Kaapo Kakko, Rangers Reach 1-Year, $2.4M Contract Extension Ahead of NHL Free Agency

Kaapo Kakko, Rangers Reach 1-Year, $2.4M Contract Extension Ahead of NHL Free Agency
zach bacharContributor IJune 13, 2024

SUNRISE, FL - MAY 26: New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) fixes his helmet strap in the second period during game three of the Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers on Sunday, May 26, 2025 at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New York Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko agreed to a one-year contract extension with the team worth $2.4 million on Thursday, according to Peter Baugh of The Athletic.

Kakko was originally a pending restricted free agent prior to the deal. The 23-year-old recorded 13 goals and six assists in 61 games with New York throughout the 2023-24 season.

He struggled during the Rangers’ loss to the Florida Panthers in the 2024 NHL Eastern Conference Finals, as he failed to record a point in each of his five appearances.

He didn’t play in all six games of the series, as he was a healthy scratch in Game 2.

After setting career-high marks in 2023 with 18 goals and 40 points, his 2024 production was a bit of a letdown. He missed 21 games early in the season due to a lower-body injury after racking up just two goals and one assist in his first 20 appearances of the year.

New York Rangers @NYRangers

Kaapo put some heat on that one. pic.twitter.com/hacMWMxL8P

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that Rangers general manager Chris Drury was “taking calls” on Kakko ahead of the March 8 trade deadline, although a deal never materialized.

Despite his recent struggles and his involvement in trade rumors, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry draft still enjoyed his time with New York and expressed his desire to remain with the team when speaking to reporters on June 4.

“We’ll see, but I like all the things here,” Kakko said, per Larry Brooks of the New York Post. “The team’s great, everyone wants to win, I feel there’s a chance to win. It is going to be the same thing next season, so I like it here.”

While his one-year extension doesn’t completely rule out a trade moving forward, Kakko will have a chance to make it through the 2024-25 season without any injury issues and build upon his promising 2022-23 campaign with the Blueshirts.

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