Detroit Red Wings Headed Towards a Lottery Pick maybe Kaapo Kakko?

VICTORIA , BC - DECEMBER 27: Kaapo Kakko #24 of Finland versus Kazakhstan at the IIHF World Junior Championships at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on December 27, 2018 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VICTORIA , BC - DECEMBER 27: Kaapo Kakko #24 of Finland versus Kazakhstan at the IIHF World Junior Championships at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on December 27, 2018 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Red Wings are headed for a chance at one of the top lottery picks; many think Jack Hughes should be the target. However, Kaapo Kakko might just be the better option for the Red Wings.

With 51 points, the Detroit Red Wings currently sit second from last in the NHL Standings. Even though there is much time left to go in the season, having played 57 games there is still some time left, but currently, the Red Wings are going to be getting one of the NHL Draft Lottery picks.

With the top two picks most likely going to be Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko. With the Red Wings heading towards the end of a rebuild, Kaapo Kakko might be the better option for the Red Wings if they have the opportunity to take him.

Kakko scored the golden goal in this years IIHF World Junior Championship to win team Finland the gold medal. The eighteen-year-old stands 6’2″, 181lbs and is a left winger for Turun Pallosera (TPS) in Liiga over in Europe. Through 32 games played, Kakko has notched 23 points with 12 goals and 11 assists. Kakko may not be the top point-getter on the TPS team, but he has been ranked as number two behind Jack Hughes on many of the lists.

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Matias Strozyk, a scout for EliteProspects.com, completed his scouting report on Kakko featuring him as a quick-thinking winger, confident, and possessing high hockey IQ. The full extent of Strozyk’s scouting report is found on EliteProspects.com on his player profile. The reason it’s important to mention his scouting report gives a better understanding of his quick developing and excel skills.

Looking at Kakko’s golden goal above, it is easy to see that he stays calm throughout the play though it is a VERY high leverage situation. This goal was the go-ahead goal in the gold medal game that ultimately gave the Finns the win. If you keep an eye on Kakko, he lingers in front of the net, reading the play while also using his body to battle for position.

He then slowly recedes backdoor takes a swing at the bouncing rebound, and after he misses, he maintains his calmness and buries the next shot over the leg of the USA goaltender. It is understandable that this is merely one goal, and he has plenty of film and highlights to watch, but one of the main takeaways from this golden goal would be that he can maintain composure during high leverage situations.

The question that should be raised to all Red Wings fans is simple, do you want Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko? The argument is simple, Jack Hughes at 5’9″ is quite small for his position and that might hinder his ability to get put into an NHL lineup as quick as someone like Kakko who has that 6’2″ frame.

If Jack Hughes’s brother was not able to land a spot with the Canucks organization and remains with the University of Michigan, will Jack Hughes’s skill gap truly be good enough for him to join the organization right away?

If the Red Wings are truly headed towards the end of the rebuild, they will truly want to add another generational talent, Kakko has the frame and skill set to be an Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine type prospect that will be ready to see NHL playing time much quicker which will only help the Red Wings who are looking to have this rebuild done and start competing in the next few years.

Hughes is not a bad draft choice, and I have nothing against Hughes or the Detroit Red Wings taking Hughes. What fellow Octopus Thrower writer Brian Wallace wrote about Hughes is excellent, and I highly recommend it as a read especially if your interested in this topic.

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It just truly seems like Kakko would just be the better choice for the Detroit Red Wings based off their current rebuild situation, frame, and overall “guesstimate” on the time it will take for him to develop enough for NHL talent. Most of the signs point to Kakko and his quicker readiness to be an impact in an NHL lineup sooner than Hughes which seems like it would be the better option for the Red Wings.