The primary order of enterprise for Kaapo Kakko is completed — a two-year bridge deal signed last week at a median annual worth of $2.1 million — and now the stress is all on the 21-year-old Finn.
There may be room for argument on the state of Kakko’s improvement after a promising postseason that ended within the press field, however there are solely two opinions that basically matter: these of Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant. And, at the least in Gallant’s case, it’s clear that he believes Kakko has fairly a protracted option to go — in any other case he wouldn’t have benched Kakko in the final game of the season.
That call drew ire from segments of followers and media largely resulting from its divergence from typical knowledge relating to Kakko’s play. Moreover, Gallant never gave an in-depth explanation relating to his thought course of, so it’s exhausting to say precisely what Kakko must do to regain his standing going into his fourth NHL season. However what we are able to do is take a deep dive into the numbers to attempt to determine what a greater season would appear like.
At five-on-five, what stands out is the trendline. Although Kakko’s scoring and help charges in 2021-22 have been on an upward trajectory from 2020-21, a complete lot of underlying stats inform a unique story.