Brennan Othmann and Rangers thrilled with Broadway debut
On Thursday night, highly touted New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann made his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blueshirts took care of business, taking down the Blackhawks by a score of 4-1. In his debut, Othmann did not record any points. However, his play was certainly a bright spot and a much-needed fresh face in the bottom six.
Othmann looked comfortable in his debut and seemed to fit right in. Playing on a line with Nick Bonino and Jonny Brodzinski, the young forward had himself a solid night. Othmann felt good about his game following the win, and was happy to get the two points.
“A warm welcome from everyone. I’m really excited to get the first one out of the way and go from here, take it day by day,” Othmann explained. “Just exciting to be able to play in my first NHL game. You work 20 years for this, and it’s a good early birthday present for tomorrow.”
Brennan Othmman debut
The now 21-year-old forward may not have found the back of the net or registered an assist, however, Othmann showed his offensive prowess with five shots on goal. He also had several shot attempts that were blocked throughout the night. In 12:26 of time on ice, Othmann was noticeable. He played his game with an edge, as was to be expected, and played with confidence.
He also did a good job of impressing Peter Laviolette, who had nothing but positives to say about the young forward.
“I noticed him all night,” stated Laviolette. “His speed and his skill, his ability to create. He had at least half a dozen attempts at the net, some good scoring chances. I noticed him pretty consistently.”
His nifty through the legs pass to the front of the net showed just how comfortable he began to look as the night went on. He also had several scoring chances in which he was one good bounce away from his first NHL goal.
“I just wanted to have fun and just play my game,” mentioned Othmann. “My game is physicality and shooting and just kind of bringing a presence on the ice. I was a little bit nervous my first couple of shifts but (Brodzinski and Bonino) did a good job of calming me down. Everyone was great today leading up to the game and even during the game.”
It is great experience for a young player like Othmann to play with veterans like Bonino and Brodzinski. He must have also looked comfortable in the eyes of Laviolette, who rewarded him with some first line minutes when Blake Wheeler was serving a 5-minute major for fighting.
“We just wanted to get him some more ice,” said Laviolette. “If you’re not on the power play or the penalty kill and not taking the top-two line minutes, then your minutes don’t get out there the way you want to. We ended up losing (Wheeler) for five minutes. I thought it was a good spot to plug (Othmann) in.”
While it was only a few shifts, Othmann looked great alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, even on his off-wing. Those few shifts could go a long way for a player like Othmann, who is trying to soak everything in while he is here.
“I just wanted to have fun, enjoy the moment. You only get your first game once, so I just wanted to have fun,” said Othmann, who has spoken like a true professional throughout training camp and his first days with the Rangers.
Othmann will get another chance at his first NHL point when the Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. After his impressive performance against Chicago, don’t be surprised if he finds the scoresheet sooner rather than later.