Could this Rangers prospect be the solution to their RW1 woes?

Brennan Othmann takes part in the Rangers Prospect Development Camp at the Rangers Training facility in Tarrytown July 12, 2022.
Credit: Frank Becerra Jr. / The Journal News / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Rangers are expected to be aggressive on the open market as they seek help for their first line in free agency. However, the Rangers’ prospect pool also possesses some quality talent. If the Rangers are unable to find that missing piece on the open market, they could view Brennan Othmann as a home-grown talent to solve their problems on the first line.

Brennan Othmann has been spectacular in Hartford

New York Rangers left wing Brennan Othmann (78) and New York Islanders left wing Ross Johnston (32) battle for control of the puck in the third period at Madison Square Garden

Since being drafted in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft, Othmann has spent the majority of his time developing in the OHL with the Flint Firebird before spending the majority of the 2023 season in the AHL with the Rangers’ affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.

In 67 games with the Wolf Pack this season, Othmann was spectacular, tallying 49 points (21 goals, 28 assists). He continued his strong performance into the postseason, totaling five points (one goal and four assists) in 10 games.

Othmann received minimal NHL playing time this season with the Blueshirts. He appeared in head coach Peter Laviolette’s lineup for three games but failed to record a point. However, with added development in the AHL, Othmann could be ready to make a jump to the major leagues next season.

The Rangers could view Othmann as an affordable solution on the first-line

New York Rangers left wing Brennan Othmann (78) looks out during warmups before a game against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden

If the Rangers want to land one of their superstar targets for their first line, they will need to pay up. Nearly any of their top targets will cost in excess of $5 million in AAV on the open market. But if general manager Chris Drury prefers to be frugal this summer, he could opt to give a prospect a chance on the first line.

Othmann would be the first prospect in line to receive such an opportunity. He is a crafty winger who plays with speed and is an impressive playmaker. Othmann’s ability to create chances for his linemates could combine well with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, hopefully sparking an increase in their productivity.

While it’s possible that Othmann gets plugged into the bottom six to start his NHL career, the Rangers should have learned their lesson by now with Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko. Both players began their respective careers down in the bottom six with the Rangers. It wasn’t until Lafreniere received top-six minutes that he began his career breakout. Meanwhile, Kakko has still not broken out as he has spent the majority of his time on the third line, and could soon be shipped out in a trade.

If the Rangers want to properly develop Othmann, they will need to give him an opportunity to prove himself in the top six as soon as he is ready to face NHL competition.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: