Kaapo Kakko is Tearing It Up at IIHF World Championship

By: Lucky Ngamwajasat

Ray Shero will have one heck of a decision to make when the Devils are officially on the clock at the 2019 NHL Draft.

Jack Hughes has been considered by most experts to be the prospective No. 1 pick overall, but Kaapo Kakko is making a strong case for himself with his play at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

In his two games for Finland against Canada and Slovakia, Kakko has tallied five goals, including a hat trick against the hosts. The Finns, who have just one recognized NHL player on their roster, are relying on the young stud for nearly all of their offense.

The 18-year-old has more than delivered. His first goal, an outstanding breakaway tally against Team Canada and the Penguins’ Matt Murray on Friday, displayed his raw strength and silky skill.

Kakko added an empty-net marker to seal a 3-1 win for the Finns against a team loaded with NHL talent.

As impressive as his performance against the Canadians was, Kakko followed it up with an even more dynamic effort against the hosts on Saturday.

His first goal was a blast from the point.

His second goal was a sick backhand effort after stickhandling behind the net.

Kakko completed the hat trick in style with another empty-net tally, once again displaying his brute strength.

Needless to say, fans on social media were pretty awe-struck after seeing Kakko dominate.

Has Kakko done enough to overtake Hughes, or will he be available for the Rangers to select him at No. 2?

We’ll find out on June 21.

The Garden of Dreams Foundation helps kids facing obstacles in the Tri-State area, including Rangers fan Taylor Ryan who is battling a rare blood disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.