The New York Rangers are seven games into the season and their top rookie already appears unhappy as the team inhabits the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.
Kaapo Kakko appeared to be frustrated after the Rangers lost Sunday to the Vancouver Canucks. It was their fourth straight loss. He admitted to a Finnish media outlet that “hockey isn’t very fun for me right now.”
“Things haven’t been working out, and sometimes I feel like I could be on the ice a bit more,” the second overall pick told Eastside Media. “It would be cool to get a chance on the first line at some point. I understand that it hasn’t been realistic so far, since I haven’t really showed much.”
Kakko scored his first goal of his career earlier this month. He also has an assist to his credit. But so far, he’s been a minus-6 on the ice and seen about 14 minutes of ice time overall.
“My goal is to have a leading role,” he said. “I don’t want to hear any talk about how I’m the youngest guy and I need to be given time to get used to the style. I want to be the guy who scores goals and wins games right away.”
New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) looks to pass the puck as Arizona Coyotes right wing Michael Grabner (40) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
According to the New York Post, Kakko has only been on the top long alongside Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad a handful of times in the first seven games.
The 18-year-old also expressed how he had been bored over the last few days.
“The days have been a bit boring at times, since we’ve played so little. I’ve mostly been watching shows on the tablet,” Kakko said. “Now we’ll get to play properly and hopefully I can get more ice time. I think my game will start to roll better too.”
New York lost against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night in overtime. Kaako picked up an assist during the game and had just under 10 minutes of playing time.