Rangers: Expectations for star prospect in 2023-24 season

New York Rangers draft pick Gabriel Perreault puts on his sweater after being selected with the twenty third pick in round one of the 2023 NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have proven that their prospect pool is not as depleted as originally thought following a successful rookie camp. With training camp beginning right away, the Rangers will have the ability to further inspect their current roster and test the development of their younger players.

However, the Blueshirts’ top prospect will not be attending camp due to his commitment to playing the full 2023-24 season with Boston College in the NCAA. Although he will not be with New York this year, the Rangers will certainly keep a close eye on Gabriel Perreault, setting high expectations for the young star’s future in the NHL.

The Rangers landed a star prospect in Gabriel Perreault

Perreault has exemplified greatness at every level of hockey in which he has played. His best performance came last season with the US National U18 team, where he scored a whopping 132 points (53 goals, 79 assists) in just 63 games. This stat line shattered the previous league record set by NHL superstar Auston Matthews.

It’s no secret that the Rangers landed a prospect with an incredibly high ceiling, but he’ll have to continue his development in order to make the team in the future.

Continuing to develop at Boston College

Boston College is known for producing an abundance of successful NHL players, but Perreault will still need to put a lot of effort and dedication into this upcoming season. In a league like the NCAA, it’s highly unlikely that Perreault will record another absurd stat line like last year’s. Despite that, he should be aiming for much higher than a point per game average.

Last season, there were 37 NCAA players who scored at least one point per game, lead by recent NHL third overall draft pick Adam Fantilli with 1.81 average. Perreault should be aiming to earn a spot on this list in 2023, and it’s certainly possible that he could pull it off. He has a lot of qualities that make him an elite offensive minded forward that could help him excel in a higher setting.

Aside from his offensive abilities, there is much work that Perreault must commit to throughout his development in the NCAA. With Perreault’s eyes always glued towards scoring chances, there has been a slight lack of defensive abilities and skating throughout his young career. It’s nothing the Rangers should be concerned about right away, but he’ll need to become a more well-rounded player soon in order to succeed in the NHL.

How long until Perreault joins the Rangers?

At this time, it’s unclear when Perreault will be prepared to move over to the Blueshirts. Having just been drafted in the first round of this year’s draft, he’s still only 18 years old. The Rangers’ prospect development has been controversial in recent years, as many of their draft picks have not turned out as successful as originally hoped. Perhaps it is best to let Perreault continue to grow in the NCAA before yanking him up to the NHL prematurely.

With the 2023-24 season being his first year at Boston College, it’s possible that Perreault could spend the next four seasons there if he chooses to. Although the Rangers drafted him, Perreault still remains unsigned, leaving his future is up to him.

As the Rangers’ number one prospect, it’s essential that Perreault reaches his full potential. He has the ability to be a game changer for the Rangers, but that may still be a few years down the road.

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