The New York Rangers are well underway in the 2023-24 season with five games played thus far. The same goes for the Blueshirts’ AHL affiliate team, the Hartford Wolfpack. Hartford is currently undefeated four games into the season as they lead the highly competitive Atlantic Division.
A large part of why Hartford has performed so well this year is because of AHL rookie Brennan Othmann. He may only be the fifth-highest point scorer on the Wolfpack, but he’s begun to make an immediate impact in his first season of professional hockey. Othmann is a top prospect that will be watched very closely by the Rangers this season and could very well receive NHL playing time if he continues to produce.
Othmann is on pace for over 50 points in his rookie season with the Wolfpack
So far this season, Othmann has scored two goals and one assist for three points in four games played. His two goals came in his AHL debut, with his assist coming later on.
Per EliteProspects, this hot start has set Othmann on pace for a projected 54 points if he plays the full 72 games in the AHL season. These 54 points would supposedly come with 36 goals and 18 assists, flexing Othmann’s elite scoring abilities.
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How realistic are these projections?
Othmann has only played in four professional hockey games so far in his career. He could start to slow down and produce less as the season goes on, or he can explode for more points as he gets used to playing at this level. The latter is the likelier option, as Othmann has flashed elite potential at every level of the sport.
Even if Othmann finishes the season with this projected 54 points, it’s nothing to be disappointed about. He did average over a point per game last season in the OHL, but this league is much older and more competitive. It’ll be interesting to see how the season plays out, but there’s a chance he could finish even higher in the point standings once he gets more comfortable.
A possible call-up to the Rangers could skew Othmann’s point totals
There was a high chance that Othmann could have made the Rangers’ opening night roster following a successful preseason, but the Blueshirts ultimately opted to call up Will Cuylle instead. Cuylle is older and more developed and plays a physical bottom-six role that the Rangers desperately need. The Blueshirts made the smart decision and chose to let Othmann develop more in the AHL while he waits for a top-six role to open up.
However, there is a chance that Othmann could receive some NHL playing time with the Rangers this season. An injury could free up a roster spot at any time, and any disappointing performances could cause a send-down. The Rangers would be wise to only call up Othmann if it were a top-six role, but anything is possible.
If Othmann were to spend time with the Rangers, his AHL stats would obviously be less than what is projected. If a call-up ends up happening, keeping an eye on the amount of games played when analyzing his point totals will be essential. No matter what happens, it’s safe to say that Othmann is off to a hot start and is projected to have an elite rookie season wherever he plays.