The New York Rangers’ third preseason game against the New Jersey Devils concluded on Thursday night. The Blueshirts lost the game 3–2. Despite the loss, there were some positives. Three players stood out and impressed in this game.
Will Cuylle continues his string of strong play from training camp
Will Cuylle has become a name that many people have heard of as a standout during the Rangers’ training camp. He is indeed living up to the hype, showcasing his talent through multiple moments in the preseason. Cuylle even excelled when he was on the Rangers’ penalty kill, making key stops and demonstrating his physicality. He has the potential to become the team’s primary enforcer in the long term.
Cuylle even contributed with an assist on Erik Gustafsson’s first goal of the game. He had a chance to tie the game up in the second period, but his shot unfortunately hit the post. Overall, there’s a lot to like about Cuylle’s performance, and he is beginning to earn the praise of Peter Laviolette.
Low-risk, high-reward move already making an impact
During the 2023 NHL offseason, the Rangers made a low-risk move, taking a chance on Erik Gustafsson and signing him to a one-year contract with the squad. So far, that investment is paying off.
Gustafsson scored the first goal of the game for the Rangers, setting him apart from the rest. Despite being 31 years old, he still possesses some speed, as evidenced by his near-goal in the second period on a breakaway opportunity when the Devils’ defensemen were not paying attention:
If Gustafsson can keep creating opportunities for others and making plays like he did in this game, then the Blueshirts made a great decision taking a chance on him.
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Exciting Rangers prospect is living up to the hype
Brennan Othmann has been the most impressive player so far in the preseason for New York. He stood out against the Islanders, and he backed up that performance by playing well against the Devils.
Othmann created opportunities for others, showed amazing reflexes on defense, displayed strong awareness, and showcased his physicality. He even capped off his strong performance by scoring a last-minute goal in the third period to cut the deficit from 3–1 to 3–2.
Othman exhibited a quick reaction time, as that puck was meant to be a shot from Gustafsson, but his stick broke.
The Rangers may really have something in this kid and if he keeps shining, there is a chance Othmann could play this season. He almost definitely will not play on opening night as the Rangers have plenty of talent at forward and Othmann has not played an AHL game yet in his career. However, he is absolutely somebody to watch during Hartford Wolf Pack games as he will likely get called up if the Rangers are plagued with injuries.