Team: TPS (Liiga)
Position: Right Wing
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 190
REPORT: TPS @ HIFK, Liiga, March 9, 2019
Kakko had a rough first period where his line could not get much offense going, but he was excellent during the last 40 minutes. He scored a goal with a terrific individual effort after stickhandling in tight and finishing from near the cage. With that goal, he tied Aleksander Barkov for most goals by a U18 player in Liiga history. He recorded seven shots on goal and was around the puck a lot, and despite not getting much help from his teammates he was able to be a threat in the offensive zone. He protected the puck well and when he gains additional strength, he will be extremely difficult to play against. To simply put it, Kakko looks ready to make the jump to the NHL next season.
REPORT: TPS @ Blues U18, March 3, 2018
Kakko scored the lone goal for TPS U18 in a 3-1 loss to Blues. While this was not the best performance I have seen from him, he was still the most skilled individual on the ice by a wide margin. He showed a unique ability to make plays in tight spaces and he was extremely tough to defend in 1-on-1’s due to being unpredictable and creative with the puck. The Blues players tried to defend extra carefully against him and they managed quite well for a large portion of the game, taking away time and space from him. However, Kakko did take over a couple of shifts offensively as he displayed his great combination of speed, skill and strength. He was a workhorse with a high work rate and had a strong commitment to the defensive game, too.
Notes from the 2019 World Juniors Round Robin (January 1, 2019)
Prospect Profile: Kaapo Kakko (January 30, 2018)
Cover photo: Kevin Light / Getty Images