Rangers: 3 things to keep an eye on in the preseason

New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere warms up before the game against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden
Jan 14, 2021; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafreniere warms up before the game against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

There is a palpable sense of intrigue surrounding the New York Rangers entering the 2023-24 season as the team enters a new era with Peter Laviolette stepping in as the new head coach. The arrival of new coaching has sparked a series of developments that avid fans are closely keeping an eye on during the preseason.

The first depth chart will provide valuable insight into Laviolette’s plans for the Rangers

The release of the first depth chart during the preseason is a crucial moment for an NHL team. In the case of the Rangers, their recent coaching change adds an extra layer of intrigue to the depth chart’s unveiling.

This initial lineup arrangement will offer valuable insights into Laviolette’s strategic vision and his intended roles for each player. Fans will gain an understanding of where players are positioned within the team’s lineup – be it on the first, second, third, or fourth line – which can set the tone for the upcoming season.

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How will Laviolette utilize Alexis Lafrenière?

Alexis Lafrenière’s performance in his first couple of seasons with the New York Rangers may not have met the high expectations set for a first-overall pick. The transition from junior hockey to the NHL can be challenging, and sometimes players need time to adjust and find their footing at the professional level.

The coaching change could indeed have a positive impact on Lafrenière’s development. Different coaches have varying approaches and strategies when it comes to player deployment and offensive creativity. Lafreniere should have more freedom to try new things under Laviolette this season; something he was not getting under Gallant’s system.

Laviolette’s coaching style might provide Lafrenière with more opportunities to showcase his skills and experiment with different aspects of his game. Under new coaching guidance, Lafrenière could find his stride and start living up to the potential that made him a top pick. Time will tell how his career continues to unfold with the Rangers, but in the preseason it could be a great test regarding how he will do in Laviolette’s system.

Which side of Jonathan Quick will the Rangers get?

Jonathan Quick is likely to start the majority of the games as the Rangers don’t want to risk Igor Shesterkin getting injured. However, it will be intriguing to see which version of Quick the New York Rangers will be getting.

Quick had a strange season last year, as he performed poorly as a member of the Los Angeles Kings, but when he was traded to Vegas, his performances were more decent with the team. During the preseason, Quick will be under the spotlight.