pretty good company to be in. When you think about the success that the Bruins, Flames and Avalanche have had this past season with loading up and having one dominant line, you have to wonder if Kakko isn’t giving Ray Shero and his crew plenty to think about. A line of Taylor Hall-Nico Hischier-Kaapo Kakko would be unbelievable but would that be enough to sway the Devils to forego a potential dynamite 1-2 punch at center?
In terms of skating style and in the way he controls the play and distributes the puck, he reminds me a lot of a bigger, stronger version of Elias Pettersson. Kakko is more of a natural winger, but I think you can expect a similar type of impact on his new team.
- TSN – #2
- Central Scouting – #1 ES
- ISS – #2
- Future Considerations – #2
- McKeens – #2
- THN – #2
- Craig Button – #2
- Hockey Prospect – #2
REFERENCE via HF BOARDS