Rangers allow rights on Daniel Bernhardt, Dominik Lakatos to expire

In case you missed it, the Rangers decided to pass on signing two of their drafted prospects. The length of time given to sign drafted prospects varies by age, but it always expires on June 1 of that year. For the Rangers, June 1 came and went without contracts for Daniel Bernhardt or Dominik Lakatos.

Bernhardt, the Blueshirts’ second 4th round pick in 2015 (119th overall), was very unlucky. He’s dealt with major hip issues for quite some time and they never got fixed. His last appearance was in Sweden and it looks like he didn’t play at all this year. The Rangers deciding not to sign him isn’t a surprise.

When the Rangers took Lakatos as a 20 year old in the 2017 draft, it was viewed as a little bit of a surprise. The 6th rounder (#157 overall) has played his entire career in the Czech Republic, topping out in his draft year with a line of 10-12-22 in 41 games. He recently signed with Vitkovic in the Czech league, so letting his rights expire also wasn’t much of a surprise.

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    1. 4th rounders are just a lottery ticket and you can’t expect the Rangers to sign a scratch card to an ELC just to pay for his surgery and rehab.

      For Lakatos & Virta, they grabbed them to maybe provide depth in Hartford and it didn’t work out. Que sera sera.

  1. Patrik Virta’s rights have also expired. He had a pretty good D+1 season with TPS, tried to leverage it into a KHL contract and he didn’t handle the jump in competition all that well. Finished the season with Orebro in the SHL where he was getting 1st line minutes come playoff time.

  2. Usually drafting this late is a crap shoot, and more times than not you get crap. No great loss in any case!!!!!!!

    1. Not sure about him, we’ll see in a few years when he comes out of Harvard. The Ivy League isn’t the toughest to play against!!!!!!!!!!

      1. 100% …They are all hype til they get here…Barron goes to Cornell. You are right tho…competition isnt the best

      2. Don’t underestimate the Ivy League … and remember, that’s where Vesey and Fox hail from. Barron definitely has a chance at being a semi-productive bottom 6 player. In any event, with all the draft picks we’ve been picking up over the last couple of years (plus this one coming up), you have to figure a number of them don’t get signed … 50 man contract rule and all. You take some risks with your later round picks but there’s no point tying up contract space if they can’t blossom within a few years. Instead of focusing on the guys we’re passing on, focus on the ones we’re going to be signing.

        1. The Rangers have 37 players under contract; once qualifying offers go out they’ll be at 43(44 once Kakko signs.)

          Plenty of room going forward.

          1. Sure Reen, but if you sign these guys you’re looking at 2-3 years where they take up a contract space. I figure in the next couple of years we’re going to be signing a lot of our draft picks and may trade a player or two or three while getting back players and more draft choices, best to keep ourselves flexible.

            1. And players go off the books. 12 of them the next 2 seasons.

              It’s the circle of life.

              1. … and more will come in. It’s best to have a little space and aside from Virta it doesn’t surprise me in the least who they decided not to sign.

          2. My estimate was 45, not 44. Of course neuther of us knows precisely which RFAs will get offers. I’m guessing Halverson, Claesson, Lettieri all get qualifying offers.

            However, I also expect the Rangers to sign 2-4 UFAs, which brings them close to full. That leaves them some room, but not so much that they can afford to waste it. Bottom line: the 50 man roster allows signing of some long shots, but when you have more draft choices, you have to be more selective in who you actually sign.

        2. Vesey came out of Harvard, was Hoby Baker winner, now what, is he that great? I think not at all, but some think he is worth a roster spot, so be it…………..

    1. All he does is score goals.

      It’s a great skill to have, but in every other category he hasn’t progressed at all in 3 years.

      Whatever you do in life, the goal is to make others lives easier, not harder.

      He’s now getting to the point where even with all the goals, he’s making life harder for the Jets.

      1. Which is why I cringe every time some guy says Kakko is Laine 2.0 … no, he’s more like Rantanen 1.1 (2.0 I hope). That said, Laine is just 21 and was played injured most of the year (back and/or groin) — Those two issues I never like to hear in a player so young, is it going to be chronic or is it correctable with the proper strength and conditioning?

        1. I have been reading that there are serious issues within their locker room, starting with the players divided on the coach.

          So honestly, I am not surprised by this, and this is what I was referring to, to say that the Jets are a talented mess.

          Thanks for the info pal.

          1. I saw the talent and thought they had a real good shot at the cup. I was surprised at how easily they went out. I did not know about the chemistry problems.

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