Kaapo Kakko jerseys sold out fairly quickly at Madison Square Garden last week.
Benji Shokrian, a 17-year-old Westchester resident, didn’t get his hands on one. They were out of his size so he ordered one to be delivered.
And it was, promptly, by the rookie forward who has made the jersey so popular in the first place.
Kakko, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, personally dropped off Shokrian’s jersey on Thursday, leaving the lifelong Rangers fan in shock.
“Someone from the Rangers called me to set up a time and asked if I would be interested in a surprise delivery,” Shokrian told NHL.com. “I thought ‘Could it be (Kakko)?’ and then I thought no way, he’s got to be so busy.”
Then the doorbell rang.
Tweet from @NYRangers: On Opening Night, Kakko���s jerseys sold out so quickly that not every fan was able to snag one. So today, Kakko himself decided to surprise one lucky fan with one of his own. Stay tuned for ?. pic.twitter.com/MQ98EDROjU
“It was surreal,” he said. “I mean, meeting a pro player in general is great. And then for it to be him, the future of the franchise was amazing.”
Shokrian, like almost every other Rangers fan, has had eyes on Kakko since the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery.
“That was a big moment, because it did come down to us and the Devils,” Shokrian said. “And Jack Hughes is an amazing player, but I watched a ton of highlights and games (of Kakko) and I don’t know, for some reason I wanted him to be a Ranger.”
Kakko, who is obviously new in town, chatted up the family for a while about how he is adjusting to life in New York, coming from Finland. He then signed pucks for Benji and his brother, Ari, both students at Mamaroneck High School.
“You forget he is about my age,” Shokrian said. “And he has not lived in America until now. And he’s playing for one of the most recognizable hockey clubs in the world? It’s a big adjustment. And yet he’s been great in the two games so far.”
Shokrian likened the atmosphere during the home opener to that of some of the playoff games he attended in in 2014 when the Rangers were Eastern Conference champions.
A big reason why? The jersey delivery guy.
“I’ll remember it for the rest of my life,” Shokrian said.