As time passes, and we avidly follow our favorite sports teams, a multitude of players come and go. While we may recall them during their time with the team, some slip through the crevices of our memory, only to resurface through a nostalgic memory or an old piece of media, causing us to reconnect their faces and names with the iconic Rangers uniform.
Among the hallowed names like Messier, Leetch, Giacomin, Lundqvist, and others, there are those more unknown Rangers, such as Corey Locke, Sandis Ozolinsh, James Sheppard, and others who may have faded from our recollection. As we traverse the regular season, we’ll delve into a few of these “Forgotten Rangers” In this edition, we feature a defenseman with a blip on the Rangers radar and a top pick that fizzled.
Ivan Baranka, Defenseman
Time with Rangers: 1 game with NYR, 174 games with HFD
The Rangers selected Baranka 50th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, a draft that also saw Shea Weber picked 49th and Joe Pavelski chosen 205th.
Primarily based in Hartford, Baranka spent the majority of his time there. Despite three full seasons, he had his debut as a Ranger on November 21, 2007. His solitary appearance included contributing to Colton Orr’s first goal against Tampa Bay. After that season, Baranka’s Rangers stint concluded, prompting him to pursue his hockey career overseas.
Jamie Lundmark, Center
Time with Rangers: 114 games over three seasons.
Lundmark, selected as the ninth overall pick by the New York Rangers in the 1999 NHL Draft, started his NHL journey with the Rangers in the 2002-03 season. Lundmark was your typical bottom-tier center who may have been victim to poor drafting by the Rangers during the Dark Ages.
Aside: That entire first round was atrocious if you didn’t land a Sedin.
In 1999, New York Rangers General Manager Neil Smith took a bold step in rebuilding the franchise by trading for the fourth and ninth overall picks in the NHL Draft. Unfortunately, both picks turned out to be disappointments. The Rangers acquired Pavel Brendl with the fourth pick, but despite his impressive junior career, he never played a game for the team.
Lundmark, who was the 9th pick, had a modest NHL career, never surpassing 10 goals in a season. The trades involved giving up players like Dan Cloutier and Marc Savard, who went on to have more successful careers elsewhere. This marked the only time the Rangers had two top-10 picks in the same draft, resulting in a total of 11 goals and 19 assists from the two selections.
For six seasons, Lundmark played for various teams including the Rangers, Coyotes, Flames, Kings, and Maple Leafs. Lundmark concluded his NHL career on April 7, 2010, playing for Toronto against his original team, the Rangers, at Madison Square Garden.
Amidst his NHL career, Lundmark sought international experiences. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, he played in Italy, and in the 2007-08 season, he ventured to Russia. Following his tenure in the NHL, he continued his hockey journey abroad. The 2010-11 season saw him in Sweden, followed by Latvia the next season, and ultimately spending the last six years of his professional career in Austria.