Craig Custance took a look at the Capitals, how their roster fit into five categories and then compared that to the rest of the teams in the Metro. (The Athletic)
The criteria he looked at included "great centers," "a game breaker," "offensive defenseman," "playoff experience" and "size." (The Athletic)
Custance notes that the Rangers have had "good" but not "great" centers lately and that the hope is that they will be able to find a "great" center during their rebuild." (The Athletic)
He says that the Rangers don't have a "game breaker" and that they should be in a "full-on pursuit" of Artemi Panarin. (The Athletic)
Kevin Shattenkirk qualifies in the role of offensive defenseman, there is a mix of size and skill throughout the organization and that while they have moved on from most of the players that went deep into the playoffs, they still have Henrik Lundqvist. (The Athletic)
The Rangers did not have a member on the list of the NHL Network's top 20 centers.
Adam Rotter: As the Rangers go through this rebuild they have the pieces to potentially fill in some of those categories. Mika Zibanejad, if he can stay healthy and take another step toward reaching his potential, can be that "great center." Maybe Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson or Brett Howden can fit into that category at some point as well. The Rangers invested in centers with the hope that they can, in some way, recreate the depth they had in 2014 with Brad Richards, Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard down the middle. In terms of a game breaker, Chris Kreider has all of the skills to be that, but it's unknown if he will ever get things together on a consistent enough basis to fit into that spot. Pavel Buchnevich has that potential as well and they certainly drafted Vitali Kravtsov with the hope that he could be a game breaker down the road. Adding Artemi Panarin or someone similar via free agency or trade would also accomplish that. In terms of the other categories, Kevin Shattenkirk fits that role now but Anthony DeAngelo has that kind of potential and, maybe down the line, K'Andre Miller will develop and have that potential as well. A key focus of Jeff Gorton, David Quinn and his staff will be on seeing how the players above develop and which ones can reach their potential to fill those spots.