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Kakko Primed For Breakout Season?


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It can’t be overstated how dramatic Kakko’s two-way progress was. The improvement, unfortunately, didn’t translate in terms of individual points but it did carry over on the scoresheet where New York outscored opponents by five goals with him on the ice. That’s a far cry from being 24 goals in the red like he was in year one.

Part of the reason Kakko didn’t breakout offensively was that the team shot just 7.3 percent when he was on the ice at five-on-five.

Heading into this season, the 20-year-old could get a crack as the third wheel on a line with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome. The trio dominated possession and outscored opponents 9-6 during their minutes together so it’s a combination worth experimenting with again.

The process of Kakko’s game improved tremendously last season. With better finishing and a potentially substantial boost in linemate quality, that hard work should show up more prominently in the boxcar stats.

I mean...he's kind of got to break out this season, but there's good reason to believe.

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