Time will tell whether the Devils thinking highly enough of Kaapo Kakko to take him over long-presumed No. 1 NHL Draft pick Jack Hughes, but Kakko's emergence over the last year has at least made it a debate.
And Kakko thinks it can happen, especially as he dominates in the IIHF World Championship.
"This is a big thing for me for the draft," Kakko told NHL.com through a translator. "I think I can be the first (pick)."
The Finnish wing is tied for the tournament lead with six goals through four games. Hughes, the American center, has zero points through four games. But Hughes is playing a lesser role on a Team USA squad full of NHL players, while Kakko is the go-to option for Finland.
The Devils' decision certainly won't be made solely based on the pair's performances at the Worlds, but Kakko sure has impressed with some highlight-reel goals.
"I've played well," Kakko said. "I haven't paid much attention to Jack Hughes and his game, but I'm confident I've been able to let everyone see my skills and the level of my game. It's not going to be an easy choice for the teams."
For the Rangers, the decision will be easy. They'll simply take whom the Devils don't, with Kakko and Hughes clearly going No. 1/2 in some order. They'll both be in the Tri-State area, but if Kakko has his druthers, he'll be plying his trade west of the Hudson.