The New York Rangers are continuing to work through training camp preseason following a 3–2 loss to the Devils last night. Although the Rangers’ fourth preseason game has been postponed due to weather, practice was held earlier this morning which gave some insight into new line combinations being tested by head coach Peter Laviolette.
While there was an abundance of prospect appearances as compared to NHL regulars, there was still one solid line that stood out with elite potential.
Rangers’ top prospect is earning practice time with offensive superstars
Per Vince Mercogliano, the Rangers were utilizing a line consisting of Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, and Brennan Othmann at this morning’s skate. This line would have received significant playing time this evening had the game not been postponed, but it’s hopeful that Laviolette will keep it intact when the contest plays out tomorrow night.
Panarin and Trocheck will undoubtedly remain together on the Rangers’ second line in the regular season, but it remains uncertain who will be joining them on the right wing. Players such as Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, and Blake Wheeler have the highest chances out of anyone, but it’s still interesting to see a prospect like Othmann gain some time in practice.
Panarin is the Rangers’ number-one offensive star, producing close to 100 points in every season since joining the Blueshirts. To have the opportunity to play alongside such an elite winger should not be taken lightly by Othmann. The young prospect has been one of the more impressive players throughout preseason so far, but he still has work to do in order to make the Rangers’ roster.
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What is this new line capable of?
As a whole, this experimental line has the opportunity to be an offensive powerhouse. Although it will likely only exist for tomorrow’s game against the Islanders, the Rangers will examine how productive Othmann can be when playing among some of the best.
Last season, Othmann scored 67 goals in 56 games across two teams in the OHL. Combining his goal-scoring abilities with Panarin’s playmaking skills seems like a recipe for success. Trocheck is also the best face-off winner on the Rangers, which will create a high level of offensive puck possession when the line is on the ice.
Othmann is a smaller prospect at only 6’0, 186 pounds, giving him speed and agility compared to that of Panarin. This line combination could hit the ice at a fast pace, creating a difficult time for larger, heavier defensemen. It’s imperative that Othmann finds success while playing with Panarin and Trocheck, as an elite offensive showing my help the top prospect inch closer to the coveted NHL roster spot.