The New York Rangers have appointed Chris Drury as the new Director of Player Development. The current Rangers front office page has Jim Sullivan listed as the Director of Player Development, along with a few other titles. My guess is that Drury will just take the development role, and not the other roles Sullivan has.
While Drury’s contract wasn’t great, he has always been a well respected player and was widely regarded as one of the best leaders in the game. It’s nice to see Drury back with the organization.
The New York Rangers have released their 2015 Traverse City Tournament roster. There are 23 players on the roster, comprised of 21 skaters and two goalies. Most of these guys should look familiar. For those that don’t –likely the ATO’s– Josh did a primer on all of them. You should check them out.
Full roster is after the jump.
August is at an end, and with September beginning tomorrow, we enter a month where there will be hockey on television. The Traverse City Tournament will be held from September 11-15 in Detroit, and the training camp will open almost immediately after. It is so nice to know we are two weeks away from hockey.
With that we can start looking ahead to the only two battles in camp, those for the 12F and 13F spots on the roster. This assumes that Viktor Stalberg makes the lineup as this year’s Benoit Pouliot/Lee Stempniak, though.
There are the incumbents, there are favorites, there are dark horses, and there are wild cards alike. So let’s break them down.
When the Rangers re-signed Oscar Lindberg to his two-year deal (one-way deal, guaranteeing his salary), they did so with the assumption that Lindberg will make the club. His spot on the roster is still up in the air, as he could be as high as 3C and as low as 13F, but he will be with the Rangers when the regular season starts. Where Lindberg slots in will have a major effect on his production for the upcoming season.
Lindberg has been one of Hartford’s best forwards for two seasons now. Last season he put up 28-28-56 in 75 games, an improvement on his 18-26-44 from the season prior. While with the Wolf Pack, Lindberg played on the top line, getting significant powerplay and penalty kill time as well.
Last week, I went through the bottom half of the third annual Top 25 Under 25 for the New York Rangers. The bottom half of the list is fairly interesting, because it had some players fall off the list completely, and players like Ryan Bourque, Cristival “Boo” Nieves, and Steven Fogarty fall significantly. This has a lot to do with the recent influx of talented prospects from the 2015 draft.
Remember though, there are a good number of players under 25 years of age that are on the NHL roster, and naturally that puts them ahead of a lot of players that still qualify as prospects. So let’s round out the top-12 players in the Top 25 Under 25 for the Rangers.
12. Adam Tambellini – Forward, 2013 3rd round (LY: 16)
Over the past two seasons, I’ve gone through the Rangers organization and ranked the top 25 players under the age of 25 years old (2013, 2014). The ground rules for this list are simple: To qualify for this list, a player must be under 25 years old. It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered.
First, let’s go through the players from last year’s list that no longer qualify and honorable mentions who missed the cut:
Aged out: Derek Stepan, Mat Bodie
No longer with the oranization: Anthony Duclair, John Moore, Conor Allen, Ryan Haggerty
Honorable mentions: Adam Huska, Sergey Zborovskiy, Tyler Nanne, Ryan Mantha, Keegan Iverson, Marek Hrivik
Now let’s go through the top-25 players under the age of 25, starting with #25. I will group some of these players together, as some are so close in skill set that it was tough to rank one higher than the other.
Per Corey Pronman (please note that while he writes for ESPN, Pronman is one of the best in the business at ranking prospects, and ESPN’s Insider hockey writers are top notch), Pavel Buchnevich is the #14 ranked skater prospect heading into this season. Buchnevich is clearly the Rangers’ top prospect, and he should come to North America next season, after he finishes this season up with the KHL. Here’s what Pronman had to say about Buchnevich:
Buchnevich’s 18- and 19-year-old seasons have been some of the very best in the history of the KHL, showing he can play versus men at a high level in the world’s second-best league. He’s a winger with great puck skills, impressive hockey sense and above-average speed. He has size to couple with that and while he’s bulked up a fair amount, some more could help before he hits the NHL. Buchy is not a complete prospect, but he’s consistently dangerous offensively. He should be in the NHL in 2016-17, or as a potential late season add after his KHL season ends.
It’s worth noting that Buchnevich is ranked two spots ahead of Anthony Duclair.
The New York Rangers have named Steve Greeley as Assistant Director of Player Personnel and Nickolai Bobrov as Director of European Scouting. Greeley was an Associate Head Coach at Boston University for the last two seasons. Per Sean Hartnett, Bobrov was the North American representative for the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg for the last three seasons.
Bobrov replaces Anders Hedberg, who had disappeared from the Rangers front office page this month. This is a clear indication that new GM Jeff Gorton is replacing Glen Sather’s staff with his guys. Standard practice.
The New York Rangers have signed center Jarret Stoll to a one-year, $800,000 deal. Stoll has been a bottom-line center for the LA Kings the past four seasons, with production dropping each year. Last year he put up 6-11-17 with a 51.1% CF in roughly 54% OZ starts. Stoll will likely compete with Tanner Glass, Oscar Lindberg, and Viktor Stalberg for a bottom-six spot on the roster.
I’m all for giving people a second chance, and he’s certainly an upgrade on Glass. He’s also very good in the faceoff circle. I haven’t watched much of Stoll, so I unfortunately have to go primarily based on numbers. This is a low-risk signing. At $800,000, he can be buried in the AHL at no cap cost, he’s an upgrade on Glass, and insurance if Lindberg isn’t ready.
Over the past two weeks, the Rangers have “been linked” –in quotes for a reason– to a pair of rumors. The first is that they are keen on landing UFA forward Curtis Glencross. Glencross, coming off a four-year deal that paid him $2.55 million per season, is seen as someone who can add forward depth to the Rangers at a discount price. The thing is, the Rangers added their cheap depth forward in Viktor Stalberg, and are content letting Oscar Lindberg take the final spot on the roster. Since Tanner Glass is the 13F, there’s enough depth for 14F and beyond in Hartford that signing Glencross isn’t necessary. He is an upgrade on Glass though.
The other is that the Rangers are inexplicably trying to move Keith Yandle. This made little sense when the Rangers were in cap trouble, and makes even less sense now that the entire team is signed and they still have a shade more than $850,000 cap space. The Rangers didn’t deal a first round pick and their best prospect to keep Yandle for half a season. This one is just silly.
As Josh pointed out, the most likely move for the Rangers is to bring in a guy or two on a PTO. Perhaps Glencross is one of them. Beyond that, the Rangers will go to camp with what they have. The rest of the roster decisions will play out depending on camp performance.