Prospects

Tarmo Reunanen not on loan yet – so what’s next?

As the Rangers organize a mass exodus of their prospects to the European leagues. One name is surprisingly absent from this list. Tarmo Reunanen, who has spent the last four seasons in Finland, is not currently on loan to a team in Liiga yet. Reunanen, who signed his ELC with the Rangers last year, was loaned last year and was expected to be loaned this year.

Reunanen has had a pair of strong seasons with Luuko, putting up seasons of 6-19-25 in 58 games and 5-14-19 in 51 games. He plays a very well rounded game, makes a smart first pass, and is generally very poised with the puck. He was the highest scoring defenseman on the team in that 25 point season.

Penciled In For An NHL Role?

The Rangers are very thin on left defense. Their top LD following the Brady Skjei trade was Brendan Smith. With Smith likely gone to clear cap space, Ryan Lindgren and Marc Staal are your left defensemen. It’s assumed K’Andre Miller will need a bit of time in the AHL, despite a strong camp showing in July. There’s no need to rush him from the NCAA’s to the pros.

Since both Yegor Rykov and Libor Hajek are on loan, that leaves Reunanen. Hajek can be recalled, but let’s be real, he wasn’t that good. Based off Hajek’s NHL performance, the Rangers have nothing to lose by seeing what Reunanen can do. Remember, he’s been playing in the top Finnish league for a few years now.

While certainly not a guarantee to make the club, Reunanen is what the Rangers need right now. He plays a very smart game and is a solid puck mover. Lindgren has been good, but he’s not a noted puck mover. The left side of the defense was exploited by Carolina for their inability to move the puck, and Reunanen partially addresses this.

Just Waiting For A Different Loan?

Reunanen is not currently listed on the Lukko roster page. That could change, of course. The way things are going, it looks like any loan that isn’t to the KHL or SHL will be a temporary loan. Perhaps the Rangers are waiting for a Finnish team to take Reunanen on temporary loan. There has to be a Liiga team that could use Reunanen for a few months.

Given the uncertainty of the AHL and NHL seasons, there’s reason to believe the Rangers are just waiting for the right team. NHL/AHL camp likely isn’t starting until November at the absolute earliest. That would give Reunanen an extra month or so before camp begins.

A Trade Looming?

Yes I know, this is just me being irresponsible. If the Rangers are truly looking at the trade market for a LD, then Reunanen could be an attractive piece. He’s 22, he appears ready to make the transition to the NHL, and he’s pretty good and cost controlled. These are all things that make attractive trade pieces.

This is pure speculation, but a team that is dealing with a pricey extension on a young asset could view Reunanen as a potential replacement. If the Rangers go this route, then they’d still have players like Zac Jones and Matthew Robertson in the pipeline. It’s a constant cycle.

The fact that Tarmo Reunanen has not been sent on loan yet is a little surprising. It appears that the Rangers want him to compete for a roster spot. But why not loan him out now to get his feet under him before the season starts?

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  • “He’s 22, he appears ready to make the transition to the NHL, and he’s pretty good and cost controlled. These are all things that make attractive trade pieces.”

    If this were TRULY the case then it would also then make him attractive to US, even with developing prospects like Miller, Robertson and Jones waiting in the wings. It cuts both ways if the Rangers think he’s a viable 3rd pairing LD — plus he’s not expansion draft eligible which in my mind is never a bad thing. Maybe he’s just a half a season place holder for Miller, or he plays the whole year … and that’s the direction we go in, no loss of assets to trade for someone who could be lost in the expansion draft.

    • Miller is very raw, and I don’t see him personally D, dude is wing. Robertson is in juniors and is not expected this season at all

      Tarmo and Zach are 2 quiet interesting prospects, and Hajek is also should be given chance, Jacques Martin could be trully game changer for those young players, like Allair for our young goalies

      • I really don’t see them moving Miller from D to F … and it’s even less likely than that with the glut of wingers we have on both sides.

        Re: Martin, I wouldn’t look at him as some sort of defenseman whisperer like Allaire is a goalie whisperer. He should be good, but don’t expect miracles. That said I’m not as down on guys like Hajek as many are here, he’s still young. Until the last 4-5 years or so most young players were developed over the course of 2-3 seasons, at least … now everyone expects the 18-22 year old is just going to step in and be solid and impactful, it doesn’t usually work that way.

        • About Miller, it would be the best they could do, he’s not in his mind in D, he is there giveaway and lost position machine, his game IQ is not there, he’s most likely could be easy top 6 on the wing with his size and speed, and pretty soft hands….

          I remember Hajek playing JWC, a was preaching Rangers to get him…. He has all of the tools, he needs to calm down and find his pace, probably Martin would do some magic with him

  • Is Zemgus Girgensons a fit for the Rangers???????

    Versatile forward, plays wing/center, and could be a good replacement for Fast. At 6’2″, over 211 lbs, and 26 years old, could play for about 3-4 years on the 4th line, and be a good PK guy. His current contract is some $1.6 per, and is an UFA who could be had for around $2 per year, or so. We could make some worse choices than this guy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • If $1M more isn’t a huge difference then I say just resign Fast. You have to in some way factor in 1) lifelong Ranger, 2) highly respected, 3) versatile winger, 4) PK stalwart, 5) a TRUE professional and 6) 5 Times Players’ Player Award, in a frickin’ row! I mean “chemistry” has to count for something when you’re building a TEAM.

      Of course if he wants more or a longer term than say 2-3 years then I fear we have to let him go … but with the way the market is, I’m not sure he’ll get that much more. I’m banking on a slight hometown discount on both salary and term.

      • tanto

        I really don’t see too much of a discount from Fast. Let’s be real, if that were the case, would he be testing the free agent market, assuming what you say is true?????????

        I brought up Zemgus Girgensons as a potential replacement, younger, bigger, and is sound defensively. The man can play center/wing, so he creates a scenario where both Howden, Chytil, and or Barron for that matter, can play the wing if the need arises, and he would be their replacement at the center position.

        I’m throwing this out there for conversation only, rather than the usual trade talk that goes nowhere!!!!!!!!!!!

        • It’s just a gut feeling I have about Fast, he just seems to be one of those guys that likes stability and being a “quiet” leader … usually those types are willing to sacrifice for the good position they find themselves in rather than always looking for “so-called” greener pastures. He has the TOTAL confidence of both the Coach and the GM HERE — going somewhere else is always a bit risky.

          • tanto

            He has to go, he’s holding back a kid from playing meanful minutes. The guy is a fourth line guy, and you never pay $3 mil per for that type of player. Your thinking with your heart, not with what you have between the ears. Not meant to be an insult!!!!!!!!!

  • Maybe I missed a step but I’d have thought Tarmo being nhl-ready is a huge jump up the depth chart for him. Didn’t think he was that close or considered such a high likelihood. That would be a nice surprise for sure if true.

  • FFS, they sent him back because he wasn’t good enough for Hartford, was just meh at Traverse City, was 4th D in scoring at Lukko and he’s ready to transition to the NHL?

    Puh-leaze.

    I know nobody knows anything about D, but the writing is on the wall.

    Just a guy in Liiga means a ticket to Maine if he comes over.

    Cue the Zack Mayo crying gif

  • Good defensemen are hard to come by. He has not had a stellar career thus far, just a pretty good one, and even if he has potential I’d say let him play at Hartford for an entire season and prove himself. No, I don’t believe Tarmo to be ready for the big team-o.

  • This kid isn’t an NHL prospect in my view. Not a very good skater other than straight line. Balance isn’t there. Also plays very soft. Throw in in a deal is his Rangers future.

    Nils, Jones, Miller, Robertson are the Rangers NHL prospects in that order in my opinion. All will be NHL regulars.

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