There were many elite performances throughout the game, but one rookie truly stood out among the crowd. Although he failed to hop on the score sheet in the contest, recent call-up Brennan Othmann shined bright in his NHL debut.
Othmann flashed his offensive talent in his 1st NHL game
Although Othmann failed to record his first career point against the Blackhawks, he still looked solid overall when he was on the ice. He played most of the game down on the fourth line with Jonny Brodzinski and Nick Bonino but was given a few shifts on the first line here and there in the third period.
Despite spending the majority of the game in the bottom six, Othmann still became a noticeable presence that generated a lot of scoring chances.
“I noticed him all night.”Peter Laviolette via Jonny Lazarus
Across the game, Othmann recorded five shots on goal. He led the Rangers in this statistic, doing so in just over 12 minutes of total ice time. Had he spent more time on the first line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, these scoring chances would have had much higher odds of turning into his first career points.
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The Rangers still need to be patient with Othmann despite solid debut
Before being called up to the NHL, the Rangers were dead set on letting Othmann develop for a full season down in the AHL. It was only because of an absurd amount of injuries that the Rangers’ hands were forced and the rookie needed to be called up.
Following the call-up, fans pleaded for the Blueshirts to place Othmann on the first line full-time. But jumping from the AHL all the way up to the top line of a Stanley Cup contender would have been too large of a leap.
If there are concerns about ensuring he is properly developed, Othmann being placed in the bottom six to start his stint in New York is the right call. If he continues to excel game after game and forms some sort of consistency, that is when the Rangers should consider moving him up the ranks.