Libor Hajek in New York ready to start Rangers training camp
Last week, I reported that Libor Hajek via email, confirmed that he will be attending New York Rangers training camp. Phase 3 is scheduled to start on July 10th and the Rangers young defenseman is now in NY ready to go through Phase 2 testing protocols.
Vitali Kravtsov arrived yesterday, and both should be cleared around the same time. Expect to see them hit the ice at the MSG Training Center later this week.
Libor Hajek, Rangers Prospect
The Rangers acquired Libor Hajek in the blockbuster trade that sent captain Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline in 2018. In three seasons in the WHL, Hajek put up 87 points in 186 games. While these are not stand out numbers, Hajek is a two-way defender that plays both sides of the puck well.
Hajek has decent size at 6’0″, 210 pounds and is very proficient at being a shutdown defenseman. He is a smooth skater who relies on his hockey smarts to move the puck out of the zone. That is why Jeff Gorton wanted him included in the deal.
Hajek’s Rangers Career So Far
Libor, now 22 years-old made quite an impression during the 2018-19 season where he played 5 games and scored a great goal before having his season end early due to a separated shoulder.
Coming into this campaign, Libor made the team out of camp and was partnered on left defense with Adam Fox. The two rookies had some puck management issues and were separated with Hajek finding himself playing mostly with Jacob Trouba.
In 28 games this season he tallied 5 assists but struggled at times. He was eventually sent down to Hartford to continue his development. He picked up 3 points playing for the Wolf Pack in 23 games.
Now Libor stands a great chance of being added to the expanded roster of 28 skaters and unlimited goalies. His familiarity of playing for David Quinn and with both Trouba and Fox should make him an easy addition to the Rangers “Black Aces”.