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Thread: What to do with Kaapo Kakko?

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    What to do with Kaapo Kakko?

    This was touched on in the GDT, but Kakko simply doesn't look like he's performing well in the NHL right now. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but it's clear there's an issue here. The first thing that's immediately apparent to me is how shockingly awful his skating is. He's good on his edges, but his acceleration is terrible, his stride looks like a baby giraffe, and he's got a pretty low top speed. That can all be fixed obviously.

    Mentally, we know through his quotes to the media that he's really struggling and I can't imagine it has gotten better.

    The fancy stats bear it out too, placing Kakko near the very bottom of the league in possession metrics.

    So what should be done with Kakko?

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    Part of me feels like he's the sort of player you make exceptions for. Play him in the top six, give him time on the PP, let him work through it.
    The other part says treat him like everybody else (except Howden lololo) and make him earn his time. If he can't produce it's off to the Pack.
    It's a tough one.

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    He needs to go to the A. It did wonders for Chytil
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vodka Drunkenski View Post
    He needs to go to the A. It did wonders for Chytil
    I just wonder how he handles that mentally. Chytil took the demotion in stride, he said himself that he felt sorry for himself for only like 30 minutes. From Kakko's limited media quotes, it doesn't seem like he would limit himself to 30 minutes of self-flagellation.

    I agree it would be best for him from a pure hockey standpoint, but I just hope it doesn't damage his psyche.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphinity View Post
    I just wonder how he handles that mentally. Chytil took the demotion in stride, he said himself that he felt sorry for himself for only like 30 minutes. From Kakko's limited media quotes, it doesn't seem like he would limit himself to 30 minutes of self-flagellation.

    I agree it would be best for him from a pure hockey standpoint, but I just hope it doesn't damage his psyche.
    Then heís not made for NY if he canít even handle a demotion to the A in his rookie season.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphinity View Post
    I just wonder how he handles that mentally. Chytil took the demotion in stride, he said himself that he felt sorry for himself for only like 30 minutes. From Kakko's limited media quotes, it doesn't seem like he would limit himself to 30 minutes of self-flagellation.

    I agree it would be best for him from a pure hockey standpoint, but I just hope it doesn't damage his psyche.
    To me it just looks simply like the transition to small ice isn't going well, and being in the A would help as a nice transition where the game's a touch slower.

    I mean people are saying "just play him in the top 6" but that's not going to happen with Kreider, Buch, Panarin and Strome all either performing or being showcased.

    Maybe post TDL.

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    Im not sure what to do with him, but I think taking him off the PP1 was wrong. With zib back there's 4 righties on the PP1 (Zib, Panarin, Strome, Fox). I felt on the right side of the PP was one of few places where Kakko actually looked solid. Dont think he deserved to be taken away from that line and its an easy way for him to score some points and gain some confidence playing PP1. Now playing 3rd line minutes with Howden he will obviously have a hard time.

    If the plan is to keep playing him like this then send him down today. If they try and make it easier for him (maybe playing some games with Panarin/Zib) and atleast keeps his spot on the PP1 Im fine with him "working through his problems" here.

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    Send him down for a month.

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    I’m not sure the AHL will help him, his issue, like we’ve seen with others, is that he is thinking too much, too worried about doing the right thing. This is different than Chytil this season, who was not moving, not playing.

    The best thing for his development is putting in a aplcar to play to his strengths, where he can be successful. He was doing this a week ago, before getting stuck with Howden. Now, he’s not getting those offensive chances, and it’s demoralized him.

    Get his offense going and the rest of the game will come... over the years.
    while I understand the sense to send him away, I'm looking to develop Jagr, not Ryan Callahan. Get the kid doing what he knows how to do, then worry about the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Iím not sure the AHL will help him, his issue, like weíve seen with others, is that he is thinking too much, too worried about doing the right thing. This is different than Chytil this season, who was not moving, not playing.

    The best thing for his development is putting in a aplcar to play to his strengths, where he can be successful. He was doing this a week ago, before getting stuck with Howden. Now, heís not getting those offensive chances, and itís demoralized him.

    Get his offense going and the rest of the game will come... over the years.
    while I understand the sense to send him away, I'm looking to develop Jagr, not Ryan Callahan. Get the kid doing what he knows how to do, then worry about the rest.

    A special circumstance for a special player, and a reasonable accommodation
    He's been with Howden much longer than a week.

    No matter who he's been with, he struggles with the speed of the game on a small rink where he can't play keep away.

    The AHL, being half a tick slower, could help.

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    He has really struggled 5v5. No question about that. He's doing pretty well as a PP specialist for his age. I don't think you need to send him down because I don't think that will address what he needs to address IMO. He needs an offseason of training to improve the first step and get a bit quicker and stronger.

    He still fills a specialized role on this team and does it better than a replacement would.

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    I'm in the status quo group. Just keep running him out on the 3rd line and give him PP time.

    I can't see them sending him down as they built half their marketing campaign around him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    He's been with Howden much longer than a week.

    No matter who he's been with, he struggles with the speed of the game on a small rink where he can't play keep away.

    The AHL, being half a tick slower, could help.
    He’s be a target in the AHL, physically and defensively.
    NHL coaches aren’t worried about Howden and Lemieux, they cheat towards Kakko. He has no space and hasn’t to unto createboffense on that line. Put him where he doesn’t have to do that. Let him fly under the radar on a line with a skilled forward and line driver.
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    They can send him to the A if they like.

    But this should not come as a surprise. Ups and downs of being an
    18 year old rookie in the NHL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    He's been with Howden much longer than a week.

    No matter who he's been with, he struggles with the speed of the game on a small rink where he can't play keep away.

    The AHL, being half a tick slower, could help.
    Sorry, had week in my head - as in him coming back from the flu.
    I pointed out how little that line produced two weeks ago, and they had 1 good game this week
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    He’s be a target in the AHL, physically and defensively.
    NHL coaches aren’t worried about Howden and Lemieux, they cheat towards Kakko. He has no space and hasn’t to unto createboffense on that line. Put him where he doesn’t have to do that. Let him fly under the radar on a line with a skilled forward and line driver.
    I hear you, yet on the pregame last night they had clips on Kakko on 3 unsuccessful PPs where the defenders were cheating towards him...And that's when PP1 is out with Panarin et al.

    I just don't see how moving him up to face tougher defenders assigned will help what's happening now.

    Regardless of saying he's thinking too much, he's ungodly slow and even in the zone, gets closed off fairly quickly. If you watched what made him successful on big ice, he can't do that here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I hear you, yet on the pregame last night they had clips on Kakko on 3 unsuccessful PPs where the defenders were cheating towards him...And that's when PP1 is out with Panarin et al.

    I just don't see how moving him up to face tougher defenders assigned will help what's happening now.

    Regardless of saying he's thinking too much, he's ungodly slow and even in the zone, gets closed off fairly quickly. If you watched what made him successful on big ice, he can't do that here.
    The pp was too predictable.

    But, even when he’s with guys they cheat towards him. It seems moving him down the line up or to AHL doesn’t fix that problem. I agree that some of the issues are from adjusting, but I don’t think he improves that part of his game outside the nhl. Even the practices with nhl players is a huge part of the development . (I also like when young guys sit a little, and are a scratch on occasion)
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    The pp was too predictable.

    But, even when he’s with guys they cheat towards him. It seems moving him down the line up or to AHL doesn’t fix that problem. I agree that some of the issues are from adjusting, but I don’t think he improves that part of his game outside the nhl. Even the practices with nhl players is a huge part of the development . (I also like when young guys sit a little, and are a scratch on occasion)
    Agreed. Kakko has hit a lull. But the PP has been really static of late. This team ALWAYS tries to make the extra pass and sooner rather then later the puck is out of the zone. There's a lot of overthinking going on.

    Play him a regular shift and the PP. With Z'jad and Panarin healthy, there's no pressure. And he's learning from 2 of the best players in the world everyday, something he won't get in Hartford. He doesn't look out of place, merely looks like he's adjusting. By contrast, Jack Hughes looks too small and not ready. Not saying Hughes is a bust, simply not physically ready yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    The pp was too predictable.

    But, even when heís with guys they cheat towards him. It seems moving him down the line up or to AHL doesnít fix that problem. I agree that some of the issues are from adjusting, but I donít think he improves that part of his game outside the nhl. Even the practices with nhl players is a huge part of the development . (I also like when young guys sit a little, and are a scratch on occasion)
    I just don't know how long you should keep a kid who's failing at the NHL level at the NHL level when he also has a confidence problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I hear you, yet on the pregame last night they had clips on Kakko on 3 unsuccessful PPs where the defenders were cheating towards him...And that's when PP1 is out with Panarin et al.

    I just don't see how moving him up to face tougher defenders assigned will help what's happening now.

    Regardless of saying he's thinking too much, he's ungodly slow and even in the zone, gets closed off fairly quickly. If you watched what made him successful on big ice, he can't do that here.
    Keeping in mind I've never played hockey, how does putting him against weaker competition help him get closed off less quickly? I'd imagine it'd just get him comfortable with not being cheated toward.

    The other end of this, imo, is that he's 18. He's a rookie. This sort of up-and-down play is par for the course for most 18 year olds.
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