Mailbag: Ryan Lindgren vs. K’Andre Miller, next season’s plans

Two questions for the mailbag this week. Guess you guys are waiting for the torture to end, like me. As always, use the widget on the right to send us your questions.

Rangers West asks: What do you think about the ceilings for K’Andre Miller and Ryan Lindgren?

Let’s start with the easy one. Miller, the Blueshirts’ second 1st round selection last year (22nd overall), is a beast. He’s a raw talent that needs fine tuning, but the raw talent is potentially elite. The kid put up 5-17-22 in 26 games at Wisconsin as a freshman defenseman before his injury. He has top pairing potential, but he’s still raw and needs work. He’s a newly converted defenseman, so that may impact his timeline.

As for Lindgren, whom the Rangers acquired from Boston in the Rick Nash trade, his ceiling isn’t that high. The former second round pick isn’t known for his offensive game, and is more of a hard-nosed, stay-at-home type. He had 11 assists this year for Hartford, and looked a little overwhelmed in his three game stay with the Rangers this season. I think we should be happy if he contributes on the bottom pair. Anything more than that is gravy.

Andrew asks: If the Rangers were to win the lottery and get one of Jack Huges or Kaapa Kakko, what do you think the forward group will look like next year?

Winning the lottery and getting one of Hughes or Kakko would be amazing for the Rangers. They’d add an elite center (Hughes) or RW (Kakko) to the lineup. Add in Vitali Kravtsov, their 9th overall selection last year, and you have two teenagers with elite potential coming into the lineup. Even before getting to free agency, that impacts the lineup, and your top six likely becomes Kreider-Zibanejad-Kravtsov and Chytil-Hughes-Buchnevich (or some if it’s Kappo, move Chytil to C and add in Kappo at wing). That’s already a significant upgrade on what the Rangers have today.

If you think the Rangers are going to go hard after Artemi Panarin, then that changes the dynamic even more. That’s three elite talent players that weren’t here last year. At the very least, the Rangers would be fun to watch in the offensive zone.

But there’s a lot of “ifs” here. It’s if the Rangers win the lottery. It’s if the Rangers are players in free agency. And it’s if all these kids hit their potential. If the Rangers manage all this, then the only thing that would hold them back among forwards is proper development.

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  • Kakko can play center, is incredibly hard to play against on the wall for TPS. A driver of play, rather than a passenger like Wahlstrom. Tough to get the puck off his stick.

    Him with Chytil at C would make for lots of overlap when gaining the zone, creating chances from causing defensive mistakes. Could play in the NHL right now.

    • Kakko would be my first pick…but the Rangers will likely draft 6th and he will be long gone by then.

      On D, there should be more competition for Blueline jobs at training camp next season. Lindgren and Hajek are a year older and it wouldn’t be out of the question that they stick with the Big Club. Gilmore if he still with the organization will also get a shot. It shouldn’t be a gimmie that Pionk stays up, as the defensive part of his game has not improved.

      • Pionk’s D play hasn’t improved but Shittypant’s play has been horrid!

      • As far as these 2 are concerned, I’m thinking Miller spends another year at Wisconsin/Donato and Lindgren fights for a roster spot. If we happen to land at 4th or 5th pick, let’s hope Cozens is still available…. reminds me of Mark Schieffle. Cruising for Cozens.

  • Regarding Panarin – if all the money offers were equal, why would Panarin want to come to the Rangers? Is he a guy that’s only in it for the money or would he be more attracted to being with a team that’s constantly vying for the cup, while he is in the prime of his career? Looks to me as if that would exclude the Rangers from consideration . . .

  • Panarin will be 30 by the time the Rangers have a prayer of competiting at all seriously for the cup. The young man is an elite player who is going to want elite cash and a long term contract that will pay him until he is 33 or 34 years old. I am not so sure that spending a huge sum on him makes sense.

  • You’re underselling Lindgren…If you want your defense to play defense he outclasses Miller by a long mile

    Miller needs ton of work and no he will not be elite, no way no how. At best he’ll be a Yandle

  • Lindgren doesn’t skate, just forget, he is not contemporary NHL material, relic.

    Miller on other hand has a lot if skills, almost as a Sean Day, but has hockey IQ less then Day, just a bust

    Hughes, we need natural center with great deal highest level players IQ

    There is no sence on bidding on Panera, he is 27 years old next season 28 and we got rid of Hayes 26 years old….

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