The New York Rangers possess one of the NHL’s most star-studded lineups heading into the 2023-24 season. As the season kicks off this week, NHL Network previewed the year by presenting their list of the top 50 players in the NHL. The Rangers had four players make the list.
Artemi Panarin ranks 32nd: Give the Bread Man his respect
Artemi Panarin ranked 32nd on the NHL Network’s list following an impressive last season that ultimately ended in disappointment.
Panarin posted a team-high 92 points (29 goals, 63 assists) in 82 games last season. Since joining New York in 2019, Panarin has consistently put up elite numbers nearing the illustrious 100-point mark.
The next step for Panarin will be carrying his regular season momentum into the playoffs. Panarin’s excellent regular season campaigns are enough to maintain his status as one of the best forwards in the NHL, but his inability to perform in the playoffs has undoubtedly held him back in this year’s rankings.
The Bread Man needs to start putting up more points in the postseason to elevate his status.
Mike Zibanejad ranks 31st following a career year
The Rangers’ second-leading point-scorer from last season landed just outside the top 30. Mika Zibanejad totaled a career-high 91 points (39 goals, 52 assists) last season in the best season of his 12-year career so far. His previous career high was 81 points.
Zibanejad is an elite goal-scorer, leading the charge on the Blueshirts’ first line. The Swedish center is now 30 years old but still seems to be playing at the height of his powers.
Finishing just one point behind Panarin last season, Zibanejad is a candidate to lead New York in points this season.
Igor Shesterkin ranks 18th and ranks as one of the top goalies
Elite goalie Igor Shesterkin unsurprisingly ranked inside the top 20 as one of the best goalies in the NHL. Shesterkin was a Vezina Trophy finalist once again last season after taking home the award for the 2021-22 season.
Shesterkin is expected to be in contention for the Vezina Trophy once again this season as he aims to maintain his status as one of the best netkeepers in the league.
Shesterkin was 37-13-8 with a 2.48 GAA, .916 save percentage, and three shutouts in 58 games last season. His 73 wins are tied with Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the most the past two seasons, and his 2.29 GAA and .925 save percentage each are tied for second (minimum 10 games), per NHL Network.
Rangers Captain Adam Fox ranks 12th
Norris Trophy finalist Adam Fox is the Rangers’ highest-ranking player on the NHL Network’s list. Fox posted elite numbers for the Rangers once again last season, totaling 72 points (12 goals, 60 assists), ranking eighth among defensemen.
Fox won the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the league for his efforts in the 2020-21 season. He has been a finalist for the award in each of the last three seasons and will look to take the trophy back to Madison Square Garden this season.