Top Rangers prospect excels in professional hockey debut

From left, Adam Sykora and Brennan Othmann take part in the Rangers Prospect Development Camp at the Rangers Training facility in Tarrytown July 12, 2022
Frank Becerra Jr. / The Journal News / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the New York Rangers season underway, their AHL affiliate team has also begun their 2023-24 campaign. The Hartford Wolfpack possesses an abundance of talented prospects, particularly Brennan Othmann. The Rangers have been viewing Othmann’s development very closely.

There was a chance he could have made it to the NHL this season, but the Blueshirts ultimately chose to let him develop more with the Wolfpack. It’s only Othmann’s first year going pro, but he’s already off to a great start following his AHL debut.

Othmann scores twice in his first game with the Wolfpack

Last night, the Wolfpack began their season against the Providence Bruins. The Bruins were led by goaltender Brandon Bussi, a young star who blanked the Rangers in their 3-0 loss during this year’s preseason game against Boston. This did not stop Othmann, however, as he managed to net two goals in his AHL debut with the Wolfpack.

Othmann’s first professional hockey goal came on a Hartford power play, with an assist from Wolfpack captain Jonny Brodzinski. The one-time shot showed just how skilled Othmann’s shooting ability is as he ripped the puck into the back of the net.

Later in the game, the Wolfpack found themselves down 2-1 with just under three minutes left to play. With the goalie pulled and the game on the line, Othmann scored his second of the night to bring the game to a tie.

There was a scrum in front of the net and Bussi was down on the ice, but Othmann still flexed an incredible wrist shot to even the score 2-2. The Wolfpack would then go on to win the game during a shootout. Per the Hartford Wolfpack, Brodzinski scored the lone shootout goal that propelled the Wolfpack to their first opening night victory since 2021.

Will Othmann receive any time with the Rangers this season?

The main reason Othmann started the year down in the AHL was to ensure the Rangers did not rush his development. It’s his first season going pro, and there was expected to be some sort of adjustment time moving up from the OHL. But after just one game, Othmann’s debut has proven that he is raring to go.

There’s very little room on the Rangers’ roster for any potential call-ups, especially with the addition of Will Cuylle. There would need to be some sort of trade or injury for Othmann to receive some NHL playing time. Othmann would be wasted on the fourth line, which would mean a top-nine role has to be available for him to join the Rangers.

For now, it’s possible that Othmann could get called up to the Rangers this year. Nobody is wishing for an injury, but there’s a chance that it will happen at some point this season. If Othmann continues to excel in the AHL, he would be the most likely call-up to fill the Rangers’ roster. But for now, Othmann should continue to focus on his development. He’s only played in one professional game and still has a long way to go before he inevitably becomes a key player on the Rangers.

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