The Rangers have a massive defensive prospect competition going on at rookie camp

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) and New York Rangers defenseman Matthew Robertson (44) chase the puck during the third period at Madison Square Garden

With the first day of the New York Rangers‘ annual rookie camp underway, many of the organization’s top prospects will be looking to impress the Blueshirts. The prospects will show their development and strengths through a handful of practices and two games against the Philadelphia Flyers rookies.

There are some clear-cut favorite prospects within the organization, but there are also a handful of underrated players who could impress with a stellar camp campaign. Matthew Robertson is one of the Blueshirts’ top defensive prospects who has the potential to become a solid NHL player one day, and his path to earning a role on the Rangers must begin this year.

Robertson has a lot to prove to the Rangers in the final year of his contract

Since being drafted in 2019, Robertson’s development has been somewhat underwhelming. As a second-round pick, the Rangers were expecting him to grow into a star, but Robertson has taken a little longer than expected. Standing at 6’4, 201 pounds, he clearly has the size to fill the role of a physical defenseman.

Robertson had a successful offensive showing with the Hartford Wolfpack last season, scoring 23 points in 57 games, but he unfortunately missed the entirety of the team’s 2023 playoff run due to an injury. Now, two years into his entry-level contract, Robertson has failed to impress despite being a prospect with such high potential.

With only one year remaining on his ELC, Robertson has a lot to prove to the Rangers this season. Not only does he need to stay healthy and improve his point totals, but Robertson also needs to improve his defensive instincts.

In order to earn a second deal to continue developing within the Rangers’ organization, having a successful rookie camp will be the perfect opportunity for Robertson to turn some heads. Many sources have ranked Robertson as a top defensive prospect on the Rangers, although there is one name who will create massive competition with him.

Robertson has intense competition for the roster spot

Robertson’s performance at this year’s rookie camp will be crucial for him to start his journey toward finding a full-time role on the Rangers. The journey forward will serve as a difficult task for Robertson to overcome. The Rangers already possess one of the top defensive groups in the NHL, and there is only one open spot left on the current roster that needs to be filled.

There are multiple names in the mix for who will serve as the left defenseman next to Braden Schneider on the Rangers’ third defensive pairing. While Zac Jones is the number one defensive prospect in the system, the Rangers also recently signed veteran defenseman Erik Gustafsson to add some fuel to the competition. This creates an even more difficult path for Robertson, who will have to surpass a handful of names before making his way to the top.

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