The New York Rangers have announced six more names got the bad news that they did not make the main roster today after trimming roster fat earlier in the week. All six players cut from the roster have been sent down to the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack.
Rangers send six more players down to the Hartford Wolf Pack
(RW) Alex Belzile – Belzile went undrafted in the 2012 NHL Draft. He has been a part of the NHL/AHL for many years, splitting playing time between the Montreal Canadians and Laval Rockets. This was not a surprise as Belzile has mainly been played in the AHL for many long years and it felt like the Rangers brought him in as filler for the Wolf Pack. Belzile could act as potential insurance to call up if injuries occur with the team.
(LW) Anton Blidh – Blidh was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the sixth round, 180th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. For the past few seasons, he has been splitting time with AHL and NHL squads. Along with Belzile, I am not surprised that Blidh was sent down as both have had similar paths in their hockey careers. Blidh has more value in the AHL with how much veteran experience he has.
(C) Turner Elson – Elson went undrafted in the 2012 NHL Draft. He has mainly played in the AHL with only brief appearances in the NHL (one game as a Calgary Flame and two games as a Detroit Red Wing). Nobody should be surprised with this one as Elson is going to be the alternate captain again for Hartford this season. Elson was one of them last season and all signs point to him being one again.
(D) Connor Mackey – Mackey went undrafted in the 2021 NHL Draft. If this name sounds familiar, that is because Mackey was moved during the 2023 trade deadline. The Calgary Flames traded him and Brett Ritchie to the Arizona Coyotes for Nick Ritchie and Troy Stecher.
It was surprising news when the Coyotes decided to part ways with Mackey. He played in 20 games for the team and scored one goal, along with making three assists. It looked like the Coyotes were going to have Mackey be sent down to the AHL, but he and the Coyotes parted ways. Thus the Rangers signed him to a one-year deal during the offseason. Mackey is more valuable to the Rangers AHL squad and with some more development in the AHL, he has the potential to be in another NHL game.
(C/W) Riley Nash – Nash was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round, 21st Overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft. Nash has played multiple NHL seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Arizona Coyotes. Nash has not lived up to his bidding as a first-round pick as he has been very mediocre most of his career. He has mainly been an AHL for the past two years and will bring some experience/veteran skills to help with the youth on the team.
(LW) Adam Sykora – Sýkora was drafted by the New York Rangers in the second round, 63rd Overall, in the 2022 NHL Draft. Being sent down should surprise nobody as Sykora has played in Slovakia the past few seasons. So he is going to need more time to develop in the AHL, so this one is not a surprise.