Examining five prospects most likely to make it on the Rangers roster

There should be practically two months till the Rangers take the ice for coaching camp, however the membership’s offseason enterprise is actually full contemplating there is not a lot cap house remaining to work with. While a majority of the lineup is locked in, there are a couple of spots that may see pleasant competitors between prospects and new signings throughout the weeklong camp in late September.

Players reminiscent of Vitali Kravtsov, Zac Jones and Nils Lundkvist are barely thought-about prospects anymore. Each of the three has 25 or fewer NHL video games to his identify and will probably be tasked with impressing Rangers administration throughout coaching camp to preserve standing with the group. For the sake of this text, nevertheless, we’ll contemplate them prospects.

Whether they make the opening-night roster outright or are recalled to fill in due to harm, listed here are the high five prospects most likely to be in a Rangers jersey this upcoming season:

1. Vitaly Kravtsov

After going residence to Russia to play in the Kontinental Hockey League as a substitute of accepting his American Hockey League project from the Rangers final season, Kravtsov signed a one-year, $875,000 contract for the 2022-23 season in what’s presumably his final shot in New York. There is a spot on the Rangers’ roster that’s Kravtsov’s for the taking; all the 22-year-old wants to do is show he deserves it. The Rangers could be in a terrific spot if Kravtsov can convincingly earn a spot in the opening-night lineup — not simply to reap the advantages of his offensive upside, however to preserve their cap state of affairs below wraps.

Potential lineup spot: Right wing in the center six

Vitaly Kravtsov and Zac Jones
Getty Images; Bill Kostroun

2. Zac Jones

Since the Rangers traded Patrik Nemeth to the Coyotes and misplaced Justin Braun in free company, they’ve a gap on the left facet of the third defensive pairing, presumably subsequent to Braden Schneider. Aside from Lundkvist, Jones has the most NHL expertise amongst the remainder of the Rangers’ defensive prospects. In 12 video games final season whereas filling in amid accidents, Jones recorded two assists and was a minus-7 with eight photographs on objective.

While head coach Gerard Gallant could choose a veteran presence again there, or possibly an even bigger participant than the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Jones, he would make for an incredible possibility to quarterback the second energy play — his specialty at Massachusetts.

Potential lineup spot: Left facet of third defensive pair

3. Will Cuyle

There isn’t any query Cuylle is bodily prepared to make the leap to the NHL. He performs with a bodily edge that the Rangers may use of their backside six ought to an harm come up or issues go awry with gamers reminiscent of Ryan Reaves, Sammy Blais or Dryden Hunt.

Cuylle went by way of an adjustment interval in his first season with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, in 2020-21, when he completed with two objectives and three assists in 18 video games. The Rangers might want him to show that he can dominate at the AHL stage earlier than he joins the varsity membership.

Potential lineup spot: Wing of the backside six

4. Brennan Othmann

The difficult state of affairs with Othmann is that he can’t be assigned to the AHL. Because he will not flip 20 till Jan. 5, Othmann can solely be assigned again to the OHL or to the NHL roster. He’s coming off a breakout season, racking up 50 objectives and 97 factors in 66 video games with the OHL’s Flint Firebirds. Othmann additionally recorded 9 objectives and 15 assists in 19 playoff video games.

Potential lineup spot: Wing of the center six

Brennan Othmann
Brennan Othmann
Bill Kostroun

5. Matthew Robertson

If there may be apprehension over Jones’ measurement, Robertson is definitely the different possibility, with an NHL-ready construct. The Rangers have already gotten a have a look at Jones and Lundkvist, however Robertson has but to make his NHL debut, and the group might want to see what they’ve in the 6-foot-4, 201-pounder.

Potential lineup spot: Left facet of third defensive pair

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