Analyzing the Rangers next 10 cuts before opening night
As of this morning the Rangers have 32 players remaining on their roster before having to get down to 22 before opening night. Let’s take a look at who we expect those cuts to be.
Per the NYR Website:
Forwards (19):Lias Andersson, Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Micheal Haley, Brett Howden, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, Chris Kreider, Brendan Lemieux, Vinni Lettieri, Greg McKegg, Vladislav Namestnikov, Boo Nieves, Danny O’Regan, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Mika Zibanejad
Defensemen (10):Tony DeAngelo, Adam Fox, Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Joe Morrow, Yegor Rykov, Brady Skjei, Brendan Smith, Marc Staal, Jacob Trouba
Goaltenders (3): Alexandar Georgiev, Henrik Lundqvist, Igor Shesterkin
The Obvious Forward Cuts
Some of you may wonder why if these cuts are so obvious then why haven’t they happened yet? The answer is simple, because certain starting Rangers will not play that last preseason game in CT against the Islanders on Saturday.
From the forward group I expect Steven Fogarty, Michael Haley, Vinni Lettieri, and Danny O’Regan all to be cut. The real question about who the 13th forward will be comes down to Greg McGegg, Boo Nieves, and Vitali Kravtsov.
Both McGegg and Nieves certainly deserve the spot, but the Rangers will keep Vitali Kravtsov up to at least start the season. Just don’t expect him to play every game, same goes for Kaapo Kakko. Even if they are playing well, Quinn needs to keep their workload in check to avoid burnout late in the year. The NHL is a much longer and harder season than what they are used to.
The Obvious Defense Cuts
When it comes to the defense, Joe Morrow and Yegor Rykov are the obvious two cuts. The 7th defense spot will come down to Ryan Lindgren and Brendan Smith. This one is a bit tougher to answer because Lindgren has earned the spot in my estimation. However, the Rangers are likely to keep Smith up and try to build his trade value early in hopes of making a trade.
And In Goal
Henrik Lundqvist is the starter…end of story.
When it comes to the back up, the Rangers will go with Alex Georgiev to start the season. Igor Shesterkin is the next star goalie of the Rangers, but his raw talent needs to adjust to the North American game and rink size in Hartford. He’s better off in the AHL playing almost every game and developing, rather than coming in cold once or twice a week.