Kaapo Kakko, No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, is officially a Ranger.
Kakko signed his entry-level deal with the Rangers on Thursday, which the team shared via Twitter.
"I'm so happy and excited to sign my first NHL contract with the New York Rangers and I want to thank my family, friends, teamamtes and fans for supporting me," Kakko said.
Rangers fans have already embraced Kakko, flocking to the team's developmental camp to catch a glimpse of him on the ice. And many like Kakko for the Rangers, especially NBC Sports' NHL analyst Pierre McGuire who told SNY "I can see him fitting in right away."
"I respect his finishing ability. I respect his creativity. I respect his strength on the puck," McGuire explained. "He's a guy it's not going to take long for him to make a mark in the league."
After Mats Zuccarello was traded away along with Jimmy Vesey, Kakko will certainly have his chances early on to make an impact at left wing. The Rangers will hope he can emulate his performance of last season, where he tallied 38 points in 45 games in Finland's top league, Liiga.
But it was his work with the Finland National Team at the 2019 IIHF World Championship that caught everyone's eye. He was the star of the gold medal-winning squad, as he scored six goals and assisted on one for seven points with a plus-10 rating in 10 games. He became the first player ever to win the World Championship in his U18 season.
Big things are expected of Kakko, and he seems to be ready for the challenge as the NHL season awaits him.