Kaapo Kakko
AP Photo

The New York Rangers second overall pick in last month’s NHL Entry Draft, Kaapo Kakko, has signed an exclusive autograph deal with Panini.

Frank Curto

Kappo Kakko, the New York Rangers second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, has signed an exclusive autograph trading card deal with Panini.

This is the first announced exclusive deal involving the 18-year-old Finnish star since he was drafted by the Blueshirts.

This is a big deal for Kaapo, but for true hockey card collectors, it is a bit of a disappointment. Panini carries and sells authorized products for the NBA, NFL and soccer.

This is where the deal gets a little confusing.

Upper Deck holds the exclusive NHL trading card license, meaning Kakko cards in Rangers gear will never appear on Panini products. That also means that they will not be able to offer any trading card with Kappo in a Rangers uniform with his autograph included.

Autographs will now only be offered by Panini trading cards, which will have Kakko appear in non-Rangers gear or copyrighted material (logos, etc.)

The deal announced on Tuesday was not the one most expected, as fans are awaiting the announcement of his entry-level contract which should come any time now.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com