With the 2023 rookie camp coming to a close, the New York Rangers have recently announced this year’s regular training camp roster. There are a handful of prospects set to attend the camp, and many of them will play in some pre-season games as well.
The Rangers have a skilled lineup with not many holes left to fill, but there are a few players who could possibly force the Blueshirts to call them up to the NHL with a stellar performance throughout the remainder of the offseason.
Two top Rangers prospects may have to switch positions to make the roster
It’s hard to argue that Brennan Othmann and Will Cuylle are not in the top three prospects within the Rangers’ system. There were rumors of Othmann making his NHL debut last season, which makes it seem more likely now that he’s got an extra year of development under his belt.
Cuylle has actually played four games with the Rangers, and, although he didn’t tally any points in those contests last season, it’s clear that the Rangers believe he’s ready to play in the big leagues.
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The biggest issue with bringing Othmann or Cuylle up to the NHL right now is their position. As left wingers, that role is already brimming with elite talent. There is no chance that a prospect overtakes a star such as Chris Kreider or Artemi Panarin, and Alexis Lafreniere has much more development than either of these prospects. Nobody wants to see young talent buried down on the fourth line again, so a position change may be in order for Cuylle or Othmann.
Along with Lafreniere, Othmann spent some time during rookie camp playing on the right wing. Although the Rangers have talent on the right side as well, it’s not nearly as congested as the left. And to add, the left will not clear up anytime soon.
Although Cuylle has not also been practicing on the right side, it may be necessary for him in order to raise his chances of making the roster full-time. It’s unlikely that this transition will be completed and implemented early this season, but anything is possible.
Could a defensive prospect make the Rangers’ roster?
One of the main prospect storylines heading into the 2023-24 season features defensive prospect Matthew Robertson. He’s entering the final year of his entry-level contract and must impress the Rangers to secure his future within the organization.
With a goal and two assists against the Philadelphia Flyers in this year’s rookie tournament, Robertson has already begun proving his worth. Despite his stellar performances thus far, he’ll need a majorly impressive training camp and pre-season in order to make any strides toward the final roster. However, there is one other defensive prospect who might also have a chance of receiving the promotion.
“Little things in my head, just trying to stay calm,” Robertson said when asked how he remains positive. “That’s a big part of me, when I’m playing confident, I’m playing my best game. I think last year was a good stepping stone of really figuring out how I need to play and knowing when to simply. Just finding my game.”via NY Post
Zac Jones is easily the Rangers’ top defensive prospect, and he probably has the highest chance out of any rookie to make it on the opening night roster. Having already played in 38 games with the Rangers, and notching eight points in that span, it wouldn’t be uncalled for to see Jones make an appearance on the Blueshirts.
There is currently an open spot next to Braden Schneider on the Rangers’ third defensive pairing, and although there are some veterans who will create intense competition, Jones certainly has a chance of taking the spot.