One bold prediction for each New York Rangers player in 2023-24
The New York Rangers commence their 98th regular season in club history as they look to end another long Stanley Cup drought that’s approaching 30 years.
Here’s at least one bold prediction for every player listed on the 22 man roster heading into the new campaign. Plus a bonus prediction for one very special prospect.
New York Rangers bold predictions
#4 Braden Schneider: The team’s top four defensemen can make some easily overlook this youngster entering his third NHL season. At just 22 years-old, he plays like a seasoned veteran, and after picking up 18 points last year, he’ll notch 25 in 2023-24.
#6 Zac Jones: The Rangers will wait to see how Erik Gustafsson performs in the first two months of the season, but a trade is likely before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 8, 2024.
#8 Jacob Trouba: The team’s captain may see a production dip from last year’s 30 points due to less power play time, but will lead the team in hits with over 230.
#10 Artemi Panarin: It’s been a few seasons of flirting with 100 points, but the Rangers best offensive player will get it done in 2023-24.
#12 Nick Bonino: The Rangers finally have their shutdown fourth-line checking center, who will crack the 10+ goal mark for just the third time in his 11 year career.
#13: Alexis Lafreniere: Of all the predictions, this is the hardest. One bold prediction is he could be traded at the deadline. Another is that Lafreniere finally explodes and scores 30 goals and 60 points. Right now, I’d go with the former.
#16: Vincent Trocheck: It looks like the veteran may start out centering the third line with rookie Will Cuylle and veteran Blake Wheeler, however, he will hit the 30 goal mark for just the second time in his career.
#17 Blake Wheeler: The 37 year-old veteran’s better days are behind him, but he will post another 50+ point season.
#20 Chris Kreider: Last season, my bold prediction was that he would win the Conn Smythe Trophy in the playoffs. If the Rangers win the Cup, I still feel it will be due to the net-front presence of Kreider, so this one carries over.
#21 Barclay Goodrow: Goodrow is the type of player you need to win Championships. However, with Kaapo Kakko due a new contract this summer, he’ll be traded at the end of the season.
#23 Adam Fox: A perennial Norris Trophy candidate, he’ll set a career high in points this season with 83.
#24 Kaapo Kakko: There’s no reason for Kakko not to be successful, especially if Peter Laviolette keeps him on the first line. A 25 goals, 50+ points campaign may actually be a low prediction.
#26 Jimmy Vesey: The Rangers loved what Vesey brought to the team last season, but with the emergence of Cuylle, he’ll have a reduced role. My prediction here is that Vesey will platoon with Tyler Pitlick on the fourth-line.
#31 Igor Shesterkin: The Rangers netminder will be in the Vezina conversation again, but this will be the season he wins 40+. My bold prediction is he sets the franchise single-season mark for wins, besting Mike Richter’s 42 set in 1993-94.
#32 Jonathan Quick: The veteran backup will struggle out of the gate leading to the Rangers leaning on Shesterkin a lot more early. However, he will bounce back after the All-Star break to help the team fight for first place in the Metro.
#50 Will Cuylle: After making the team, this rookie will become an absolute favorite of coach Laviolette, who sees Cuylle as a Tom Wilson type player. While some think Cuylle may be sent down at some point this season, I see him being a permanent fixture that will score close to 20 goals.
#55 Ryan Lindgren: Last season, I predicted Lindgren would lead the team in the plus/minus category with at least a +32. Well, he did lead the team, but with a +29. He will do so again. However, my prediction is the Rangers will extend him mid-season for at least 5-6 years.
#56 Erik Gustafsson: Already well liked by his coach, Gustafsson will cement himself as the Rangers 6th d-man and earn a contract extension after Jones is traded.
#72 Filip Chytil: Here we go, the boldest prediction yet. Chytil will score 40 goals and 70 points this season.
#71 Tyler Pitlick: At some point, Pitlick may find himself on waivers in favor of Brennan Othmann.
#79 K’Andre Miller: After a career year registering 43 points, Miller will be the first Rangers defenseman to score 20 goals since Brian Leetch notched 21 in 2000-2001.
#93 Mika Zibanejad: Same as last year: One of the best defensive forwards in the game is finally recognized and wins the Frank J. Selke Award.
#78 Brennan Othmann: The highly touted prospect will start so strong in the AHL for the Hartford Wolf Pack, that he will earn a call up before Thanksgiving.