2016-2017 Early NYR Lineup Projections

JT-Miller-New-York-Rangers-featured-Mike-Stobe-640x426J.T. Miller and Dylan McIlrath are now locked up leaving the Rangers with 2 more RFA’s to get signed before arbitration hearings start next week. With Miller’s cap hit now known, here’s an early roster projection (1st of many to come).

Update Note: McIlrath has just signed a 1 year extension for 800K

NYR Lineup Projections (CapFriendly)

NYR Lineup Projections (CapFriendly)

Forwards

The starting lineup assumes that Chris Kreider signs for at least 4 years with a cap hit of 4.5M and Kevin Hayes takes a 2-3 year bridge deal close to 2.5M. In addition, Pavel Buchnevich is also assured a spot to start the season as Rangers management has said, he’ll be given every opportunity to show he belongs.

Remember, Oscar Lindberg is coming off dual hip surgery and will be out to start the season. This will likely open a spot for Nicklas Jensen on the 4th line. Nathan Gerbe will likely battle along with Tanner Glass for the right to stay with the big club when Lindberg returns.

This leaves the Blueshirts with 950K in free cap space which should be enough for an emergency call up and not much more. When Lindberg returns the Rangers would get the most free cap space by sending Tanner Glass down (1.9M).

You will also note, Rick Nash is still on the team. I feel as each day passes this summer his chances of being traded drop. Should he make it to August, I doubt he goes anywhere until the trade deadline.

Defense

This assumes that Dylan McIlrath will sign a bridge deal for about 1.25M (Rangers only gave McIlrath a 1 year extension at 800K). He and Nick Holden will likely platoon to start the season. While, the 6 man unit I have posted above has Dan Girardi on the bottom pair, don’t be shocked if he starts the season with Ryan McDonagh as his regular partner on the top unit. (see below)

NYR likely defense pairing

NYR likely defense pairing

Goaltending

Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta have this locked up.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore