Libor Hajek clears waivers, assigned to Wolf Pack

Libor Hajek
Oct 26, 2022; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek (25) shoots the puck against New York Islanders left wing Zach Parise (11) during the third period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers defenseman Libor Hajek has cleared waivers and been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL.

The 25 year-old defenseman played in 16 games this season with one goal and no assists. For his NHL career, he’s recorded 12 points in 110 games all with the Rangers.

In one of the big moves to start the rebuild, he was acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018.

Libor Hajek assigned to Wolf Pack

new york rangers lineup libor hajek
Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hajek is no stranger to the Wolf Pack having played in 86 games from 2018-19 to 2021-22 and recording 10 points.

By sending Hajek down, the Rangers current cap space is $1,077,208 according to CapFriendly. This will also allow them to possibly add another $1.6 million in salary at the trade deadline.

This past summer, Hajek re-signed with the Rangers on a one-year, one-way deal worth $800,000 because according to the coach, he felt there was an opportunity here.

“He skates well and looks strong,” Gerard Gallant said. “He looks confident and he tested really well. Everything is leading to him being a real good player on our team. We’ll see what happens because there’s a few guys battling for that spot.”

Unfortunately for Hajek, neither he or Zac Jones could seize the third pair left defense spot with Braden Schneider. Eventually they lost out to journeyman Ben Harpur and now that spot will go to trade acquisition Niko Mikkola.

Mikkola, 26, was part of the Vladimir Tarasenko deal made on Thursday. He’s recorded just 3 assists in 50 games. However, at 6-4′ and 210 pounds it’s not points the Rangers are looking for. This season, he ranked third on the Blues in hits (96) and blocked shots (68) prior to the trade.

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