Although the Connecticut Whale’s offense endured several extreme changes during the off-season, the team’s defensive corps remained the same for the most part. Last season’s squad allowed 223 goals in 80 games and also accounted for 25 of Connecticut’s 221 goals scored. With limited changes on the back-end, the Whale will have a “veteran” group this season, as each player is familiar with each other and the Whale playing system.

Leading the way last season was veteran defenseman Wade Redden, who scored eight goals and 34 assists in 70 games. He finished the season with a minus-1 rating. Redden, 34, will return to the team this season, and he will likely play a major leadership role for Connecticut. The veteran defenseman of 994 NHL games could be a top-pair defenseman for the Whale, and he will likely play the point on the team’s top power-play unit. Similar to last season, Redden should have a new rookie defenseman to work with. Last season Redden assisted Ryan McDonagh for the first few months of the 2010-11 season, which eventually led to McDonagh being recalled by the New York Rangers and becoming one of the their top-4 defensemen. This year it is expected that Redden will work with 20-year-old rearguard Tim Erixon, who will likely join the Whale after the Rangers play their season opening games in Europe. Although Erixon will not start with the season with Connecticut, when he returns you can expect Redden to help him reach the next level.

Another veteran returnee on this season’s squad is 29-year-old Jared Nightingale, who, at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season, signed a one-year contract extension with the Whale. Last season Nightingale scored two goals and six assists in 72 games played. He also amassed 204 penalty-minutes, the most of any defensemen, and finished with a rating of minus-5. Nightingale is known for his physical play, and he will have to continue with that playing style this season, due to lack of physical skaters on the team. Nightingale will probably log top-4 minutes, and spend time on the penalty-kill. Like Redden, the veteran blueliner will be relied on to take some of the younger defensemen under his wing; which is something that he probably will not mind at all. Being one of the only defense-first defenseman on the team, he will be an extremely important player for the Whale.

Offensive-minded defensemen Pavel Valentenko and Blake Parlett will also return to the Whale this season. Valentenko was cut by the Rangers following what was described by coaches as an unimpressive training camp, and he will be looking to prove himself NHL worthy with a big season in Connecticut. During the 2010-11 season, Valentenko scored just five goals and 12 assists in 79 games. He took 38 penalty-minutes and finished with an impressive plus-21 rating. Valentenko was most important in the shot-blocking category, which he led the team in last season. The 23-year-old defenseman is known for his booming shot, and should receive some time on the power-play. It is also likely that he will play top-4 minutes, and possibly spend some time on a pairing with Redden.

As for Parlett, 22, he signed an entry-level deal with the Rangers over the summer following an impressive season with the Whale last year. Parlett appeared in 24 games with the Whale last season after spending most of the year with the Greenville Road Warriors. Parlett scored two goals and 10 assists, along with 17 penalty-minutes and a plus-1 rating. Parlett will likely receive an opportunity to play on the Whale’ power-play this season, as he is has proven his offensive talents. He is another player that the Rangers and Whale would like Redden to work with this season.

Jyri Niemi, 21, and Tomas Kundratek, 21, are also on Connecticut’s roster this season. Both players played for the Whale last season, although Kundratek appeared in many more games than Niemi did (which was due to an injury Niemi sustained).  Kundratek played in 70 games with the Whale last season, and recorded two goals and 10 assists. He took 42 penalty-minutes and finished with an even-0 rating. Reports suggest that Kundratek had an impressive training camp with the Whale, which should earn him a consistent spot in the line-up.

Niemi, however, played in only 46 games last season due to injury. The former Islanders draft pick scored three goals and six assists for Connecticut last season, along with 22 penalty-minutes and a minus-1 rating. Niemi is a very good skater, and if given the proper playing time in the right situations, he could score some goals. Niemi will challenge for a spot in the Whale line-up this season, though it will likely be in the bottom-6.

Lee Baldwin, 23, has made the Whale roster for now, after splitting the 2010-11 season with Greenville and Connecticut. In 21 games with the Whale last year, he failed to record a point but registered 17 penalty-minutes and a minus-1 rating. Baldwin will fight for a spot in the teams’ line-up, but he will more than likely be used as a spare defenseman for the most part. He could be re-assigned to the Road Warriors some time during the season, where he should receive plenty of ice-time.

There are a few possible additions to this season’s defensive corps, as Brendan Bell and T.J. Fast could become part of the Whale roster. Bell, 28, is expected to begin the season with the Rangers, but could be demoted to Connecticut as soon as the Rangers acquire a defenseman or when an injured blueliner returns. He would become a major part of the team’s defense, and he will immediately add another puck-moving defenseman who can play in the top-4.

Fast, 24, signed an ECHL contract with the Road Warriors this summer, but after an impressive camp it looks as though he may have earned a spot on Connecticut’s roster. Fast has the ability to become a talented two-way defenseman, and he could play a major role on this season’s team if he sticks around. It will be interesting to see what the Whale choose to do with him as the season approaches.

There is also 25-year-old Stu Bickel, who, like Bell, will start the season in the NHL but could be demoted as soon as next week. If that is the case, then he will play a similar role to the one he played last season: a physical, shut-down defenseman. In 54 games with the team last year, he scored just two goals and seven assists along with 135 penalty-minutes and a minus-2 rating. He would certainly be an important addition to the team, although he would likely push Baldwin and possibly Fast off the roster.

Projected defensive depth chart (Note: the following pairings are predictions for the season opener, and are subject to change. These pairings have not been confirmed by the Whale)

Parlett—Redden

May not be the ideal pairing, but until Erixon, Bell and Bickel return, it would work. Parlett will get an opportunity to work alongside a veteran puck-mover in Redden, and he could learn from plays that the 34-year-old makes. Both players are also reliable two-way defensemen, although offense is a big part of their game.

Kundratek—Valentenko

This would be an interesting pairing to say the least, as both players have good offensive instinct but they are also talented in their own end. As long as Valentenko is healthy for the opener, he will be a top-4 defenseman. Kundratek should be tried with Valentenko early in the season, as both players recorded the best plus/minus ratings out of all defensemen who played in 70 or more games in 2010-11.

Niemi—Nightingale

Granted there are no changes to the roster prior to Saturday’s season opener against the Adirondack Phantoms, I truly believe Niemi will earn a spot in the line-up. Partnering him with Nightingale would be a good choice by the Whale coaches. Nightingale plays a physical, shut-down game, and the veteran’s playing style would allow a smooth-skating Niemi to carry and move the puck more often. I could also see Fast, Kundratek and Parlett paired with Nightingale for the same purpose; as well as Bell, Erixon and possibly Michael Del Zotto if they return to the AHL.

The extra defensemen, based on these predictions, would then be Fast and Baldwin.

Note: you may notice that 20-year-old Collin Bowman was left off of the preview. That is because he was released from his try-out with the Whale according to his own twitter account.

Follow me on twitter for coverage of the Whale and Rangers prospects @NickPerri_SNYRB

Email me at nickpnyrwriter@gmail.com.

Check out my forward preview here.

Tags: CT Whale, Nick Perri

Dec 17, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Coyotes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Dec 17, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (77) against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Coyotes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Alain Vigneault said that he has only seen Anthony DeAngelo once but all of the people he has spoken with say that DeAngelo is "legit" and ready to "tale the next step." (NHL.com)

Vigneault said that he has spoken about DeAngelo with Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, with the team's scouts as well as Newell Brown, his former assistant in Vancouver, who was with DeAngelo in Arizona last year. (NHL.com)

He said that everyone he has spoken with says that DeAngelo will help the Rangers play their "quick north/south transition game" and on the PP. (NHL.com)

Tags: Anthony DeAngelo
Read More

May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Corey Pronman ranks the Rangers farm system 29th out of 31 teams, saying that while they added talent during the 2017 draft those players were added to a shallow group that now "brings the system just a notch above awful." (ESPN Insider)

The Rangers were ranked 28th, out of 30, by Pronman last year.

Pronman graded the Rangers 2017 Draft as a "B" and said that "for a very light farm system coming into the weekend, things changed for the better."

Read More

Feb 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) waits for a faceoff during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Rangers beat the Sabres in overtime 2 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Feb 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) waits for a faceoff during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Rangers beat the Sabres in overtime 2 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

8:55AM: Mats Zuccarello said that it's "sad" to see players like Derek Stepan and Dan Girardi that have been important players and good friends leave the team but that "this is a business." (VG)

Carl Hagelin, who is in Norway to play in Zuccarello's charity game, said that Zuccarello continues to assume more responsibility and "he will have a good year this year." (VG)

Hagelin also described the differences between his teams with the Rangers and his current team in Pittsburgh by saying that the Penguins have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and that they create opportunities every time they are on the ice. (VG)

He followed up by saying "we did not have that with the Rangers." (VG)

Tags: Mats Zuccarello
Read More

Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates his goal on Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey (26) celebrates his goal on Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Bill Lindsay said on the NHL Network that Jimmy Vesey needs to be better this season and to expect "bigger and better things" from him. (NHL.com)

Vesey had 16 goals and 11 assists last season with 11 goals and 8 assists in the first 48 games and then 5 goals and 3 assists in the final 32 games.

By month, Vesey's numbers were:

Tags: Jimmy Vesey
Read More

Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up prior to the semifinal game against Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports  (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up prior to the semifinal game against Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Henrik Lundqvist is on the ice in Sweden and practicing with his former team of Frolunda. (Expressen)

Lundqvist was on the ice with his brother Joel as well as Rangers first round pick Lias Andersson. (Expressen)

 

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More

Ryan McDonagh scored last night for his team in the Minnesota Summer Hockey League DaBeautyLeague.

To see the goal, click below

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
Read More

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

7/21/17 | Jimmy Vesey said that Mats Zuccarello inspires everyone with his work ethic and how "tenacious he is on the puck." (Newsday)

Brendan Smith praised Zuccarello's work ethic and said that when he is making plays and winning battles "everybody feeds off of it."

Mike Milbury said early in the series against Montreal that Zuccarello is "fun to watch" and always plays with energy.

Tags: Mats Zuccarello
Read More

May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; The New York Rangers salute their fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

8/7/17 | The Hockey News has released their 2017-18 yearbook and has the Rangers finishing in fourth place in the Metro Division and, again, taking the first Wild Card spot.

They have Tampa Bay finishing as the overall number one seed in the East and hosting the lower seeded Wild Card Carolina in the playoffs.

Because of that the Rangers stay in the Metro bracket for the playoffs and they have the Penguins defeating the Rangers in the first round.

Read More

Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) prepares for a face off during the overtime period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)
Apr 20, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (20) prepares for a face off during the overtime period in game five of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Bolte)

According to TSN, Chris Kreider leads the NHL in goals that have been tipped or redirected from 2014-15 to 2017.

Kreider's 19 goals is just above Joe Pavelski and Wayne Simmonds.

Travis Yost wrote that for a player who is mostly known for his speed, Kreider can score in a "variety of ways" and shows that he isn't just a "one-dimensional player." (TSN)

Tags: Chris Kreider
Read More

When Kevin Shattenkirk signed with the Rangers he mentioned a few players that he liked growing up but singled out Brian Leetch in particular.

Shattenkirk said that he tried to model his game after Leetch and take different parts of what Leetch did and put them in his own game.

Shortly after signing with the Rangers, Shattenkirk's mother told the NY Post that Leetch was the player he "adored" and that Leetch was "his guy."

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
Read More

 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

Filip Chytil is playing in the Czech Republic right now and scored while also hitting the post and creating other chances. (Idnes.cz)

Chytil said that he needs to add strength and muscle before he can play in the NHL. (Idnes.cz)

He then added that he wants to play with the Rangers as soon as possible, "either this or the next season." (Idnes.cz)

Tags: Filip Chytil
Read More

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

As part of a series, The Hockey News is looking at how teams may look heading into the 2019-20 season based upon players currently in the organization.

They have the Rangers lineup for the 2019-20 season as:

  • Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
  • Jimmy Vesey, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes
  • Matt Puempel, Lias Andersson, Jesper Fast
  • Adam Tambellini, Boo Nieves, Filip Chytil

Ryan McDonagh & Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei & Brendan Smith, Neal Pionk & Anthony DeAngelo.

Read More

Dec 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais (51) takes the puck down ice in the first period of the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
Dec 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais (51) takes the puck down ice in the first period of the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

David Desharnais says that he thinks he can play throughout the lineup but that the "third line" is his "role." (La Presse)

He said that he thinks that he can move around as the season goes on and that it's better to start on the third line and finish higher up than the other way around. (La Presse)

Desharnais said that he knows he has to be more disciplined and work harder to be able to stay in the NHL. (La Presse)

Tags: David Desharnais
Read More

Dec 8, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) controls the puck past Winnipeg Jets center Bryan Little (18) during the third period at MTS Centre. Rangers win 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)
Dec 8, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) controls the puck past Winnipeg Jets center Bryan Little (18) during the third period at MTS Centre. Rangers win 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)

8/7/17 | Alain Vigneault said in early April that Brady Skjei is the "new type" of defenseman in the NHL because of how he uses his skating both to carry the puck and to defend.

Vigneault added that he didn't consider Skjei to be a rookie, that he was playing big minutes and he "will be a real good player for us moving forward."

On breakup day, Vigneault said that Skjei played a "big role" and was considered to be one of the Rangers offensive defensemen.

Tags: Brady Skjei, Rueben Randle
Read More

Rangers backup goalie Ondrej Pavelec's agent Allan Walsh has tweeted out a video of Pavelec's Rangers centric mask for this season.

Click below to see the mask.

Tags: Ondrej Pavelec
Read More

Apr 8, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) is hurt after blocking a shot in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Apr 8, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) is hurt after blocking a shot in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

In a list compiled by the NHL Network, Henrik Lundqvist was ranked as the 8th best goalie in the NHL heading into this season.

Lundqvist is listed as the fourth goalie in the Metro Division, behind Brayden Holtby (2), Sergei Bobrovsky (3) and Matt Murray (4).

He is also ranked one spot below his former backup, Cam Talbot.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More

Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) in action against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) in action against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Pavel Buchenvich said that he returned to New York recently and has already been working with Ben Prentiss and skating with Chris Kreider to get ready for the season.

Buchnevich worked with Prentiss, now a Rangers strength and conditioning consultant, last summer as well.

He said that with Kreider he's been skating and playing three-on-three "to have some fun."

Tags: Pavel Buchnevich
Read More

Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Feb 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up before playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

8/10/17 | 3:58PM: Lundqvist said he has resumed skating this summer at the same time that he does every year and that things start to ramp up when he gets on the ice. (NHL.com)

He said that it's a process, like every year, to feel comfortable but that he takes things "step by step." (NHL.com)

1:09PM: Henrik Lundqvist said that he has been on the ice lately and that "everything feels good." (Expressen)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More

Oct 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) passes the puck against Washington Capitals during the first period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 22, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) passes the puck against Washington Capitals during the first period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Ryan McDonagh was on NHL Tonight last night and said the following about the upcoming Rangers season:

  • "It will be exciting. Pretty big turnover, a little turnover every year from one season to the next but two guys, two key guys that have been with me since the beginning of my time with New York, Girardi and Stepan, moving on to different teams. It will give us a different look as far as the veteran leader role. Guys will step up in that area but you talk about the additions, we had Brendan Smith for a little bit of our playoff run and what he brought was much needed for our blue line. You add the element of Kevin Shattenkirk and how he can play with and without the puck. He's obviously wondrous with the puck and I'm looking forward to seeing him contribute to all areas of our game."

Shattenkirk and McDonagh were both recently named as two of The Hockey News' top 50 players in the NHL right now.

McDonagh has previously talked about the excitement around adding Shattenkirk.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
Read More

 (AP)
(AP)

8/4/17 | Boo Nieves said that he knows what will be expected during training camp this season and that his goal is to make the Rangers. (NYR)

He said that he thinks he is capable of achieving that goal as long as he is healthy and playing at his best.

Nieves added, "I think there's a chance to show what I can really do at this level. I just want to prove that I belong here."

Tags: Boo Nieves
Read More

 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

The Rangers drafted Filip Chytil with the 21st pick in June's draft and heading into the draft he was ranked:

The Hockey News wrote that Chytil is a "strong, two-way pivot does all the right things. Good international play."

Chytil was a bottom-six forward as a 17-year old in the Czech league and is an "impressive skater" who can be tough to check and has the ability to create things out of nothing. (ESPN Insider)

Tags: Filip Chytil
Read More

Feb 2, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Feb 2, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Ondrej Pavelec said that he didn't expect to sign a contract with a new team until the middle of July and was surprised that he ended up with the Rangers on the first day of free agency. (ISport)

He said that the two sides didn't have "major discussions" and that it was "two calls and it was done." (ISport)

Pavelec said that he was giving himself until July 15th to sign with a team or he was going to think about playing in Europe, he had an offer from the KHL, or possibly retiring all together. (ISport)

Tags: Ondrej Pavelec
Read More

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh plays the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh plays the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

In The Hockey News Yearbook's list of Top 50 players, Kevin Shattenkirk ranked 34th and Ryan McDonagh ranked 35th.

On Shattenkirk, who was not ranked on last year's list, they wrote "the biggest free agent of the summer, Shattenkirk even gave his hometown Rangers a discount. In exchange, New York gets an elite puck-mover in his prime."ere he was already the Rangers'

On McDonagh, who was ranked 50th last year, they wrote "getting an elite, right-handed "D" partner in Shattenkirk is going to unlock McDonagh in New York, where he was already the Rangers' premier defenseman.

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
Read More

Jan 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Jan 19, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. New York defeated Toronto 5-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Last season Alain Vigneault was asked about possibly being harder on JT Miller than on other players and said that when he was in Vancouver he was harder on the Sedin twins than he was on anyone else.

Vigneault said, "when you see guys that have potential you want to help them deliver that potential. There is a lot of potential there and trying to work with him, and he's trying to work with me and the coaches to try and become the best player that he can be."

Miller told Dan Rosen of NHL.com that he is happy that Vigneault has been hard on him in their time together and that he still is.

Tags: J.T. Miller
Read More

 (AP)
(AP)

As part of their 2017-18 yearbook, The Hockey News has the Rangers Top 10 prospects listed as:

  • Lias Andersson (C)
  • Igor Shesterkin (G)
  • Anthony DeAngelo (D)
  • Adam Huska (G)
  • Filip Chytil (C)
  • Sean Day (D)
  • Ryan Graves (D)
  • Ryan Gropp (LW)
  • Tyler Wall (G)
  • Tim Gettinger (LW)

On Andersson, they wrote "The Rangers weren't the only team picking in the top 10 that wanted Andersson, but they struck first so they get the spoils. A fast, competitive two-way force, Andersson is a coach's dream. Excellent hockey sense, work ethic and plays 200ft game. Needs to get bigger.

In the spring, THN had Shesterkin, Huska and Day as the Rangers top prospects.

Last summer they had the Rangers top prospects as Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei and Brandon Halverson.

Tags: Prospect Rankings
Read More

 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

Lias Andersson scored thrice for Sweden during the World Junior Summer Showcase and added 1 assist and 11 shots on goal.

Swedish coach Tomas Monten said of Andersson, "Lias is a player that leaves everything on the ice every time. That's a big key factor for your team. We need the leadership, that kind of work ethic on the ice." (NHL)

Andersson was the captain for Team Sweden.

Tags: Lias Andersson
Read More

Apr 6, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers center David Desharnais (13) controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Edmonton Oilers defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Apr 6, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers center David Desharnais (13) controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Edmonton Oilers defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

When the Oilers acquired David Desharnais at the trade deadline this past year, Peter Chiarelli said that Desharnais is an undersized player but strong on the puck and competitive. (Sportsnet)

Chiarelli noted that he had seen Desharnais a lot when he worked for Ottawa and Boston and said that he's a smart, experienced player who makes smart decisions without the puck. (Oilers)

Desharnais played in 18 games for the Oilers, scoring 2 goals, 2 assists, a minus one rating, 16 shots on goal, 24 shot attempts, 54.3% on faceoffs and an average of 11:21 per game.

He played in 13 playoff games for the Oilers, scoring once, adding three assists, 6 shots on goal, 47.4% on faceoffs and 9:32 per game.

Tags: David Desharnais
Read More

 (David Banks)
(David Banks)

When asked after the draft to describe his game, Rangers first round pick Lias Andersson said that he is a two-way center that loves to "change games and score big goals." (NHL Transcript)

He added, "I want to be a leader. So, yeah, I'll say I'm a leader."

Andersson said that he likes to pattern his game after guys like Jonathon Toews, Claude Giroux and said that he thinks he can play "a little bit tough and score big goals."

Tags: Lias Andersson
Read More

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Following his 400th career win this season, Henrik Lundqvist spoke about goalie coach Benoit Allaire and said that Allaire has been the "most important person" to him during his time with the Rangers. (NYR)

Lundqvist said, "to have that consistency and someone who is so positive and so much structure in the way that he works. You get to know him over the years and he knows me really well, how I work, how I feel and it's just fun." (NYR)

He added that Allaire "knows how to push me and without question he has meant a lot to me personally and to my game and to develop it. I adjusted my game through the years and he has been a big part of that." (NYR)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
Read More

 (AP)
(AP)

7/30/17 | Kevin Shattenkirk said that he is "excited" about all of the pressure that will be placed upon him after signing with the Rangers.

He said that being from the area he understands things from the fans point of view and that he "welcomes it."

Shattenkirk said that this past season brought a lot of pressure to him as did the trade to the Capitals but he feels that he "prevailed" and came through it "pretty well."

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
Read More

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Chris Kreider scored a career high 28 goals this season en route to 53 points in 75 games.

The Hockey News wrote,"He'll be 40 and we'll be saying this will be his breakout season. Don't be surprised when he puts up the same numbers."

Kreider had a career high 186 shots on goal and a shooting percentage of 15.1%.

For a lot more on Kreider's season, click HERE.

Tags: Chris Kreider
Read More

Apr 13, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) skates with the puck past Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak (46) in the first period in game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Apr 13, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) skates with the puck past Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak (46) in the first period in game one of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

With the Caps down 2-0 to the Penguins int he second round, Kevin Shattenkirk was a minus 7 in the playoffs.

At the time, Barry Trotz said that Shattenkirk was doing some "really good things offensively" but that he's been "mooring that third pairing for us."

Shattenkirk said before Game 3 that he knew he hadn't been playing well enough and that he had to return to having "fun" on the ice. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

Tags: Kevin Shattenkirk
Read More

Ryan McDonagh scored on a breakaway tonight in his game during the Minnesota summer league, Da Beauty League.

Tags: Ryan McDonagh
Read More

5:30PM: Andersson scored his second goal of the game for Sweden and Button praised his hockey sense and ability to be in the right place at the right time.

4:50PM: Rangers first round pick Lias Andersson scored in the first period of today's game against Team USA at the World Juniors Summer Showcase.

Tags: Lias Andersson
Read More