Ramblings: Kakko, Joseph, Bear Sign Extensions; Breaking Down Tkachuk/Huberdeau in Fantasy (July 29)

Ian Gooding


Kaapo Kakko has signed a two-year extension with the Rangers with an average annual value of $2.1 million. Kakko finished the 2021-22 season with 18 points in 43 games, which would have been a 34-point pace over 82 games. He played the majority of his even-strength minutes on scoring lines last season, yet he hasn't quite lived up to expectations as the second overall pick in 2019.

I think patience will be required for another season or two on Kakko, though. Due to COVID-shortened seasons and wrist surgery, Kakko has played fewer than 50 games over the past two seasons, giving him 157 career NHL games. On top of that, Kaako is a borderline bigger forward (6-3, 205), so he may need additional time to develop. Kaako is also only 21 years of age, even though he's been in the NHL for three seasons. There's potentially a buy-low opportunity if the league member rostering Kakko is growing impatient.

Breakout Threshold (BT) – Using Career Games Played to Determine Breakout Potential

The Senators have signed Mathieu Joseph to a four-year contract worth just under $3 million per season. You may recall that Joseph was picked up near the trade deadline last season from Tampa for Nick Paul. Following the trade to Ottawa, Joseph went on a tear, scoring 12 points in 11 games before he missed the final nine games because of an injury. That success might be more difficult to come by next season, as the Sens have added Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat this offseason. If the scoring is spread over three lines, Joseph might have some success in fantasy leagues.

The Hurricanes have signed Ethan Bear to a one-year contract worth $2.2 million. Bear finished with 14 points in 58 games after being traded from the Oilers last summer. Bear will likely have to work his way onto the Canes as a bottom-pair defenseman