Nearly two years ago, the New York Rangers sent a letter to their fan base to let them know of their intentions of rebuilding the team. And boy, was that ever a short rebuild, all accelerated by the Rangers winning the second overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery and landing Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko. Prior to New York's season opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, Kakko was introduced onto the ice, and the crowd at Madison Square Garden lost their minds.
You think New York loves this phenom? We'd say that's a safe assumption.
Kakko brings something the Rangers haven't had in a long time: a legitimate goal-scorer. Playing in Finland's Liiga this past season, Kakko bagged 22 goals and 16 assists in 45 games.
The 18-year-old was the icing on the cake for the Rangers this summer, as they acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba in a trade with the Jets and signed winger Artemi Panarin to a massive contract.
The Rangers faithful are hyped, as Kaapo Kakko is the face of hope for a hockey franchise who hasn't hoisted a Stanley Cup since 1994.