The New York Rangers are in desperate need of a new first-line right winger. Neither Kaapo Kakko nor Blake Wheeler lived up to high expectations, and Jonny Brodzinski is only filling the role temporarily with a few key players out with injuries.
There are a few trade options the Blueshirts could look at later this season to bolster their right wing, but there are also a handful of young prospects already within the Rangers’ system that could also get the job done.
Brennan Othmann is at the top of this list, as he appears to be next in line for a big break in New York. Many fans beg that the Blueshirts remain patient with his development, but the organization should certainly consider the pros and cons of a potential call-up this season.
Pro: The Rangers need a long-term first-line RW
If Kakko, Wheeler, and Brodzinski are all not good fits to play on the first line, then where should the Blueshirts look to solidify their lineup? There are a handful of players on the trade market as the NHL season slowly advances closer to the deadline, but most options will be one-year rentals. The Rangers could focus on thinking long term, and look to someone they have been developing over the last few years.
The Rangers currently have Othmann tenured through the 2025-26 season. His AAV comes at a cheap $863k, making him an affordable option over the next two and a half years. If he’s able to find success in the Rangers’ top six, he’d be a long-term solution that would provide elite scoring in a currently struggling position.
Con: Othmann still requires a bit more development in the AHL
Othmann seems to already have his offensive skill set close to perfected after just 21 games playing with the Hartford Wolf Pack. He’s tallied 18 points so far in his first season in the AHL, proving he’s a natural offensive producer. The one area he could improve offensively is his even-strength scoring, which is an issue the Rangers currently deal with in the NHL. More time with Hartford could help Othmann improve in that facet of the game, and not add on to the Blueshirts’ problem.
Othmann also needs to improve defensively. His offensive skills are elite, but he needs to be better in his own zone. This again is another area of the game that could be worked on with no pressure if he remains down in the AHL, rather than the Rangers calling him up before he has completely perfected his game.
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Pro: The Rangers could use some help on the PP2
Outside of taking the job as the first-line RW, there is another major hole in the Rangers’ lineup that Othmann could fill. With the Blueshirts’ first power play unit consisting of most of the stars, Filip Chytil and Kakko’s injuries have left the PP2 depleted.
With his elite offensive skillset, Othmann could make a great addition to the second power-play unit. He’s received an abundance of special teams playing time down in Hartford, proving he knows how to find success on the man advantage. He’d be able to contribute in two different areas of the game, giving the Rangers even more incentive to give the kid a shot up in the big leagues.