The New York Rangers‘ prospect pool has slowly become less bountiful in recent years as many of their young guys have made their way into the NHL as full-time players. While there seems to be less star power in the system, one prospect still remains elite. Brennan Othmann impressed the Rangers immensely throughout last season’s training camp and pre-season, but his efforts came just short of landing him an NHL roster spot. Entering 2023, Othmann looks primed to make the Blueshirt’s roster and could play an impactful role for New York this season.
Brennan Othmann could fit on the Rangers’ third-line wings
There are a few open roster spots that the Rangers need to fill before the 2023 season gets underway. Vladimir Tarasenko is off to Ottawa and Patrick Kane seems destined for departure, so it’s safe to assume that the top six right-wing spots will now belong to Kaapo Kakko and Blake Wheeler. This creates an open spot down on the third line, which can be filled in multiple ways.
Othmann is a natural left winger, so his transition to the NHL right would likely require him to transition over to the right side. There is also the possibility that Alexis Lafreniere moves to the other side and plays on the second line rather than Wheeler, which would open a spot for Othmann on the third-line left wing.
Othmann could find himself centering the third line
The final possibility would be if Filip Chytil earns a role on the second line next to Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck. Chytil has some experience as a winger, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for him to move up and for Othmann to take a third-line center spot if he’s capable of it.
Either way, it’ll be somewhat tedious for the Rangers to find an NHL spot for Othmann. The left-wing position is already stacked for the Blueshirts, having Chris Kreider, Panarin, and Lafreniere already there. But if Othmann excels during this year’s training camp and preseason, New York may be inclined to make this call-up happen regardless.
“There’s no doubt that Othmann can be a star. Ever since being selected in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers, he has thrived in the OHL and has moved up the prospect rankings. Regular and postseason combined, Othmann has 213 points in 164 games. This is one of the highest points-per-game rates in the league.”Blue Line Station
Should the Rangers let Othmann develop for another year?
With the left-wing pipeline being highly congested for the Rangers, it might not hurt to let Othmann grow and develop some more down in the minors for another season or two. The Blueshirts have a poor reputation when it comes to developing prospects, as a lot of young players with high potential commonly turn into nothing but wasted draft picks. Even Lafreniere and Kakko, first and second overall picks respectively, have had a tough time breaking through the mold of the NHL while on the Rangers.
If Othmann were to have a spot on the Rangers this season, his role would not likely be prominent. Othmann wouldn’t be getting top-six minutes and would most likely be playing down on the third or maybe even fourth line. It would feel almost like deja vu, seeing a young star trapped down in the bottom six once again. For that reason alone, it may be best for the Rangers to just wait this one out for another year and call Othmann up when the time is right in 2024.