7 New York Rangers to focus on in preseason action vs Islanders

new york rangers vitali kravtsov
Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov and other Rangers prospects practice at the Rangers training facility in Greenburgh Sept. 5, 2019. Credit: © Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News, Rockland/Westchester Journal News via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The New York Rangers and New York Islanders will battle in preseason action at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

Both teams will be suiting up some of their top players like Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreirder for the Blueshirts, while the Isles have Mat Barzal and Anders Lee going for them.

However, this is the first game of the preseason and is really an opportunity for several Rangers to show Gerard Gallant what they can do.

Monday, Sept. 26 (7:00 PM)   NYIMSG, MSGSN, NHLN, ESPN 98.7

7 New York Rangers to watch vs Isles

new york rangers brennan othmann
Brennan Othmann takes part in the Rangers Prospect Development Camp at the Rangers Training facility in Tarrytown July 12, 2022. Credit: © Frank Becerra Jr. / The Journal News / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jimmy Vesey: The 29 year-old forward registered 8 goals and 15 points in 68 games for the New Jersey Devils last season. He’s on a PTO looking for a second stint with the team he broke into the NHL with. Tonight’s he’ll be on a line with Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov, so an opportunity to show some offensive skill will be present. What you should watch for his deployment on the PK, which is his inside track to win a job with the Rangers.

Vitali Kravtsov: The 22 year-old wants to make him for lost time bickering with management and even asking for a trade last September. He will get an opportunity with Chytil on the second line which means minutes and likely PP time. It should be nice to see where his game is at after not playing in the AHL last year.

Gustav Rydahl: The 27 year-old left the SHL in Sweden to take a shot at his NHL dream by singing as a free agent this summer. It’s a one-way contract but also waivers exempt giving the Rangers flexibility to call him up from the AHL at will. He’s a big forward at 6-3, 201 lbs that can also play center which is where he’ll play tonight with two prize prospects.

Adam Sykora: New York selected the 18 year-old in the second round of the 2022 draft. He’s not very big but plays an agitating style like Boston’s Brad Marchand, someone Sykora models his game after. Last season, he recorded 10 goals and 17 points in 46 games with Nitra where he will play in 2022-23. As for tonight, the Islanders are a heck of team to face to make your first impression but he’ll have help in the form of Rydahl and Othmann.

Brennan Othmann: He’s the crown jewel of Rangers prospects selected in the first round of the 2021 draft. Othmann, 19, is too young to be sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack which doesn’t give the Rangers any flexibility and why he’ll likely head back to the OHL at some point. Last season, he scored 97 points with 50 goals and scoring is what everyone will want to see from him in preseason. But you should also keep an eye out for his physical play. If he can show he’s got the size to compete with the big boys there’s a chance he can stick around past camp.

Zac Jones: For all the talk about Libor Hajek having a chance to win the 6th spot on LD with Braden Schneider, it’s this kid chance to prove it’s his time. The 21 year-old registered two assists in 12 games for the Rangers last season. He also led all Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman with 35 points in 52 games. For his brief NHL career, he’s played 22 games and recorded 6 helpers.

Dylan Garand: Selected in the 4th round of the 2020 draft, the 20 year-old netminder has a chance to be something for the Rangers in a few seasons. He completed his fifth season with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League last year going 34-9 with 4 shutouts. His GAA was 2.16 and his .925 SV% were good for second in the WHL. Garand also went undefeated for Canada to win gold at the WJC this summer. It should be fun to see what he can against NHL shooters.

NHL News and Rumors

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have same goal. Read more.

NHL Recaps: Johnny Geaudreau debuts, plus all preseason scores here.

NHL Rumors: Jakob Chychrun to Ottawa heats up again. Read more.

John Tortorella coming out of the gate hard on the Flyers. Read more.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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