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Rangers Team USA hockey connection runs deep

New York Rangers prospects Brett Berard and Hunter Skinner won a gold medal with Team USA in the 2021 World Junior Championship last night. Berard played a key role in this year’s gold medal-winning run, with five points in seven games and generally dominant play on Team USA’s third line.  The two future Rangers join a long list of Blueshirts that have a connection to, and medals with, USA Hockey and the World Juniors team.

USA Hockey Connection

The Rangers have a deep history of drafting from the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) and other Team USA members. Since 2008, those picks have included Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque, J.T. Miller, Brady Skjei, K’Andre Miller, and the aforementioned Skinner and Berard. 

New York also acquired USNTDP and Team USA products through trades and signings in recent years. Some of those players include Jimmy Vesey, Jacob Trouba, Tony DeAngelo, Adam Fox, and Ryan LindgrenSo basically, let’s all thank the United States’ development system for the Rangers’ defense core. 

Not only have all of these current (and former) Rangers players developed through USA Hockey, they have the medals to show for it. Stepan, Kreider, and Bourque all won gold with Team USA in 2010. Vesey, Trouba, and Miller won gold in 2013. Fox and Lindgren won gold in 2017 and have a bronze medal as well. Now Skinner and Berard have gold from the 2021 tournament. 

Dominating the Competition

Like Berard in 2021, these other Rangers have a history of dominant play in the WJC. Chris Kreider was a point-per-game player in his U20 Team USA career. Derek Stepan was the captain of the 2010 gold medal team, with 15 points in just seven games. Jacob Trouba dominated in the 2013 gold medal run, wearing an “A” and earning nine points in seven games along with his strong defensive play.

Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren spent time paired together, and both earned “A”s for the 2018 World Junior Championships. In 2017’s gold medal win, Fox had four assists in seven games. 

Many NHL teams have draft picks and ties to USA Hockey. However, the Rangers seemed to have particularly gravitated towards USA hockey players in recent years and found success. The organization has not only pinpointed top USA talent to acquire, but those players went on to prove themselves on one of the biggest stages. 

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  • Post says NYR talking to Brian Boyle regarding possible role with team. Could provide leadership and faceoff skills to the 4th line.

    • Maybe as someone on the taxi squad who can practice with the team and teach the kids how to win face offs, rather just see him come on as a coach then a player.

    • If he still has enough gas and speed to lockdown the 4th line C role, then we should go for it. It isn’t like we have some GREAT need to slot in a youngster in that role just yet, unless they earn it (Barron).

    • My only concern is him blocking a spot for a younger player, especially if that player is Barron.

      • If Barron earns it, he plays … if Rooney earns it, he plays … if BB earns it … the 4th line last year was a big Achilles heel for us, having someone come in who can win 52+% of their draws is a good start. Again though, he has to earn it and have enough gas/speed to still be effective in that role.

  • Congrats to Team USA on their gold medal win at the World Juniors. This tournament gives fans a glimpse of up and coming hockey stars of the future. Team USA and Team Canada are loaded with young talent and many players who played for the Gold Medal will get an opportunity to play in the NHL. Some will don a Ranger jersey and become
    NHL stars.

    • Congratulations are definitely in order for the U.S. WJC team. I doubted that they could beat the Canadian team, but, they did!
      As for some of them joining the Rangers and becoming stars, well, it’s happened before, so why not again?

  • Loved Boyle when he played with the Rangers. But that time, that era is over. Rangers have a new squad with a lot of youth. Prefer to stick to that blue print and provide a roster spot for someone to earn – plenty of players can fill a 4th line role. A player like Boyle is better suited for a contender looking to fill that 4th center spot or even retirement at this point (coaching?) We are not contending this year – let a youngster have an opportunity – if none step up – we have some vets that can fill that role this season while kids develop.

    • I think that’s a bad attitude. We should be a contender, at least a contender in the sense of making the playoffs and hoping for some truly meaningful games come summer with some more positive outcomes than last year’s 3-0 sweep.

      There’s no BIG reason to assume we should take a step back (of course anything is possible). We should see better depth, better goaltending and if ADA works on the Left side, better defense — not to mention the addition of Martin to the coaching staff. It may not come to pass, but this should be the goal.

      • I view it as a patient attitude, not a bad one. If the Rangers are close to a playoff spot by end of year, then you make whatever upgrades you think to get team over the top. But you don’t start the season that way with a young team and fill a roster spot on the hopes of being a contender – that potentially delays the development of one young player.

        • Patience also means expecting the young players to earn their spot and not being overly critical when they don’t meet your expectations right away — look at a kid like Howden.

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