Did Rangers Prospect Adam Tambellini Develop Enough For Another Contract?

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Adam Tambellini wrapped up his entry-level contract with the New York Rangers organization this season. Tambellini was picked in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft, and after spending three years in Hartford, the question becomes where does Adam Tambellini stand?

Will the Rangers elect to re-sign the 23-year-old forward? Will Chris Drury let the forward walk? Adam Tambellini, in my perspective, has had some mixed development. He is a depth player and does have the opportunity to grow.

In the three seasons with Hartford, the forward’s growth was progressive. He was not tearing up the league, however, he did the little things such as proper positioning and keeping his style of play simple. The prospect is still streaky offensively. There are nights where he struggles, and others he plays a well-rounded game. Adam Tambellini has fallen in the organization’s depth chart as well, which is concerning. Instead of him getting the call, other players such as Vinni Lettieri, Steven Fogarty, Cristoval Nives, and Peter Holland were called up. Adam Tambellini has to work harder, especially in the off-season, to become a better player on the ice.

Offensively, the forward is good on the Pack’s roster for depth. In his first and last seasons in Hartford, Tambellini finished with 32 points. In his second year, he finished with 35 points. Adam Tambellini is able to provide production. The only downside to his game is the consistency as he could stop producing for lengthy periods of time. For instance, Keith McCambridge noticed the prospect struggling on the ice last season in moments. What he did is put the forward on the fourth line with limited ice time. Adam Tambellini did wake up after the demotion and was able to produce points. In addition to that, he created good opportunities for his linemates and was more aggressive breaking out or applying pressure on the opponent’s goalie.

Defensively, he keeps his playing style simple. He will block shooting lanes and attempt to get to the dirty areas of the ice. The downside I have noticed is his lack of physicality against his opponents. He rarely throws his body around for a check. He should not be afraid to utilize his physical aspect of the game. On the plus side, Adam Tambellini is smart on the ice. He does not take many penalties. When he does, it’s generally for a moment where the penalty may have been needed. The forward averages around 20 penalty minutes a season.

The ultimate question, after analyzing Adam Tambellini’s development, is what the next step is. Does he deserve another contract with the organization? Should he have a change of scenery? This question will be the toughest on Adam Tambellini instead of other players that are up this summer. He is still a prospect and young. My fear is how the Rangers view the forward since he has moved downward in the depth chart. He has talked about preparing more in the summer. Unfortunately, he did not take his playing to the next level. If I was Chris Drury, I would give the forward a one year, American Hockey League deal. He would still be in the organization but he wouldn’t count against the cap or use a roster spot. His fourth year would have to prove a lot to the Rangers brass in order for him to stay and possibly get a chance with New York.

The puck is now in Chris Drury’s zone.

Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner

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