Ryan Bourque is riding a wave of momentum after his strong second-half performance last season
Immediately after July 1, it looked like the Rangers would have several forward spots open to competition at training camp. However, the eventual signings of Matt Lombardi, Lee Stempniak and Kevin Hayes have made it much more difficult for anyone else to earn a spot in the lineup. The likes of J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg still figure to duke it out with some of those depth signings for the final spot or two, but it’s going to be exceedingly difficult for anyone else to enter the fray. With that said, here’s a look at the handful of forwards and defensemen that could conceivably be in the mix with a standout performance at camp.
Ryan Malone – This one is a real long-shot not only because of the legal questions surrounding Malone, but because the Rangers would have to ship out a player to fit Malone under the 50-contract limit. Malone was once an effective power forward and is presumably being invited to training camp on the off chance the Blueshirts catch lightning in a bottle in their search to replace Benoit Pouliot, but unless Malone dominates, it’s highly unlikely he makes the team.
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Apologies for the delay on this one. Yesterday was one of those rare days where all of us got dumped on at work, and none of us could post on this.
The Rangers signed undrafted free agent defenseman Mat Bodie out of Union College yesterday, just days after leading his team to a National Championship. As a senior at Union, Bodie put up a line of 8-31-39 in 40 games. In his college career, Bodie put together a line of 28-96-124 in 154 games, impressive numbers for a kid who entered college at 6’0 and 165 lbs.
His size is why he went undrafted, but Julie Robenhymer notes that he is at least 15 pounds heavier since he entered college. Chris Peters, one of the best US hockey bloggers out there, compared him to Torey Krug of the Bruins.
Bodie’s signing adds a true offensive defenseman to the prospect pool for the Rangers. With Bodie, Conor Allen, Brady Skjei, and Dylan McIlrath in the system, the Rangers have done quite the job of restocking their defensive prospects after seeing so many graduate to the NHL.