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Kakko, top 2019 NHL Draft prospect, day to day with undisclosed injury

Forward No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of International skaters

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Kaapo Kakko, No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of International skaters eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, will miss at least two more games because of an undisclosed injury for TPS in Liiga.

"I don't feel normal," Kakko told the TPS website Thursday. "Makes no sense to play now, not until I'm 100 percent."

Kakko has missed the past two games and is considered day to day. He won't play in games against Assat on Friday and Saturday.

TPS then plays KooKoo on Jan. 30.

"I take one day at a time," Kakko said. "Can't be more specific. I may be back very quickly, or it may take a while."

The 17-year-old forward was injured when Ilves forward Samuli Vainionpaa hit him illegally into the boards 10:31 into the second period of a 4-3 loss Jan. 16. Kakko left for the locker room but returned to the game and scored two power-play goals.

Kakko (6-foot-2, 194 pounds) has 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) and four game-winning goals in 29 games for TPS.

Vainionpaa (6-3, 207), Kakko's teammate for gold medal-winning Finland at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, was assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind and a 20-minute misconduct. The 19-year-old forward, No. 126 in Central Scouting's midterm ranking of International skaters, has four points (one goal, three assists) and 51 penalty minutes in 32 games for Ilves.

NHL.com/fi senior writer Varpu Sihvonen contributed to this story.

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NHL.com's Finnish site, NHL.com/fi, took a closer look at Kaapo Kakko earlier this month following the World Junior Championship:

Kaapo Kakko antoi nuorten MM-kisoissa kovat NHL-näytöt

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