New York Rangers Finish Season in Style with win over Boston

The New York Rangers could have just played out the season and left for vacation. Instead, the Blueshirts put in a strong effort in defeating the Boston Bruins 5-4 to wrap up their 2021 season.

Mika Zibanejad scored two of New York’s four third-period goals, and the Rangers ended their season by halting their five-game losing streak.

Keith Kinkaid made 28 saves before leaving with an injury midway into the third period. Igor Shesterkin finished up in goal with seven saves.

Alexis Lafreniere and Vitali Kravtsov also scored in a wild third when the Rangers overcame a 2-1 deficit. K’Andre Miller started the scoring with a goal in the first period. Pavel Buchnevich seemed a little snakebit with his puck shooting but did add three assists in the victory.

The victory will bolster the spirits of the New York Rangers

Heading into the offseason, the win against a playoff-bound Bruins team should help bolster the spirits of a young Rangers team.

That sentiment was echoed by Zibanejad in his post-game Zoom comments. “It means more than what you would think right now. Especially the way things have been going the whole season, especially the last 10 days or so, that’s been kind of crazy with the guys that are not here right now. The way we battled through it and get the win, that was good.”

In his post-game conference, head coach David Quinn noted that it was nice to give newly appointed general manager Chris Drury his first win. “I know all of us were very happy that we were able to get him that first one.”

After the firing of John Davidson and Jeff Gorton earlier in the week, it will be Quinn that decides which direction the franchise is heading, including on whether or not to retain Quinn as head coach.

Quinn also was pleased with the effort and the win stating that “it’s been difficult. It was great to finish the way we did.”

With the win, the Rangers will finish in fifth place in the NHL’s East division.

 

New York Rangers Taxi Squad Gem: Keith Kinkaid

It was probably not what the New York Rangers were thinking when they signed Keith Kinkaid. When the Rangers signed the 31-year-old Long Island native in October, they thought was that he would be there just in case something happened COVID-wise to Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. However, that “something” turned into a Shesterkin injury, and Georgiev being very shaky of late.

He was not exactly unknown to the Rangers and head coach David Quinn. “I knew him way back to his Union [College] days and coached him in the World Championships [in 2016], so I’m pretty familiar with him,’’ Quinn said post-game after Kinkaid came in against the Penguins on March 7. “I’ve always thought him to be a good goalie.’’

Kinkaid played for Union College from 2009–2011. In his freshman season, he was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team and Third Team. Kinkaid had an outstanding sophomore season in which he posted a 25-10-3 record and led the Dutchmen to their first NCAA tournament appearance and was named an AHCA East First-Team All-American. He was also named to the All-ECAC Hockey First Team. He was awarded the Ken Dryden Award as the best goaltender in the ECAC. Kinkaid signed an entry-level contract with the Devils in April 2011 after his sophomore season with Union.

After a couple of seasons with New Jersey, he bounced around a bit in the NHL. Last season he spent some time with the Montreal Canadiens. However, he did not play well in Montreal and was sent down to finish the season in the AHL.

The Rangers then signed him in October as some COVID-19 insurance. With the Shersterkin injury and Georgiev not playing well, Kinkaid got his chance to play on March 7 when he came in for Georgiev.

The veteran netminder has been solid for a team that needed some consistency in net. He is 3-0-1 in his last four starts, but since shutting out the Bruins on March 13 he has just a so-so 2.95 GAA and .885 save percentage.

The New York Rangers gained another benefit from signing Kinkaid.

When the Rangers signed Kinkaid, they inked him to a two-year deal. This allowed them to have a goaltender they could potentially expose for this summer’s Seattle Kraken expansion draft. 

According to the NHL, teams must make available one goalie who is under contract in 2021-22. A player could also be a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available, this will meet a requirement the goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team’s protected list.

While it is likely that Kinkaid will be made available, his good play the rest of the seasons would at least give them options in case something happens to Georgiev. Shesterkin is ineligible for selection as first and second-year players are exempt from selection.

While Kinkaid waited patiently for his chance to show he can still play the NHL, he gave credit to Rangers goalie coach Benoit Allaire for helping him rebuild his confidence and his game after that rough 2019-20 season.

“I’ve been hoping for a break,’’ Kinkaid said post-game after his first Rangers start on March 9. “I plan on taking absolute control of this opportunity. And to prove I still belong in this league.’’

Thankfully for the New York Rangers, he has done just that.

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers Able to Squeak by the Woeful Buffalo Sabres

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers were able to take advantage of a slumping team by defeating the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 5-3. Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko scored two goals each for the Blueshirts.

Carter Hutton started in net for Buffalo and made two saves before leaving 2:51 into the game after Julien Gauthier slid hard into him while being pushed by Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Former Ranger Dustin Tokarski, called up from the taxi squad earlier in the day, came on and finished the game.

The Rangers continue with their habit of playing close games this season. Eighteen of the Rangers’ 30 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals, and 13 of those games have been decided by one goal.

With his second goal, Kreider scored his 173rd career goal with the Rangers, tying Mike Gartner and Tomas Sandstrom for 18th place on the franchise’s all-time goals list, per NYR StatsandInfo. His first goal was on the power play, tying him with Sandstrom for 13th place on the franchise’s all-time power-play goals list. His second was also a power-play, passing Sandstrom on that list.

Adam Fox scored the third goal of the second period, skating in his 100th career NHL game. He has registered 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) in his first 99 career NHL games. Fox has also been somewhat of an ironman for the Rangers this season, leading the team in ice time in 24 of 30 games. He also had two assists in the game.

The New York Rangers and Fox continue to play solid defense in front of their net

Even though Keith Kinkaid had to make only 16 saves in the game, a couple of the saves could have categorized as outstanding. The Rangers continue to play well in front of their goalies. Heading into tonight’s game, they had held their opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in each of the last nine games and in 21 of 30 games this season.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Mika Zibanejad talked about the Ranger’s solid defensive play, especially Adam Fox.”He is unbelievable. The way he plays with the puck, I think everyone can see that. He is so calm and I feel that he makes the right decision all of the time. Defensively he has been really good this year, teaming up with Lindgren, and I feel like they have been rock solid.”

Acting head coach Kris Knoblauch echoed Zibanejad’s words in his post-game Zoom conference. “He (Fox) is really good defensively, making the read. He is not overly physical, he doesn’t play the game like Trouba or Lindgren but he is able to defend with the skills he has.”

The Rangers face two huge games coming up, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers Thursday night and Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers: different night, different result

The New York Rangers “flipped the script” in defeating the Washington Capitals 3-1. Coming off last night’s disappointing loss, Mika Zibanejad broke a tie with 2:32 remaining in the third period to lead the Rangers to the victory.

Brett Howden scored into an empty net with 28 seconds left for the final Rangers goal.

Adam Fox continues his solid play for the Rangers. Fox made an excellent pass to Pavel Buchnevich on the Ranger’s first goal. Per NYR StatsandInfo, Fox recorded his 50th career assist and 60th career point in his 99th career NHL game. The only Ranger defensemen who recorded more assists and points than Fox has within their first 100 career NHL games are Brian Leetch, Sergei Zubov, and Reijo Ruotsalainen. Also, ten of Fox’s 16 assists this season have been primary assists, and he is tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in primary assists in 2020-21.

The New York Rangers will be without Quinn for a few more games, Johnson for the season.

Jack Johnson will miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing core muscle repair surgery, the team announced Saturday.  Johnson had a limited role with the Rangers, averaging a career-low 16:58 per game while only finding his way into the lineup 13 times. He finishes the season with one goal and no assists.

Head Coach David Quinn will probably miss at least two more games, based on the NHL’s Positive Test Protocol as speculated by the NY Post’s Larry Brooks. The protocol states that “Upon the passage of 10 days since the first positive test, provided the individual has remained asymptomatic during the entire period of their self-isolation; and Satisfaction of the Additional Criteria in 4.3 [that mandates the team physician and infectious disease expert must conclude the individual, ‘no longer presents a risk of infection to others.’”

There is also the condition that pertains to persons with symptoms at the time of testing or thereafter states that quarantine may end, “If at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

All of this points to a possible return next Friday or Saturday for Quinn.

Keith Kinkaid talked about how important this win was after last night’s loss. “It was basically the same script but I guess you would say that we flipped the script,” Kinkaid said in his post-game Zoom conference. Our attention to detail and our blocking shots at the end of the game were huge.”

Kinkaid stopped 28 of 29 shots faced, including 11 in the third period.

The Rangers will be back in action on Monday night when they host the struggling Buffalo Sabres.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers fall to the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime thriller

In a back-and-forth game, the New York Rangers got sloppy with the puck in overtime and fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Jakub Voracek intercepted a Keith Kinkaid pass and scored at 3:47 of overtime to give the Flyers the win.

The Rangers played the game without Adam Fox, Pavel Buchnevich, and Phil DiGuiseppe. The three Rangers were earlier placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. This also led the Rangers to cancel their morning skate, something that may have influenced their slow start. The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead against the Rangers who came out very flat.

Tarmo Reunanen was called up and got his first NHL assist on Artemi Panarin‘s second-period goal. Panarin had two assists in the Rangers’ three-goal second period, and Colin Blackwell, Julien Gauthier, and Kevin Rooney also scored.

Head coach David Quinn talked after this game in his Zoom conference on the importance of Panarin’s return.

“You can see how our lineup is totally different when he is in there,” Quinn said. “We are just a much more of a balanced team. When you have a player of that caliber in your lineup, you are that more dangerous. The whole team feels better about itself and he has certainly given us that jolt in the two games he has played.”

The New York Rangers start slow after losing three players to COVID

Jacob Trouba talked about everything that went on during the last day in the post-game Zoom conference. “Before the game, it was a wild 24 hours for us. We didn’t get off to the start we wanted but I thought we came out and played much better in the second. It was kind of back and forth in the third but we lost the special teams game which was pretty telling.”

Quinn also addressed how his team rebounded from the slow start. “You have to shake off bad stretches. every team has them during the course of a game. How quickly can you shake them off and how quickly can you stop the bleeding? I really like our start of the second. I thought our guys approached it the right way.”

The Rangers will face the Flyers again on Wednesday night, with a 7:30 puck drop due to the national broadcast on NBCSN.

 

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The New York Rangers shutout in “frustrating” loss to Boston

New York Rangers, Mika Zibanejad

Normally, an article about the New York Rangers would start with a little summary of what happened in the game. Not tonight. This article is going to jump right into post-game comments after a very poor showing in a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Jacob Trouba explained that the Rangers were trying to give it their full effort on the ice. “I don’t think it spiraled out of control. Obviously, we had some breakdowns that led to goals, but I don’t think it totally fell off a cliff.”

“Frustrating.” head coach David Quinn said in his post-game Zoom conference. “I thought we had a good start, was playing well, and had some chances early. The short-handed goal was the backbreaker in a lot of ways. You could kind of sense it. They got goals on their chances and we didn’t.”

Quinn was also disappointed by the lack of production from the Ranger’s power-play. “Our power-play obviously has to be fixed. They get a power-play goal and special teams were really the difference tonight.”

Echoing Jacob Trouba’s comments, Quinn said that “We kept competing right up to the buzzer. We got down 4-0 and it could have got ugly but we kept playing. There are certainly some positives to take out of it and we have to dust ourselves off and get ready to play Saturday afternoon.”

Quinn also mentioned that a lot of the issues for the Rangers was that when they make mistakes, they are big mistakes. This helps explain why the Rangers have been outscored 13-3 in their last three losses.

Takeaways from the New York Rangers loss to Boston

For the second straight time that he has started, Alexandar Georgiev was pulled during the game with just under five minutes gone in the second period. The young Russian gave up four goals in fourteen shots. On the four goals, Boston scored shorthanded, even strength, and on the power play.

Keith Kinkaid finished the game for the Blueshirts by stopping all 13 shots he faced.

Up until tonight, the Rangers had been outstanding in killing penalties. They had not allowed a power-play goal in 15 of their last 17 games, including nine of the last 10 games and each of the last seven games. The Rangers had killed off 54 of their opponents’ 58 power-play opportunities over the last 18 games and have held their opponents to only 73 shots on goal during their opponents’ 58 power-play opportunities over the span.

The two teams will play again Saturday afternoon.

 

 

New York Rangers third period rally falls short in loss to Penguins

The New York Rangers played one of their better third periods of the season. However, it was not enough to overcome a two-goal deficit and the Blueshirts fall to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the score of 4-2.

The Rangers pulled goaltender Keith Kinkaid with just about two minutes left in the game. They had multiple chances to score the tying goal but were thwarted by Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Ryan Strome scored early in the third period. The Rangers held the Penguins to no shots on goal until Sidney Crosby put a shot in the empty net with 32 seconds left in the game.

Former Penguin Jack Johnson opened the scoring for the Rangers with a deflected slap shot in the first period, his first goal as a Ranger. Chris Kreider and Julien Gauthier assisted on Johnson’s goal. Gauthier has now recorded three assists/points in the last three games and four assists/points in the last seven games. Following his assist on Jack Johnson’s goal, Kreider has now tallied 12 points in the last nine games. Since Feb. 24, Kreider’s eight goals are the most in the NHL and his 11 points are the third-most in the NHL, per NYR Stats&Info.

The Rangers also continue their trend of close games. Entering tonight’s action, 14 of the Rangers’ 23 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals. Eleven of those games have been decided by one goal.

The New York Rangers are agitated by a close loss to the Penguins

Kreider was obviously not feeling too good about the loss in his post-game Zoom interview. “We put ourselves in that hole because of the two late goals. For 56 or 57 minutes we were doing a good job playing through and establishing a forecheck which we weren’t able to do the other night. We were playing good structured hockey then we start chasing our tails a little bit at the end of the second period.”

“There are lessons to be learned win or lose,” Kreider stated about whether there was anything good that came from this loss. We played this team four or five times, they have come from behind to beat us, they have beat us in close games. They punched us in the mouth the other night so in the end, we have to find a way to get those two points.”

Head coach David Quinn echoed many of those sentiments in his post-game Zoom conference. “I thought it was a tale of two games. I thought that for the first thirty minutes they completely took it to us and then I thought we started doing the things we needed to do.” Quinn said later in his conference that “We need to get back to playing sixty minutes of good hockey, and not sporadic good hockey.”

The road trip for the Rangers does not get any easier as they travel to Boston for back-to-back games with the Bruins. Thursday night’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Who will the New York Rangers start in goal on Tuesday night?

The New York Rangers have a bit of a quandary for Tuesday night’s matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After Alexandar Georgiev was pulled in Sunday night’s loss, many will wonder if head coach David Quinn will give the young Russian another chance. However, the decision is not quite that easy considering that Kieih Kinkaid played very well in relief. He did give up two goals on odd-man rushes but otherwise was quite solid in net.

After Sunday night’s game, Quinn said that it has not given any thought on who would start in net on Tuesday night. As the Rangers did not practice on Monday, we have no idea who will start. If Igor Shesterkin is healthy, he would probably get the nod. But we may not know what is going on until the morning skate at the earliest. Even though Shesterkin’s groin pull was listed as minor, it would still appear that playing Tuesday night might be rushing things too quickly. So the decision may come down to Georgiev vs. Kinkaid.

Why the New York Rangers would start Keith Kinkaid

The biggest reason would be that he played well on Sunday night, even though he had not seen NHL action since  Nov. 30, 2019, as a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

Teammate Jacob Trouba had some good things to say about Kinkaid’s game during his post-game Zoon conference. “Especially me over the last two weeks, I got to see him a lot in practice and how he’s working and staying sharp,” Trouba said. “He got a chance to get in there, and he made some big saves for us and definitely kept us in that game as long as he could. He made some huge saves and it’s good to see out of him, seeing how hard he works and knowing the kind of guy he is. It’s positive for everyone to see.”

Quinn knows about Kinkaid from their college days when Kinkaid was the goaltender for Union College. The Rangers signed him for two years the last offseason.  While having an extra goalie during COVID-19 was needed, they wanted to have a qualifying goalie under contract to expose in the Seattle expansion draft. This way, they could keep both Shesterkin and Georgiev.

Even despite the three goals in 61 seconds against Pittsburgh, Georgiev was a little shaky against the Devils on Saturday afternoon. MSG analyst Steve Valiquette made a very solid point during the telecast. He pointed out that on P.K Subban’s slapshot goal from the blue line, this was a shot the Georgiev usually stops. Valiquette stated that Georgiev, when he has a clear view, had not allowed a goal on 257 shots from that distance in the last three years.

Why Georgiev will start for the New York Rangers

From a confidence standpoint, Quinn may want to start Georgiev so that the young netminder does not lose confidence in himself. At this point, everyone knows what Georgiev is capable of doing in goal. Putting him right back in there would signal that the Rangers have confidence in his abilities.

It should also be noted that Georgiev is not solely responsible for these goals. In the second New Jersey goal that temporarily tied the game, Adam Fox got caught up ice on a turnover, and Filip Chytil was beaten to the net.

The second of the three Penguin goals happened in part because K’Andre Miller fell at the blue line. On the third goal, Sidney Crosby split two defenders and beat Georgiev. Crosby has beat many of a goaltender during his time in the NHL.

So the Rangers have a bit of a small goalie controversy going into Tuesday night’s game. It will be interesting to see who the Rangers decide on to be their goalie when the puck drops at 6 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rangers see more value in G Keith KinKaid than expansion protection

When the New York Rangers signed free agent goaltender Keith Kinkaid to a two-year deal in October, the thought process was to make him the expendable goalie for the NHL Expansion Draft.

He may now be a valuable piece to a successful campaign this season.

The 31-year old, Farmingville, NY native has played for seven seasons for both the New Jersey Devils and the Montreal Canadiens compiling a record of 65-56-20-7 in 157 games played. The left catching goalie has a  career 2.95 goals-against average.

The Rangers were going to use Kinkaid to protect back-up goaltender Alexandar Georgiev in the upcoming Expansion Draft which will take place on July 21. The new protocols set forth by the NHL and NHLPA will give the Blueshirts another reason to have Kinkaid close by.

All teams will carry Taxi Squads, a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 players. Taxi squad players are treated as if they are playing minors for purposes of waivers and salary cap.

Third Goalie Is A Must

All teams must either carry two goalies on their active roster with another in their Taxi Squad, or they could choose to carry three goaltenders on their active roster.

In this era of COVID-19 where any player can test positive at any time, the NHL and its players decided that having a third goalie available is essential.

The value of Kinkaid can not be measured at the point, but the club recognizes the importance of having Kinkaid within the organization. The team has acknowledged they are not looking for another goalie to replace Kinkaid at this time per source via ForeverBlueshirts.com.

Kinkaid had his best season in 2017-2018 where he recorded a 26-10-3 record for the Devils.

 

New York Rangers dangle their feet in free agency with Jack Johnson the biggest splash

Jeff Gorton and the New York Rangers completed a productive week by signing several players Friday afternoon as the NHL’s free agency period kicked off.

The Rangers made their big move on Tuesday night when they used their first overall pick to select Alexis Lafreniere. Gorton then used free agency to add some depth to the roster without paying the big dollars as the did last summer when they signed Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba.

From a position view, all three areas of the ice were addressed with the team signing three defensemen, four forwards, and a goaltender.

Friday’s Recap

Jack Johnson– Defense

Johnson, 33, has skated in 937 career NHL games over parts of 14 seasons (2006-07 – 2019-20) with the Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Pittsburgh Penguins, registering 70 goals and 232 assists for 302 points, along with 521 penalty minutes. He has averaged at least 19:00 of ice time per game in each of his 13 full seasons in the NHL, as well as 20:00 or more of ice time per game in 10 of those 13 seasons. Johnson has tallied at least 20 assists and 30 points in five different seasons throughout his career. In addition, he has registered 100 or more blocked shots in nine different seasons and 100 or more hits in seven different seasons in the NHL. Johnson ranked fifth among NHL defensemen in hits in 2018-19 (233), establishing a career-high in hits during the season. He served as an alternate captain for several seasons during his tenure with the Blue Jackets.

The 6-1, 227-pounder skated in 67 games with Pittsburgh this past season, registering three goals and eight assists for 11 points, along with 26 penalty minutes. Johnson ranked second among Penguins defensemen in games played in 2019-20, and he averaged 19:28 of ice time per game during the season. He led the Penguins in blocked shots (97) and ranked second on the team (led team defensemen) in hits (183) this past season.

Johnson is expected to fill the role of long-time defenseman Marc Staal who was traded to Detroit.

 Brandon Crawley – Defense

Crawley, 23, split this past season between the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Maine Mariners of the ECHL. He registered 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) and 36 penalty minutes in 38 ECHL games with Maine in 2019-20. Crawley skated in nine AHL games with the Wolf Pack this past season, recording six penalty minutes.

The 6-1, 202-pounder has skated in 123 AHL games over parts of three seasons (2017-18 – 2019-20), all with the Wolf Pack, registering five goals and 15 assists for 20 points, along with 216 penalty minutes. Crawley established AHL career-highs in goals (three), assists (12), points (15), and penalty minutes (111) in 2018-19, and he also ranked sixth among AHL defensemen in penalty minutes during the season. He also led AHL rookies in penalty minutes in 2017-18 (99).

The Glen Rock, New Jersey native was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 123rd overall, of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Anthony Bitetto – Defense

Bitetto, 30, skated in 51 games with the Winnipeg Jets this past season, registering eight assists, a plus-three rating, and 32 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2019-20, including games played, assists, points, plus/minus rating, and average ice time (15:10). Bitetto ranked second on Winnipeg in hits this past season (145), and he led the Jets in hits per game (2.84). He ranked 23rd in the NHL, as well as fifth among NHL defensemen, (min. 30 games played) in hits per game in 2019-20. In addition, Bitetto ranked fourth on the Jets (and ranked second among Jets defensemen) in average shorthanded ice time this past season (2:11).

The 6-1, 210-pounder has skated in 183 career NHL games over parts of six seasons (2014-15 – 2019-20) with Nashville, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, registering two goals and 25 assists for 27 points, along with 122 penalty minutes. Bitetto also skated in each of Nashville’s 14 games during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has recorded 379 hits in his 183 career NHL games. Bitetto has averaged 9.48 hits per 60 minutes of ice time in his NHL career; since the start of the 2014-15 season, he ranks 10th among NHL defensemen (min. 100 games played) in hits per 60 minutes of ice time.

The Island Park, New York native was originally selected by Nashville in the sixth round, 168th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Kevin Rooney– Forward

Rooney, 27, skated in 49 games with the New Jersey Devils this past season, registering four goals and five assists for nine points, along with a plus-eight rating and 20 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2019-20, including games played and plus/minus rating, and he led New Jersey in plus/minus rating during the season. Rooney posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 43 of 49 games he played this past season, and he was on the ice for only 10 even-strength goals against in 470:43 of even-strength ice time.

Rooney has skated in 95 career NHL games over parts of four seasons (2016-17 – 2019-20), all with New Jersey, registering 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points, along with a plus-one rating and 39 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in goals (six) and points (10) in 41 games with the Devils in 2018-19.

The Canton, Massachusetts native was originally signed by the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League (AHL) to an Amateur Tryout (ATO) on March 29, 2016, following his collegiate career at Providence College. Rooney signed his first NHL contract with New Jersey on February 27, 2017.

Colin Blackwell – Forward

Blackwell, 27, split this past season between the Nashville Predators in the NHL and the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League (AHL). He skated in 27 NHL games with the Predators in 2019-20, registering three goals and seven assists for 10 points, along with a plus-seven rating and 10 penalty minutes. Blackwell, who recorded all of his 10 points this past season at 5-on-5, ranked fifth on Nashville in points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 (2.07) and ranked third in assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 (1.45) during the season. He also ranked sixth on the Predators in plus/minus rating this past season, and he was on the ice for only 10 even-strength goals against in 293:22 of even-strength ice time in 2019-20.

The Lawrence, Massachusetts native was originally selected by San Jose in the seventh round, 194th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Anthony Greco – Forward

Greco, 27, split this past season between the Springfield Thunderbirds, the Syracuse Crunch, and the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League (AHL), registering 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points, along with 14 penalty minutes. He tallied 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 37 games with Springfield, and he registered 118 shots on goal in those 37 games (3.19 shots on goal per game). Greco also notched four points (one goal, three assists) in his seven games with San Jose and posted a three-game assist/point streak over the final three games of the season.

The Queens, New York native has also skated in one career NHL game, making his NHL debut on December 13, 2018, as a member of the Florida Panthers. Greco is the only player in NHL history whose listed birthplace is Queens, New York. He signed his first NHL contract with the Panthers on November 20, 2017.

Johnny Brodzinski- Forward

Brodzinski, 27, skated in 44 games with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points, along with 26 penalty minutes. He tied for third on the team in goals, tied for fourth on the team in assists and points, and ranked second on the team in shots on goal (136) in 2019-20. Brodzinski also skated in three NHL games with the San Jose Sharks this past season, recording one assist.

The Ham Lake, Minnesota native was originally selected by Los Angeles in the fifth round, 148th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

 Keith Kinkaid – Goaltender

Kinkaid, 31, has appeared in 157 career NHL games over parts of seven seasons (2012-13; 2014-15 – 2019-20) with New Jersey and Montreal, posting a 65-56-20 record, along with a 2.95 GAA, a .905 SV%, and 7 SO. He appeared in 41 games and made 38 starts in each of his last two full seasons in the NHL (2017-18 and 2018-19), establishing career-highs in both categories. Kinkaid established a career-high in wins with 26 in 2017-18, helping the Devils advance to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he posted a 2.77 GAA and a .913 SV% during the season.

The 6-3, 186-pounder split this past season between the NHL and the American Hockey League (AHL) while in the Montreal Canadiens organization. Kinkaid appeared in 17 AHL games with the Laval Rocket and Charlotte Checkers in 2019-20, posting a 3.15 GAA and a .888 SV%. Kinkaid also appeared in six NHL games with Montreal during the past season.

Internationally, the Farmingville, New York native has represented the United States in several tournaments. Kinkaid helped the United States earn a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship and was named one of the Top Three Players on his team in the tournament, as he posted a 7-2-0 record, along with a 2.29 GAA, a .912 SV%, and 2 SO. In addition, Kinkaid represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Kinkaid was originally signed by New Jersey as an undrafted free agent on April 18, 2011.

The Rangers added some local flair to their system with four of the players coming out of the tri-state area. Where these players fit in with regards to the team’s current roster will be addressed once the NHL announces when teams can begin training camp.

The NHL is aiming for the 2020-2021 season to begin in January.