Players

2019-2020 NY Rangers Player Report Card: Ryan Lindgren

Ryan Lindgren’s report card this season is one of a pleasant surprise. When the NY Rangers made him the primary target in the Rick Nash trade a few years ago, it was questioned. In college, Lindgren was viewed as a one-dimensional, defense only defenseman. He certainly carried a big bite to his game, something the Rangers lacked on the blue line. But the lack of offense was a concern.

Lack of offense is assumed to mean lack of puck moving skills. And boy did Lindgren change many people’s minds. Lindgren played particularly well when paired with Adam Fox, but Fox is something special. What surprised many was Lindgren’s poise with the puck and ability to make the first pass to get out of the zone.

Lindgren is far from a perfect defenseman. However his defense proved to be some of the best on the team this year. That was certainly a pleasant surprise, as this goes beyond just defending in the zone. If the puck were a grenade on his stick, then these numbers wouldn’t look so good. It is also worth noting that Lindgren worked hard on his skating, and that is likely the main catalyst to his strong NHL showing this year.

Offensively though, Lindgren still has some work to do. He’s not an offensively minded player, which is fine. Ideally, he’s able to chip in a little more as he gets more comfortable in the NHL.

While Lindgren doesn’t panic with the puck, his exit strategy does need significant work. Now part of this may be deferring to Adam Fox to exit the zone, and part of it is that this isn’t really his wheelhouse. That may be why the pair works so well together. That said, I’d expect Lindgren’s numbers to get better with time. He’s compared to Marc Staal here to eliminate the Staal comparisons, since Lindgren is miles better.

Lindgren had a solid rookie year for the Rangers, one that far exceeded expectations. He’s still developing, and the hope is that he becomes more well rounded by adding some offense to his game. As long as the puck isn’t a grenade on his stick, then he should be fine. It’s all about three zone hockey these days.

Ryan Lindgren Report Card Grade: B

Charts from hockeyviz.com, Evolving-Hockey, and CJ Turturo.

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  • I would give him a better grade, I say B+..
    with a little more offensive to his game I can see a borderline B+ to an A.

  • A- for this kid. Subtract him from that D and it was a disaster. My rating is based on his importance to the whole unit. He’s a glue guy back there.

  • Deserves an A, if only because he brought grit to the Rangers’ defense, thank you very much Ryan, you got the balls, add some weight behind your courageous punches. Certainly was no albatross around Fox’s neck (not that Dave said otherwise).

  • Your ability to evaluate defensemen is so poor that perhaps you should not even try.

    A defenseman’s job is defense. Yet your focus is nearly entirely on the offensive side of the game. You don’t even consider the penalty kill. On balance, Lindgren was the best Ranger defenseman. When Marc Staal came back after his surgery, he played really well for a while. During that stretch, Lindgren-Staal was probably the best PK duo in the league and surely Lindgren deserves most of the credit. And he likely deserves a lot of the credit for Adam Fox’s great season.

    • A defenseman’s job in today’s NHL is very detailed. They cannot sit back and play defense. Your forwards up front will never have any odd man rushes without a good puck moving defenseman. Look at the Leafs. All that talent they have up front with a porous defense. So they are Golfing come playoff time.

    • I wouldn’t say “on balance” he was the best ranger d’man, best on the left side definitely … but Fox, DeAngelo and arguably Trouba were all better “overall” — and they should be.

  • As fans I think it’s safe to say (just my opinion here) without Lindgren and the season he had, the left side of the Rangers defense is a disaster and a season long weakness. Instead of one that was just exploited In the playoffs.
    I like the kid a lot and going after Marchand like he did was a huge part step in endearing Lingren to the NYR fans.

  • The very reason that the Fox-Lindgren pair was so effective was that Lindgren added some grit to the pair. We have so many puck movers, but lack true defensemen with cast iron gonads!!!!!!!!!

    Grade for the season is an A…………………….

  • While it’s widely known that defensive players take longer to play well in the NHL, this obviously wasn’t the case for this lad.

    He had an incredible rookie campaign.

    Watching Kevin Hayes this season I remembered feeling that he would eventually mature like so many players from MASS do, they get tougher…

    I can not wait to see RL start to mature, he is going to dominate opponents.

    LGR!!!!

  • Because he exceeded expectations and provided some grit and balls, I’d give him at least a B+ to an A-. I don’t care if he never produces many points because the Rangers have guys like ADA, Fox and Trouba to do that on Defense. Ryan fulfills a great need on the club: a defenseman who is good in the D zone. They could use a couple more like him to pair with the guys who get it to the net.

  • Easy A/A-. Exceeded all expectations by a lot. Was easily the best Ranger in the playoffs. Will be a mainstay second pair defenseman for years.

  • Big fan of Lindgren, and agree with most of the comments about the much-needed grit he brings to the defense. But Fox was the standout this season, and gotta disagree with any suggestion that Lindgren was our best d-man.

    • Because Lindgren was comfortable with the puck on his stick, it made F1 forecheck difficult: press Fox and he can dish and Kindgten makes the pass out with ease. Press Lindgren and Fox gets an acre of ice to do what he wants.

      In their own end without the puck, Fox can gap hard because he knows Lindgren isn’t wandering around chasing butterflies.

      Master the basics and let your skill beat theirs.

  • Spot on assessment of Ryan Lindgren, although he could be bumped up to B+. Very solid stay-at-home defenseman with some snarl who had a very solid rookie season, and complements his partner Adam Fox very nicely. I’d have to say he was the best LD among the Rangers throughout the season. Lindgren-Fox have the makings of an ideal second pairing as long as they don’t regress next season.

    (P.S. You know who Lindgren reminds me of stylewise? A NYR defenseman prospect from the mid-1990s named Mattias Norstrom. Imagine if a Norstrom-Zubov pairing had materialized back then immediately after 1994…)

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