Rangers: 3 takeaways from the first rookie camp game

New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Dylan Garand (98) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the third period at Madison Square Garden
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have come out of the first rookie match against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 4-2 victory. The Rangers looked stellar in the prospect contest, taking down the Flyers with relative ease. Following this game, there are a few takeaways from key prospects.

Garand could be an elite backup for the Rangers in a few years

Perhaps the best performance of the Rangers last night came from Dylan Garand. Only allowing two goals throughout the contest, Garand put on an elite performance between the pipes. Although Igor Shesterkin will remain as the Blueshirts’ star goaltender for the foreseeable future, Garand has just proven that he is capable of making big strides in his career.

The Rangers have had a revolving door of backup goaltenders throughout recent years, and that issue will likely continue with Jonathan Quick only being signed for one season. If Garand continues to play like he did last night, it’s possible that he could be the Blueshirts’ new version of previous backup Cam Talbot.

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Talbot was a starter-level goaltender who played behind Henrik Lundqvist, creating one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL. It would be nice to see Garand fill a similar role behind Shetserkin, and after last night’s elite performance, that vision is certainly possible.

“He had a good season,” John Lilley, the Rangers’ Director of Player Personnel and Amateur Scouting, said of Garand. “He grew as a 20-year-old goaltender. It’s very, very tough to establish yourself and he had a good year. He got better as it went along. He’s on the right path. We’re excited about his upcoming year.”

via NY Post

Robertson has begun his quest to prove himself

Rangers defenseman Matthew Robertson has a lot on the line in the 2023-24 season. An expiring entry-level contract and poor development have Robertson’s future with the Rangers in question. He will need to prove his worth if he wants to remain with the organization next year.

Robertson started off the year on a high note, scoring the fourth goal for the Rangers in last night’s contest. He looked solid overall, showing almost no signs of lasting effects from his season-ending injury last year. Although he still has a long path ahead of him to make the Blueshirts in the future, his performance last night was a good sign all around.

Robertson is not the Rangers’ top defensive prospect with Zac Jones also in the mix, but there is hope that he could develop into an elite player in a few years. The Rangers will certainly pay close attention to him in the next rookie game as well as pre-season.

The Rangers’ prospect system may be more skillful than meets the eye

It’s well known that the Rangers’ prospect list has run a little dry, with most of their top players having already made the NHL following the recent rebuild. However, it’s becoming clear that many people underestimate this team’s system. Four different players managed to score goals last night, and the team looked pretty solid overall.

The Rangers definitely do not have one of the top prospect pools in the league, but there is a lot more skill than most people initially realize. When you consider the fact that top names such as Brennan Othmann and Gabriel Perrault were not even involved with last night’s win, it makes people wonder what the Hartford Wolfpack will look like soon when the team is at it’s maximum skill.