Evgeny Grachev, the Rangers 3rd round pick in 2008, will be sticking with the Rangers for the time being. As per Jesse Spector, coach John Tortorella has stated that Grachev will be staying in the NHL:
“He’s gonna play,” Tortorella said. “We’re gonna keep him here right now, and I want to see more of him, and hopefully he can keep on growing, and as long as he protects the puck, I think the other parts of his game will come into play because I think he’ll get more minutes.”
After playing a little under seven minutes in his debut against Carolina, Grachev received more playing time (eight minutes) against Toronto. Although he hasn’t had an effect on the score sheet, Grachev has been solid, finishing with an even rating and five hits through his first 15 minutes of NHL ice time.
Grachev probably won’t remain with the Rangers long term this season, as the injuries to Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal, and Chris Drury have forced the Rangers to be creative with how to fill the giant holes left by the three injured veterans. When Gaborik returns this month, the Rangers will be back to 14 forwards, and 23 skaters. However, when Drury returns in December, it is likely that Grachev will be the one returned to Hartford. That is, of course, unless he forces the coaching staff to keep him here.