Brennan Othmann ‘grateful’ to remain with New York Rangers after trade deadline

Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Brennan Othmann doesn’t know for sure if he was an untouchable ahead of the March 8 NHL trade deadline. But he certainly is happy to remain with the New York Rangers organization now that the deadline has passed.

“We don’t really know if that’s true or not [that he was an untouchable], but I did see that,” Othmann told Steve Pappas of Forever Blueshirts. “I appreciate that they think highly of me, and I think really highly of them too.

“So, yeah, it’s definitely a good honor and I’m very grateful that they think so highly of me.”

Rangers general manager Chris Drury never said publicly that Othmann was untouchable. But there were several reports, including by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, that the Rangers let it be known to other teams that they would not trade either Othmann or 2023 first-round pick Gabe Perreault.

All Drury said after the deadline was, “We’re just trying to make deals that make the most sense for us now and for the future.”

Drury did add that trading their first-round pick this year or in the future was a possibility. But he didn’t comment on Othmann nor Perreault. 

“I respect this organization. I respect Chris a lot,” Othmann said. “For him, I guess, to say that [he wouldn’t trade me] or as it’s mentioned, means a lot. Obviously, no one really knows what’s going on behind the scenes.”

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Brennan Othmann
Brennan Othmann ready for action (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Othmann spoke to Pappas following the Hartford Wolf Pack’s 6-5 loss at the Rochester Americans on Wednesday. The 21-year-old forward scored two goals in the defeat, including one that tied the score 4-4 in the second period.

It’s been a very good first professional season for the Rangers’ top pick in the 2021 draft. Othmann is tied for second on Hartford and fourth among American Hockey League rookies with 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists) in 55 games.

He leads Hartford with nine power-play goals, is second with 160 shots on goal and sixth with 50 penalty minutes. Two seasons ago in junior, playing for Flint in the Ontario Hockey League, Othmann scored 50 goals in 66 games. He also helped Peterborough win the OHL championship last season and Canada capture the gold medal at the 2023 World Junior Championship.

So, there are many reasons why the Rangers want to hold on to Othmann.

Earlier this season, Othmann was called up and played three games with the Rangers. He had five shots on goal in his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 4 and was held without a point in the three games.

“Obviously, it’s a good experience,” Othmann said. “I think I worked hard … did well when I was up there.”

If all goes to plan, Othmann will be given an opportunity to win a regular spot with the Rangers in training camp next season. Another in a long line of left wings, Othmann has also played right wing with Hartford this season, where his path to a job in New York is less crowded.

He could follow the path of Will Cuylle, the 22-year-old rookie who was drafted one year ahead of Othmann. Cuylle played with Hartford last season and has appeared in all 69 games with the Rangers this season, most often on the third line. Or perhaps the Rangers could see if he’s ready to take on a top-six role right away, especially if he sticks on the right side.

But all scenarios remain intact simply because Othmann was not traded ahead of the deadline.

“I perform my best for them every night and every day.”

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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