Kakko impresses in exhibition game vs Islanders

The New York Rangers played their lone exhibition game as they took on the New York Islanders on Wednesday. The Islanders took a 2-1 win in what was a fast-paced game. Anthony Beauvillier and Devon Toews scored for the Islanders, while Filip Chytil got on the scoresheet for the Rangers late in the third period.

Rangers’ rookie forward Kaapo Kakko had a strong performance. He started the game on the third line, playing alongside Phil Di Giuseppe and Filip Chytil, but he also got a few shifts on the second line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. Kakko had 12:44 of ice-time, recorded four shots on goal and one blocked shot. He also took a penalty late in the first period, preventing a scoring opportunity in the situation.

Kakko was purposeful with the puck. When he was in a shooting position, he did not hesitate to fire it. He did not complicate things, instead he kept his game pretty simple most of the time. He read plays well and moved into good spots. Moreover, he looked a tad quicker than in the regular season. He had more jump and played with good pace. He looked confident throughout the game.

Kakko was one of the most noticeable players on either side. The 19-year-old winger received a lot of praise during the Rangers’ training camp, but it was good to see him manage well yesterday, even though only in an exhibition game. I’m interested to see what kind of an impact he will have as the Rangers take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the playoffs.

Cover photo: Jared Silber / Getty Images