March 31, 2020

Analyzing the Rangers contracts for players and prospects in the minors

Wolf Pack

While the pause continues in the National Hockey League and American Hockey League, I decided to take a look at who’s signed and who’s free for the Rangers farm team. This season was successful from a developmental and winning standpoint for the Hartford Wolf Pack and it gives the Rangers plenty to consider beyond the big club.

This year’s roster was a good blueprint that Chris Drury, John Davidson, and other Rangers brass completed for their farm team. However, there is a few areas that could be improved to build a better team in the 2020-21 campaign.

Final Contract Year Signed Players

  • Lias Andersson
    • The prospect’s future with New York is uncertain considering his developmental track and demand for a trade. Add in the struggles from this season and playing overseas, he will need to impress no matter where he plays to either help facilitate a trade or maybe a second chance in NY.
  • Patrick Newell
    • Newell was in the midst of his rookie season with Hartford playing in the depth roles for the Wolf Pack. He is not a big name player, in comparison to players such as Vitali Kravtsov and Vinni Lettieri. He contributes to the team with the little aspects of the game.
  • Ty Ronning
    • The Rangers prospect split time between the Wolf Pack and the ECHL’s Maine Mariners in the last two seasons. Despite impressive numbers in juniors, Ronning has not able to find his complete game in the AHL level. He will have one more season to find that spark.
  • Tim Gettinger
    • The tall forward had a solid season offensively and has strides in his defensive aspect of the game. Gettinger was given a look by New York for two games as well. He has shown speed and skill, similar to Chris Kreider in various moments of the season.
  • Yegor Rykov
    • Despite a rough rookie year with Hartford due to injuries and sitting games as a healthy scratch, the prospect will have a fresh start next season. We have to be patient on Rykov from a developmental standpoint.
  • Sean Day
    • The promising young defenseman has fallen dramatically on the depth charts.
  • Libor Hajek
    • After more playing time with Hartford, I expect Hajek to craft his game more and possibly return to New York next season. He has potential and was sent to Hartford after his injury.
  • Adam Huska
    • In his rookie season with Hartford, Huska has shown strides in his development. He was splitting time with Igor Shesterkin and JF Berube. Huska had a few great games this season along with a few slumps as well. The Rangers have not signed Tyler Wall to date, which is interesting. I can see Huska returning after his entry level contract. However, this can get complicated if the Rangers sign Wall.
Hajek (Wolf Pack)

Signed Beyond 2020-21 Season

  • Vitali Kravtsov
  • Jacob Elmer
  • Austin Rueschhoff
  • Patrick Khodorenko
  • Matthew Robertson
  • Tarmo Reunanen
  • K’Andre Miller

Free Agents This Summer

  • Matt Beleskey (UFA)
    • I expect the veteran to sign elsewhere once the season is completed. Despite a good veteran presence, the turnover rate is high in the AHL.
  • Ryan Gropp (RFA)
    • The forward provided good depth in the past two seasons for Hartford. However this season, Gropp was bumped on the depth charts with the influx of incoming prospects. He played in 10 games with Maine and 36 games with Hartford. He was also on a team suspension early in the season, which lost him playing in a few games within the organization.
  • Leedahl Dawson (RFA)
    • Dawson played in 2 games this season with Maine. I expect him to not be re-signed.
  • Gabriel Fontaine (RFA)
    • I enjoyed the style Fontaine brings to the table in Hartford. However with his season ending injury this season, the forward was unable to do much as he played in 13 games with the Wolf Pack. I would love to see Fontaine return for the upcoming season as he has potential and brings a different element to the team.
  • Steven Fogarty (UFA)
    • Hartford’s captain is a solid forward for the team. He plays in every aspect of the game and has great leadership. I would love to have him return.
  • Cristoval “Boo” Nieves (RFA)
    • The 26 year old forward joined the organization later in the developmental process. However, Nieves has shown solid strides despite the injuries he has occurred throughout his time in the organization. He would be another good addition to the roster next season.
  • Vinni Lettieri (UFA)
    • Lettieri continues to be a great offensive weapon against the league for Hartford. However, it will be interesting to see if the Rangers will want to continue the relationship with Lettieri or if he wants to try another organization. We shall see.
  • Danny O’Regan (UFA)
    • O’Regan was another seasoned player for Hartford this season. He contributed to the offense and was a good addition.
  • Brandon Crawley (RFA)
    • The tough defenseman was buried in the depth chart in the organization. However, Crawley was given a shot late this season before the pause and has performed well. However, given the influx of younger prospects coming, I do not see him re-signed.
  • Darren Raddysh (RFA)
    • The 24 year old defenseman is a well rounded player who contributes not only offensively, but defensively. He was paired with Vincent LoVerde and the dual was solid on the blue line. Raddysh can continue to help Hartford next season if he returns. He provides the team with good offense and defense.
  • Nick Ebert (UFA)
    • Ebert had a quiet season. He is not the top or bottom defenseman on the team. He can contribute at times and was a good return to Hartford from the trade. However, i can see him signing elsewhere.

AHL Signed Player Statuses

AHL deals are often one year deals. Here is a look at the current situation. I would like to see a few guys return once again in Hartford who were on these contracts.

  • Alex Whelan- Signed for next season.
  • Vincent LoVerde- Unsigned.
  • Nick Jones- Unsigned.
  • Mason Geertsen- Unsigned.
  • Greg Chase- Unsigned.
  • Ryan Dmowski- Unsigned.
  • Shawn McBride- Unsigned.
  • Mike O’Leary- Signed for next season.
  • Zach Tolkinen- Unsigned.
  • Jean-Francois Berube- Unsigned.
  • Zach Giuttari- Unsigned as he was signed through an ATO this season.

Regardless of the completion of the remainder of the season, Chis Drury and the Rangers brass has big decisions on Hartford’s roster next season. Will these guys get another chance to play later on in the year? There are plenty of questions with little answers.

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