Lias Andersson’s time as a New York Ranger has come to an end

New York Rangers, Lias Andersson

During the second round of the NHL Entry Draft, the New York Rangers traded troubled forward Lias Andersson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the No. 60 pick. General manager Jeff Gorton then announced that the Rangers would be drafting William Cuylle. This ends what has been a very difficult period of time between the young Swede and the Blueshirts.

The former seventh overall pick played in just 66 games for the Rangers, falling short of  expectations with just three goals and six assists. He struggled to secure a spot in the lineup and fluctuated between the NHL and the AHL for most of his time in New York.

Earlier, Andersson had confided in SVT Sports, a Swedish media outlet, that it was an “untenable situation” for him in New York.

Demanding a trade after being demoted to Hartford, Andersson left the organization and returned home to Sweden, where the Rangers loaned him to HV71 of the SHL.

Unless sign that Andersson did not intend to return to the organization occured when the Rangers extended an invitation to Andersson to re-join the team for summer training camp ahead of the 2020 NHL Playoffs. Declining the offer demonstrated his willingness to no longer be a part of the organization.

 

New York Rangers’ prospect Lias Andersson gets suspended by SHL

New York Rangers, Lias Andersson

The SHL has handed down a five-game suspension for New York Rangers’ prospect Lias Andersson for an illegal check to the head.

Andersson’s hit on Luleå’s Jonas Berglund came with 9:32 remaining in the second period. Berglund cleared the puck out of the defensive zone moments before Andersson moves in from the side. Andersson, who is playing for HV71, stepped into Berglund, driving his shoulder into his opponent and making contact with the player’s head.

There was no penalty called on the play but Berglund left the ice and did not return to the game.

According to the SHL, the justification for the suspension is due to the fact that the hit takes place from the side, is careless and disrespectful, carries a high risk of injury, and factors in that the player who was hit was in a vulnerable situation when the hit is handed out.

Andersson was also fined an amount equivalent to $9000 in US currency.

His suspension will keep him out of action through October 17.

In December of 2019, Andersson became unhappy with his situation as he was used sparingly in 17 games with the New York Rangers before being demoted to AHL Hartford. The seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft packed his things and went home to Sweden. The Rangers then loaned him the HV71 where he found some success as their second-line center.  In the 15 games, he played for them last season, Andersson scored 12 points before COVID canceled the league.

Andersson’s play last year and the beginning of this year have led some to speculate that he could be traded before the NHL Entry Draft starts on October 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers prospects have big week overseas

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers released a prospect report on Monday detailing how their top prospects have been playing in different leagues overseas.

The Rangers have loaned some of their players so that they can get back on the ice as the club waits for the NHL  to announce when the 2020-2021 season can begin. Reports have varied from the beginning of December or Jan. 1, which would be the Winter Classic.

Three of the player on loan are former first-round picks of the Rangers. The club is anticipating the extra games will help them continue to improve.  The most likely player to be called back to the team once the league announces when next season would be Vitali Kravtsov who spent time in the AHL and KHL last season.

Vitali Kravtsov – KHL- Traktor: Tallied a power-play goal, tied for the game-high with five shots on goal, and was credited with three hits on Sept. 13 against Lokomotiv. In addition, he tied for the game-high with five shots on goal and was on the ice for both of Traktor’s goals on Sept. 8 against Sochi. The Rangers’ first-round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded two goals/points and 21 shots on goal through the first four games of the 2020-21 KHL regular season. Kravtsov has recorded five or more shots on goal in each of Traktor’s four games thus far this season, and he has either led all skaters in shots on goal or has tied for the game-high in shots on goal in three of the four contests. Kravtsov has also been on the ice for four of Traktor’s seven goals in 2020-21, including each of the team’s three goals over two games during the past week. In addition, among the players who rank 10th or higher in the KHL in shots on goal per game through the first two weeks in 2020-21, Kravtsov is the only player who is averaging less than 16:00 of ice time per game (15:50).

Kravtsov was with the team during Phase 3 and was on the roster when the Rangers were swept by the Carolina Hurricanes in the Qualifying Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Assistant general manager Chris Drury was happy with what he saw of the Russian during his time with the club when they were in Toronto.

“I think he saw a lot, learned a lot, and he looked at it, I think, as an opportunity to grow as a person and a player and to learn more about the Rangers and what we’re trying to accomplish as a team and trying to get him to accomplish as a player. I think everything progressed nicely, and once the league starts back up again, we’re looking forward to getting him back here.”

Lias Andersson: The 21-year-old skated in his seventh SHL pre-season game of the year with HV71 on Sept. 8 against Vaxjo; HV71 begins the 2020-21 regular season on Sept. 19 against Frolunda. The Rangers’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered five goals in seven pre-season games this year with HV71, and he has recorded at least one goal in four of the seven contests.

Nils Lundkvist:  Skated in a pre-season game with Lulea on Sept. 9 against Skelleftea; Lulea begins the 2020-21 SHL regular season on Sept. 19 against Farjestad. The Rangers’ first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft recorded 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) and a plus-18 rating in 45 SHL games with Lulea last season. Lundkvist’s 31 points and 20 assists in 2019-20 were each the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history, and his 11 goals were tied for the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history. His 31 points, 20 assists, and plus-18 rating were each the best by an SHL player in his U20 season or younger (regardless of position) last season.

Yegor Rykov: Tallied an assist/point in each of CSKA Moscow’s final two games during the week (Sept. 10 against Sibir and Sept. 12 against Amur). On Sept. 10 against Amur, he logged 18:19 of ice time (third-most among team defensemen), including 4:47 of ice time considered time on attack (most among any player on both teams), in addition to tallying an assist. Rykov has registered two assists and a plus-two rating through five KHL games with CSKA Moscow in 2020-21.

Lauri Pajuniemi: Skated in a pre-season game with TPS on Sept. 11 against Ilves (TPS’ regular-season schedule begins on Oct. 2). The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft registered 40 points (26 goals, 14 assists) in 49 games with TPS in Liiga last season. Pajuniemi led all players who were in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in goals and tied for first among players who were in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in points in 2019-20.

 

New York Rangers Prospects Doing Well in Overseas Action

The New York Rangers have had some of their top prospects play overseas as some of those organizations are preparing to start their seasons, allowing the Rangers’ young players to see some quality action while the current NHL season is winding down. It is still possible that some or all of the prospects could be invited to the Rangers training camp when the NHL determines the upcoming schedule.

Nils Lundkvist playing in Sweden

The Rangers first-round pick in 2018 tallied a power-play assist to help Lulea earn a win in its pre-season game on Sept. 3 against Bjorkloven. Lundkvist’s 31 points and 20 assists in 2019-20 were each the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history, and his 11 goals were tied for the most by an SHL defenseman in his U20 season or younger in league history. His 31 points, 20 assists, and plus-18 rating were each the best by an SHL player in his U20 season or younger (regardless of position) last season, and he tallied nine more points and nine more assists than any other player in his U20 season or younger in the SHL in 2019-20.

Tweet Translation: New York has to wait! Nils Lundkvist has more important things for himself. Last season, he broke a new SHL record for the number of points of a junior defender with 31 points. Charging for its fourth straight season with # VåratGäng.

 

Vitali Kravtsov loaned to Traktor of the KHL

Kravtsov played on Traktor’s second line at even strength during the first two games of the season, and he also played on Traktor’s top power-play unit in each contest.

Kravtsov tallied a goal and led all skaters with six shots on goal in Traktor’s second game of the 2020-21 KHL regular season on Sept. 6 against Kunlun. He also recorded five shots on goal, registered eight shot attempts, and logged 16:41 of ice time (including 5:08 of ice time considered time on attack) while skating in his first game of the 2020-21 KHL regular season on Sept. 3 against Avtomobilist. He was The Rangers’ first-round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Lias Andersson playing for HV71 in Sweden

After an emotional roller coaster last season, the Rangers’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered five goals in six preseason games this year with HV71, and he has recorded at least one goal in four of the six contests.

Andersson registered 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 15 SHL games with HV71 to conclude the 2019-20 season, and he tallied a goal/point in six of the final nine games of the season (seven goals, three assists over the
span).

Karl Henriksson is playing for Frolunda in Swedish Hockey League

Henriksson re-joined Frolunda (SHL) during the past week after playing in two pre-season games with Sweden’s U20 National Team during the final week of August. Henriksson wore the ‘C’ as Sweden’s captain in each of the two games and registered two points (one goal, one assist) over the two contests.

Henriksson has recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in three pre-season games with Frolunda this year, and he has played on the team’s top line in each of the three contests. Henriksson registered 41 points (six goals, 35 assists) and a plus-12 rating in 27 games with Frolunda’s J20 team last season. He was the Rangers’ second-round pick (58th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Yegor Rykov playing in Russia

The 23-year-old registered 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 27 AHL games with Hartford last season. played his first three games of the 2020-21 KHL regular season with CKSA Moscow between Sept. 2 and Sept. 7. Rykov logged 17:46 of ice time (fourth-most on the team and third-most among team defensemen), including 4:20
of ice time which was considered time on attack.

Other Ranger prospects playing overseas

Lauri Pajuniemi notched an assist on the game-winning goal, recorded three shots on goal, and posted a plus-two rating while skating in a team-high 20:16 of ice time in TPS’ pre-season win on Sept. 3 against Lukko (Finland’s Liiga). Pajuniemi is the Rangers’ fifth-round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Leevi Aaltonen, the Rangers’ fifth-round pick (130th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, recorded two points (one goal, one assist), both in the third period, notched the primary assist on the game-winning goal, and posted a plus-two rating in KalPa’s pre-season win on Sept. 5 against JYP. (Finland’s Liiga)

Calle Sjalin notched an assist and posted a plus-one rating to help Leksands earn a win in the Skoda Trophy tournament against Vita Hasten on Sept. 4. The Rangers’ fifth-round pick (145th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft split last season between Leksands in the SHL and Vasteras in Allsvenskan (SHL’s tier two).

 

 

 

Andersson Spurns Invite to New York Rangers Camp

New York Rangers, Lias Andersson

New York Rangers forward Lias Andersson has rejected an invitation to attend training camp for the 2020 resumption of play, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

Andersson has instead opted to remain in Sweden, where he’s been since January after he requested a trade from the team back in December. But according to the Post’s report, team president John Davidson seems to be under the belief that the 21-year-old would like to remain with the Rangers. Andersson requested a trade after two seasons where he split time between the NHL and AHL. After returning home to Sweden, Andersson was loaned to SHL club HV71, where he appeared in 15 games and collected 12 points before the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the season.

“We had discussions with Lias about coming over for camp, but he felt it was better for him to stay in his home country at this time,” Davidson told the Post. “We respect that decision.”

“We had a number of good conversations. He told me he wants to be a New York Ranger. We’ll continue to hold his rights and down the road, we’ll have discussions about where it’s best for Lias to play next season.”

Andersson was selected by the Rangers seventh overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and originally came over to North America late in the 2017-18 season. Since that time he has scored three goals and nine points in 66 NHL games and 15 goals and 39 points in 74 AHL games. His entry-level contract with the Rangers expires after the 2020-21 season.

According to the Post, Rangers coach David Quinn reached out to Andersson a couple of weeks ago in what was described as constructive conservation. Andersson, who has been skating regularly, like most NHL players who have stayed in Sweden throughout the shutdown of pro hockey, would have had an excellent chance to crack the game lineup for the tournament. This would have been aided by Brendan Lemieux’s suspension for a still to be determined number of games.

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers: Projecting their Expanded Roster

New York Rangers, Brett Howden, Filip Chytil

When the New York Rangers resume their season in July, they and the other NHL teams will have the benefit of an extended roster when they face the Carolina Hurricanes in the play-in round. What we expect is that the play-in/playoff roster will likely include 28 skaters and unlimited goaltenders. The goaltending situation is already set with the three mainstays. The extra skaters will be the group that will have most curious as to how the Rangers fill this roster expansion

The projections assume that all players are healthy and that Kaapo Kakko will play, but may be held out due to the potential Covid-19 risk involved for a player with immunity issues due to Type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease.

At this point and hopefully subject to change, college players or free agents signed after the pause or signed to contracts that begin next season are not eligible.

Phillip Di Giuseppe

The 26-year-old Di Giuseppe was solid when he was recalled and filled in when injuries hit the team in February and March. His presence will even be more important as the likely fill-in for Brendan Lemieux, who should still be sitting out a suspension he received just before the pause of the season. Di Giuseppe played three seasons at the University of Michigan before signing with Carolina in 2014. He appeared in 147 games for the Hurricanes over four seasons and three games for Nashville in 2018-19 before signing with the Rangers as a free agent last summer. He has no playoff experience.

Vitali Kravtsov

This could be a good chance for reconciliation with the Rangers. Briefly, here is what happened: he failed to make the Rangers’ NHL roster out of training camp, pouted about being sent to AHL Hartford, decided to go back to Russia to play in the KHL, struggled there for about a month-and-a-half, and ultimately returned to the AHL. This pause may give a chance to sort things out and possibly show what he can do. Skating with the team during camp could at the very least, allow the 20-year-old to develop his potential.

Steven Fogarty

You have to like someone who was selected captain of his team in Harford. Fogarty has a nice size and can play both the center and the wing. His maturity at age 27 with some NHL experience would make him valuable for roster depth. Fogarty was recalled and played 8 and half minutes in the Rangers final game before the pause, that 3-2 OT loss to Colorado.

Libor Hajek

He will likely be the first defenseman in reserve for the team. Hajek had been considered a partner for Jacob Trouba after the Brady Skjei trade but was kept down in Hartford. Now he has the chance to join the camp in July and to see if he can step into that spot or will be a valuable seventh defenseman.

Lias Andersson

This could be another player on the Rangers reconciliation tour 2020. Johan Rylander of the Swedish newspaper Gotebergs-Posten spoke with Andersson and stated that the New York Rangers had contacted Andersson about returning for the playoffs, but that he was unsure about coming back. As one of the top prospects, it might be a good chance to start fresh and move forward, allowing the Rangers to benefit from his talent.

Tim Gettinger

The 22-year-old has the size to be a bottom-six type of player to work the boards on a checking line. This is the kind of depth you like to have in this kind of situation.

Yegor Rykov/Darren Raddysh

Would like to have some more defenseman in case something happens during the series.

If the NHL changes its mind on allowing college players and free agents to play……

Morgan Barron, K’Andre Miller, Patrick Khoderenko, and Justin Richards will all get consideration to be included on the roster. Nils Lundkvist? A wild-card for sure.

The same goes for Tyler Wall, a nice way to transition him into the Rangers family, especially since it looks like the Rangers could keep an unlimited amount of goalies.

If the NHL does not change its mind, look for Vinni Lettieri, Boo Nieves, and the big banger Matt Belesky to be stronger considered for roster spots.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Ranger Lias Andersson Hints at “Incidents” While in Organization, Including Being Bullied

New York Rangers, Lias Andersson

The mystery surrounding New York Ranger prospect Lias Andersson has taken an interesting turn. According to Swedish media, Andersson was recently spotted watching Tuesday’s Champions Hockey League semifinal between Frölunda and Luleå. And further explained his situation to a national broadcast company, SVT, as well as a local newspaper.

Issue #1: “lower-Body Injury”

One of the things that were discussed with Swedish media was Andersson mentioned an injury to both of his feet.  Gothenburg Post hockey reporter Johan Rylander stated that Andersson told him that he was playing through a lower-body injury. However, it’s unclear if he sustained it with the Rangers or after he was sent to AHL Hartford on Nov. 17. Rylander also mentioned that Andersson can’t fit his feet into a pair of skates and that he is going to visit a specialist and get an X-ray to rule out that there is a bone broken. The left foot is the worst.

Issue #2: “Other Factors,” Such as Bullying?

It was part of these interviews that Andersson mentioned that there were a lot of things bothering him, stating: “A lot of things happening, and eventually, there were one too many. I felt enough is enough,” Rylander asked Andersson directly if he had been bullied, to which Andersson responded, “I don’t know what to say or what to answer. It’s been tough; that’s it. I will tell you when it’s the right time.” Ryland also said that Andersson told him that “I’m not a spoiled (expletive) kid who complains about not being allowed to play hockey for the New York Rangers. That’s not the thing. There are other factors.” After the Rangers victory on Tuesday night, Head Coach David Quinn would not comment directly on the situation.

How Andersson and the New York Rangers got to this point:

The Rangers selected Andersson seventh overall in the 2017 NHL draft. He made the Rangers out of training camp, but couldn’t earn top-six minutes.  Andersson played 17 games and had no goals and one assist while averaging a little more than nine minutes of ice time, mostly as a fourth-line center. After being demoted to Hartford, Andersson had five points in 13 games before demanding a trade and eventually leaving the team and heading home to Sweden just before Christmas.

 

New York Rangers Prepare for Philly as Former Top Pick Lias Andersson Bolts from Organization

New York Rangers, Alexandar Georgiev

In the long history of the New York Rangers, they have probably had a least a few people that were not pleased with being part of their organization. The latest disgruntled employee is former 2017 first-round pick Lias Andersson, who left the AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack over the weekend.

Andersson never won the confidence of the coaching staff

The youngster from Sweden never won over the coaching staff’s confidence to play beyond the fourth line or allowing him to see time with the power- play or penalty-killing units. As a top prospect, he probably has every right to be upset with the amount of ice time he received and his bottom-six usage through his 66 NHL career games. In those games, he averaged a little over 10 minutes per game while scoring nine points.  The Rangers demoted him to Hartford in mid-November, where he played in 13 games for the Wolf Pack scoring four goals with five total points. On Saturday, Andersson officially requested a trade before leaving the team altogether.  The Rangers then suspended Andersson, per Larry Brooks of the New York Post.  The NHL is in the middle of its roster holiday freeze until Dec. 28, at which time the Rangers can trade him if they can find a suitable trade partner. Andersson’s actions have unfortunately lessened his value on the trade market and finding value for a disgruntled former first-round pick will be difficult.

Rangers look for two wins in a row at Philadelphia

As a little side note to this game, it will be Alain Vigneault’s first regular-season game since the Rangers let him go in April of 2018. After taking a year off of coaching, Vigneault’s Flyers are 20-11-5 through 36 games, marking a big improvement from last season when the Flyers were 15-16-5 through the same amount of games. Vigneault does not have any bitter feelings toward the Rangers, realizing that this is part of the business. He referred to the Rangers as a first-class organization.

The Blueshirts have a tough task ahead of them. The Flyers come into tonight’s game with a three-game winning streak and they have also won three straight at home and are tied with the Islanders for the best winning percentage on home ice this season.  The Rangers will need to continue the momentum sustained from yesterday’s win to keep pace with the Flyers. Puck drop is at 7 PM.