Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.
The Rangers’ offseason effectively started when the organization penned a letter to fans signaling a rebuild (or at least a re-tool). At the trade deadline, when they started offloading veterans in exchange for picks and prospects, out went McDonough, Nash, Miller, and Holden, and in came a handful of young talent and prospects including Namestnikov, Spooner, Howden, Hajek, and picks allowing them to choose 3 players in the first round of the 2018 draft.
They spent little effort in the UFA market; the only fantasy-notable signing was depth d-man Fredrik Claesson.
At the same time, the team brought in rookie coach David Quinn on a massive deal, stealing him away from Boston university. The Rangers have committed to a new, younger path and doing things a new way, and this season will be a fascinating case study for the idea of re-tolling on the fly while still holding on to a few capable veterans.
Its hard to label anyone as true graduates when there are so many fringe players in the organization. Ryan Spooner solidified himself as an NHLer after being acquired via trade, and Alexander Georgiev played good enough as a backup to challenge Mazanec for another shot there despite his lack of North American experience. Both Neal Pionk and John Gilmour saw more time than most of us expected on the blueline, and both looked promising enough to earn a 3rd-pairing role in the fall. That is far from a sure thing for either however, since Brendan Smith will be fighting to get his job back on the left side and Anthony DeAngelo will once again try for a spot on the right side. The Rangers also signed UFA Fredrik Claesson who will be expected to earn a depth role on the back end.
The biggest pushes out of camp are likely coming from Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil – the organization’s two top prospects. Both had strong AHL campaigns and the re-tooling blueshirts will be eager for their high-end talent. Time will tell how patient the teams wants to be with them.
- Vitali Kravtsov – was a riser in the draft, and has got off to a blazing start in the KHL already.
- Neal Pionk – Got into 28 NHL games and managed 14 points in that span. 2nd unit PP time means some fantasy relevance.
- Alexander Georgiev – Called up in his first season in North America, and put up a surprising 0.918 save% over 10 games.
- Rob O’Gara – has much more internal competition for a depth LD spot in New York than he did in Boston.
- Boo Nieves – still a promising bottom-six player, but hasn’t taken a step offensively since turning pro.
Prospect Depth Chart