Does Boo Nieves Have A Future With The Rangers?
When the Rangers acquired Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, and Brett Howden, the organization was likely looking at three guys who could potentially occupy the center of the ice for a long time. But even after Chytil found success on the wing, and the Rangers bringing in Ryan Strome and Vlad Namestnikov, who came along with Howden from Tampa Bay, the Rangers have a bit of a logjam down the middle. So where does that leave 25-year-old Boo Nieves on the organization’s depth chart?
Nieves is a good skating forward who can play both down the middle and on the wing. He is a guy that plays a 200-foot game; very responsible in his own zone and a solid penalty killer as well. The Michigan alum has spent the last three years with the organization, bouncing between MSG and the XL Center in Hartford.
When it comes to Nieves’ ceiling as a player, it’d be tough to argue that he is anything more than a third-line player, and that’s being generous. In my opinion, he’s the perfect fourth-line center; a guy who is good on the defensive side of the puck that can contribute offensively, at times.
Broadway vs Hartford
In his 72 games with the Rangers, Nieves has registered 19 points (5G, 14A) playing mostly bottom-six minutes. He has not done so well in the face-off circle, only winning 41% of his draws.
Nieves has only spent 72 games with the big club, and the competition is much tougher in the NHL compared to the AHL. That being said, Nieves hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in the minors. In 104 career games with the Wolf Pack, Nieves has put up just 52 points (19G, 33A) against lesser competition.
Though Nieves did sign a one year deal with the Blueshirts for this season, he is unlikely to crack David Quinn’s lineup as anything more than the “13th forward.” With all five centermen mentioned above, not to mention Mika Zibanejad, Nieves just does not seem to have the required skill level for these Blueshirts. Is he a good guy to call up due to injury or if a player is struggling? Sure, but he isn’t likely to be on the team’s opening night roster come October 3rd.