Chris Summers is the Rangers 8th Defender
The Rangers dealt for Keith Yandle, and Chris Summers at the trade deadline. One player got a ton of attention, while the other (Summers) drifted under the radar. Now with the playoffs looming, we are starting to see that Chris Summers has a bigger role than initially expected.
Before the trade the Rangers 8th defensemen would have been either Conor Allen, or Dylan McIlrath, depending on the day of the week. But adding Chris Summer actually gave the Rangers a solid option when injuries arise. He is a stay at home defender, who brings some grit, and can munch minutes.
The Hockey News describes Summers defensive ability and explains that it is his main asset, “Displays shutdown ability and has a good frame for the blue line position in the NHL. Is at his best when he keeps the game safe and simple.” They go on to list him as a career “depth defensive defensemen.” In two games with the Rangers Summers has logged over 15 minutes in each, while putting 2 shots on net and ending up an overall -1.
One of Summers best qualities is that he isn’t afraid to be physical and even drop the gloves. In his two games with the Rangers Summers has thrown 8 hits and blocked 1 shot. You can see in the video below that Summers (who is sporting a Coyotes jersey) throws a hard hit and ends up in a scrap shortly after.
The Rangers don’t look to play that ultra physical style as a team, but they don’t mind having guys who will stand up for themselves and teammates should the opportunity present itself.
Summers is expected to get his third start of the season for the Rangers on Sunday, in the place of Marc Staal. The Rangers hope they don’t need him when the playoffs roll around, but if they do, they will know that he isn’t foreign to the Rangers, and their style of play.
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