New York Rangers select Kakko, complete MSG daily double

Kaapo Kakko, Finland. New York Rangers. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Kaapo Kakko, Finland. New York Rangers. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers selected Kaapo Kakko second overall in the NHL draft on Friday. He and Knicks first rounder, RJ Barrett are set to headline an MSG resurgence.

Friday night in Vancouver the New York Rangers stepped up to the podium with the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. They selected who a player the team hopes is the future pillar of their franchise, Kaapo Kakko. It’s the same thing the Knicks did a night earlier when they selected RJ Barrett third overall in the NBA draft.

It’s unusual that four teams in the same market to have franchise-altering drafts within two months of each other. For the purposes of this article, the conversation is confined to Manhattan. After some bleak years at the “Worlds Most Famous Arena,” a big turnaround is coming and it’s led by two men who haven’t even reached their respective 20th birthdays.

While there is always some debate over who the best player in any professional draft is, this year’s NHL version was close to a pick ’em between center Jack Hughes, who went number one overall to New Jersey and Kakko. While the former may eventually turn out to eventually be a better player, the New York Rangers selection is ready to make a big impact on the NHL right now.

It’s refreshing to see the Blueshirts rebuild take a big step forward. Even Barrett welcomed Kakko to New York.

Now that the Rangers have their future superstar as well, the new MSG duo can only hope to be as successful as some of the past ones. In the late 50’s it was Richie Guerin for the Knicks and Andy Bathgate for the Blueshirts. They were followed in the early ’70s by Walt Frazier and Rod Gilbert. The mid-’90s saw Patrick Ewing and Mark Messier lead their teams to prominence. Most recently it was Melo and the King, Henrik Lundqvist in the 2000s.

If Barrett and Kakko are even close to the above duo’s, there will be some meaningful games played the next several years at Madison Square Garden in May and June. Fans of both the Rangers and Knicks are saying the same thing right now, “It’s about time.”

Next. Rangers must get creative with Dolan’s money. dark

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