New York Rangers center Boo Nieves is wearing a different number at practice. Does this mean Kaapo Kakko is getting 24?
BREAKING: Boo Nieves wearing No. 15 on helmet at NYR informal skate. Apparently someone else will be wearing 24 at camp. (Told that Nieves approached trainers this morning and asked for change).
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) September 10, 2019
Nieves played 43 games for the Rangers last season, scoring four goals and dishing out six assists. The Syracuse native has 19 career points in three seasons for the Rangers.
This unexpected change has many fans speculating that Nieves is giving 24 to the second overall pick from this year’s draft, Kaapo Kakko.
Kakko, who is currently listed as No. 45, wore 24 throughout his career. It was his number with TPS Turku of SM-Liiga, and with Finland’s world junior and national teams.
In Liiga play last season, Kakko tallied 22 goals and 16 assists in 45 games for TPS. The Finnish product is coming to the Rangers with high hopes and plenty of expectations.
Kakko made his team debut with the Blueshirts on Monday in the Traverse City Tournament. The Turku native sat out the first two games battling an illness. Kakko had a hand in all four Ranger goals with three assists and an unassisted game-winner in overtime to lead the Rangers to a 4-3 victory against the Minnesota Wild.
The Rangers will play their first preseason game on Sept. 18 against the New Jersey Devils.