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Report: Hellberg signs with KHL

Magnus Hellberg

Interesting bit of news here, as Fan Rag Sports is reporting that goalie Magnus Hellberg has signed with the KHL’s HC Kunlun Red Star. The former second round pick by Nashville was acquired by the Rangers in July of 2015 for a 2017 6th round pick (this year’s pick). Hellberg spent two years with the Rangers organization, serving primarily as a starter in Hartford and playing just three games in New York.

This leaves the Rangers with three goalies in the minors: Mackenzie Skapski, Brandon Halverson, and Chris Nell. Even if the Rangers do trade Antti Raanta, it’s unlikely any of this trio will be a full time backup. Expect the Rangers to sign a free agent AHL goalie to bounce between Hartford and Greenville.

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14 Comments

  1. Is Skapski even getting qualified? I could see him on an AHL contract until Wall or Huska went pro.

  2. No real surprise. He’s 26 and has played only 4 NHL games in his career. The Rangers would likely sign a FA goaltender to be the backup if they part ways with Raanta.

    But why sign an AHL goalie instead of a ECHL goalie? Halverson (21), Skapski (turns 23 next week), and/or Nell (turns 23 in September) should be in Hartford for the bulk of next season if they have a remote shot at any decent amount of time with the Rangers.

  3. This is more troubling than meets the eye. Either Hellberg sees no future with NY, or he feels that a few people are ahead of him. With Raanta at risk, and Shesteryorkin at least 2 years away, that leaves Skapski as our reserve if Hank goes down. To me, that is not a great option. Yes we have a great goalie coach, but we do need options within the system, and we just lost a pretty good option.

  4. This may create a problem for us, who do we expose for the draft??? Does Mackenzie Skapskihis qualify for the number of games played so we can expose him?????????

        1. Two fold-

          Yes Skapski qualifies for exposure.

          Second- Antti Raanta is not netting us a defenseman of any high caliber. Goalies, even starting goalies, do not net that much trade value if any. If Raanta were to be moved in a trade for a defenseman, he’d be a “throw in” to balance out salary cap for both teams. I use “throw in” in quotes because he wouldn’t be the focal point of the trade.

          Much like Talbot, if Raanta is moved, its most likely for draft picks or picks and a low level prospect. I think Gorton will lean more towards keeping Raanta and losing him in the draft. There are NHL back up goalies available on the free agent market. If Vegas doesn’t take him, move him for picks.

          Do I think he’ll be our goalie come Opening Night? No. Just a question of when he’s moved.

  5. With all the young kids the Rangers will have playing in Hartford ,it will be important that Gordon get a real heavyweight tuffguy to protect the kids. Last year Hartford was getting run out of the building.

    1. They signed some Dman the size of a house named Kotyk out of Minn.-Duluth.

      Not a lot of goons out there anymore: nobody in the CHL had more than 150pim.

      1. There are a lot of teams in the AHL that still have a legitimate heavy weight on them and are not afraid to let their guy run around and push teams around .Hartford last year was one of if not the softest team and they were run out of the building ,game after Game that’s why their record reflected this .

        1. There’s 2, maybe 3 actual heavyweights(Johnston,Stortini) a bunch of tall(but not big) guys who throw and the rest are middleweight hatchetmen.

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