Traverse City schedule and some predictions

lias andersson

It’s September. We are less than one month away from the NHL season getting underway. But there will still be Rangers hockey this week. The kids playing in the Traverse City Tournament kick things off on Friday, with games all weekend and into early next week.

The roster has been released, with just one free agent invitee (Brodeur’s kid). I gave some initial thoughts on the roster as well. The Rangers will have games on Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday:

  • Friday Sept. 7 – Dallas, 7:00pm
  • Saturday Sept. 8 – Minnesota, 6:30pm
  • Monday Sept. 10 – Detroit, 4:00pm
  • Tuesday Sept. 11 – Placement Game, Time TBD

I expect the Rangers to be pretty competitive this year, unlike in years past. The roster is very skilled and pretty deep. They are missing some of their top-end talent (the 2018 first rounders), but the blue line has filled out with the deadline acquisitions. The forward group is still pretty strong.

I also think that if the Rangers have a poor showing, at least in the W-L column, it will be goaltending based. Chris Nell and Jeremy Brodeur aren’t really prospects, however goalies do develop late. An unanticipated story line that may occur: Brodeur’s kid steals the show and the tournament, forcing the Rangers to sign him to an AHL deal. That would be funny.

This is going to be the first step in camp for three major names: Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, and Brett Howden. At least two of them are expected to make the roster, with Andersson and Chytil being the names everyone gravitates to. However I’ve slept on Howden too long, and while he’s not in the Andersson/Chytil spectrum, he’s still a solid player.

Ty Ronning is my dark horse to make the roster at some point this season, but he will need a strong showing at Traverse City. But after him, I think the rest of the roster will use this as a stepping stone in their development before aiming to crack the roster next year. That is especially true of the defense prospects.

All games will be streamed on the FOX Sports Go app.

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23 thoughts on “Traverse City schedule and some predictions

  • Sep 4, 2018 at 9:35 am

    We could only hope that Andersson could turn into a top 6 winger and Reincarnate as Gabriel Landeskog. I still have Howden peg into the bottom 6 center role before him.

    Andersson isn’t in the Chytil spectrum, it’s more like a last glimmer of hope that Stepan wasn’t traded for peanuts.

    • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:21 am

      100% Spot on Mint….Howden is better because we didnt draft him

      • Sep 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

        So if we had drafted Howden he would be worse? really? I did not know that was a precursor for being a good hockey player.

        As for Andersson. We will see how he works out. I get that there were other more desirable options available and the disappointment with not getting you the player you want. And I do think there were better options, but he’s who we picked. And it sounds like from what I am reading we will be lucky of Andersson is the 4th line center of the future in Hartford. He’s not that bad.

        • Sep 4, 2018 at 3:35 pm

          We suck at the draft….That is my reasoning

          • Sep 4, 2018 at 3:59 pm

            that’s kind of hard to say since we traded away most of our decent draft picks until last year.

            • Sep 4, 2018 at 4:09 pm

              Middlestadt should have been picked over Lias…..Goalie in round 2? go back as far as you want…1st rounds busts all over the place…Jessiaman, Sanguinnetti, Del Zotto, Mclrath, then drafts where we manage to score a 4th liner etc…

    • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:32 am

      I don’t believe that anyone here has seen enough of Andersson’s play to make such assertions. The scouts all over the NHL were high on the kid. Apparently he worked out hard all summer in Hartford instead of heading home. So the drive is definitely there.

      We’ll see about the talent level in a while. Until we see him play much more I’ll withhold judgment.

      • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:49 am

        I saw Chytil flying all over the ice last 9 games…I noticed Lias not being able to keep up with the NHL speed of the game

        • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:58 am

          Very small sample. Andersson’s game is far more mature (ie 200×80 feet) so that could simply have been him being responsible. Chytil is all about offense and flying around is probably all he has ever known. Two very different players (ie 1st liner vs top end 3rd liner).

          • Sep 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

            Lias is never going to live up where he was drafted…it was a bad pick

            • Sep 4, 2018 at 11:36 am

              Outside the top 3-5 picks in each draft no one is really guaranteed to be a star. Perhaps too safe of a pick but I won’t begin to judge that selection for another 2-3 years. Personally, I would have taken a box of blue Mites’ pucks for Stepan so I doubt I will be disappointed.

            • Sep 4, 2018 at 11:44 am

              In his short stint in Hartford, Lias was putting up points at close to the same rate as Chytil. Again, a small sample.

              Like I said, I would rather judge his talent level on what he exhibits over an extended period if he makes the club out of camp than speculate based upon such small samples.

          • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm

            How do you already label him a top end 3c? He’s going to have see PP2 minutes and a decline in Hayes DZ deployments to be a regular 35-40 point player.

            Before Hayes broke into the league, your top 3c’s were Sean Couturier, Cody Eakin and Lars Eller being at the bottom of that tier. None of those names could touch north of 40 points with massive amounts of PP time. Hayes comes in and along with Spooner. They have been the league’s best 3c’s in the last 4 years. Spooner could only achieve 40+ points once and like the rest other than Hayes, he got to see massive amounts of PP minutes. I think Atlantic said this about Vesey but I believe the same will be said for Andersson. He will be one of those dime in a dozen high quality 4th liners who look decent on the 3rd line.

  • Sep 4, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Looking forward to watching these games and seeing how prepared these kids will appear to be heading into training camp.

    Our top 3 centers of the future(unless we somehow land Seguin) will hopefully give us some exciting moments. Howden to me is the one to keep an eye on. We have seen some of Chytil and Andersson but really not much of Howden other than highlight tapes. I think he will bring an element of grit in a way we have needed. Agree with you Ronning having an outside chance making the team at some point this season.

    It will also be good to see if we have anything with Ville Meskanen or Michael Lindqvist. This will be an important opportunity for these 2 players as they are a bit older so they will need to dominate if they have any shot to make the NHL.

    It’s unfortunate Kravtosv is not going to be here. But I won’t be surprised to see him come over late in the season after the trade deadline.


  • Sep 4, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Winnipeg has just given 32 year old Blake Wheeler a new 5 year contract that carries a $8.25 mil charge….which starts next season…..That is a God awful contract…..Gorton now needs to go get Trouba

    • Sep 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      They might move Byfuglien before Trouba

      • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:14 pm

        Fair point…Buff has 3 years left at $7.6 mil per and he is 33….not sure you can move that contract

        • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:20 pm

          I can see Buff moving in a trade deadline deal to a team that needs some veteran leadership on the blueline. This year will mostly be paid and they only have 2 more years. Maybe Winny sweetens the pot and pays the rest of 2019 to just move his contract.

        • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm

          I would take Buff and turn him back into a forward until he would needed to QB on the PP. I could see them dumping Myers before any of their other D men. Yeah no way they get rid of Trouba during thetheir win now window.

  • Sep 4, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I am looking for Ville Meskanen and Michael Lindqvist to shine. Signed as RFA’s, they have more to prove than many others on the roster. I expect Chytil and Andersson to look good, as they are all but shoo-ins for the NHL roster. Howden could turn a lot of heads if he is as good as promised.

    Thinking there may be 5 or 6 guys from this team making the big squad, making for some very interesting 3rd and 4th line player maneuvers. What if Ty Ronning and Vinnie Lettieri play lights out? And these are all offensive players. Hajek from the defensive side might show some good traits as well.

    These guys might be the reason we are not bringing in any players on PTOs.

  • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Correction: I’m not agreeing with the Andersson hype. Now I get the spiel that I should simmer down with my opinions. Coincidence? I have NEVER seen you give this type of response to people to the pro Andersson clan.

    ” Until we see him play much more I’ll withhold ” my hype. Many question marks did come at the Rangers when they drafted him. Scouting reports as well have question his ability to be a NHL top 6 center. Rangers media tried smoothing it over with being NHL ready. They also added in the Mcllrath narrative of wanting it more than the next guy.

    • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      That’s for Pete

    • Sep 4, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      I expressed that those doubting Andersson’s abilities haven’t seen enough of the kid to make such assessments in response to yours and others, saying I think your judgment is premature. I don’t recall saying simmer down.

      If you think saying that I will wait to I see him play more to judge his abilities is ‘hype’, then I don’t believe you understand the meaning of the word.

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