January 12, 2021

New York Rangers: Experts pick both Pavel Buchnevich and Alexandar Georgiev to have breakout seasons

Buchnevich (Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

The Rangers are loaded with talent. Much of it is young talent like Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, and now K’Andre Miller. They also have superstars like Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad to lead the way.

However, when you are looking for breakout candidates you are living in the middle of those two extremes.

TSN recently looked at the entire league and put forth their top breakout candidates. On the list, two Blueshirts.

Breakout candidate: Pavel Buchnevich

Pavel Buchnevich trade rumors
Pavel Buchnevich (Getty Images)

The first Rangers player mentioned was 25 year-old Pavel Buchnevich. Yes, the same player that has been on and off the top line for the last three seasons. And the same player that David Quinn can’t say enough good things about this short camp.

Here’s how TSN sees Buchnevich:

Last Season: 68 GP, 16 goals, 30 assists, 46 points

2020-21 Craig Button Bump: 25 goals, 35 assists, 60 points (56 games: 16 + 24 = 40)

Scoop: It’s been a journey of fits and starts for Buchnevich, now entering his fifth season on Broadway. Whether it’s been a lack of opportunity or Buchnevich’s own doing, something has held him back from a starring role. He’s started training camp on the Rangers’ top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, and there’s so much talent up and down that lineup that if he doesn’t produce this season, he’ll have no one but himself to blame.

It’s hard to argue with this analysis. However, I’m going to one up Mr. Button. Pavel Buchnevich will break 20 goal mark even in this shortened season. If the Rangers are thinking about trading him, he’s going to make that decision really hard.

RELATED: NYR OPENING NIGHT LINEUP AND TAXI SQUAD

Breakout candidate: Alexandar Georgiev

Alexandar Georgiev
Rangers Georgiev (USATSI)

The Rangers have one of the best goalie tandems in the NHL. Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar are both 24 years-old and headed for big years.

Here’s how TSN sees Georgiev:

Last Season: 34 games, 17-14-2 record, .910 save percentage, 3.04 goals against-average

2020-21 Craig Button Bump: To break out, Georgiev needs to break out of New York

Scoop: As Igor Shesterkin takes his rightful place as heir to King Henrik Lundqvist’s throne, Georgiev will take a back seat in one of New York’s famous yellow cabs. He will see plenty of action in a shortened season that will place a premium on teams that can turn to either netminder in a tandem. But Georgiev has shown little to suggest he isn’t ready for a full-time starting job, which makes him either an incredible trade chip for GM Jeff Gorton, or fodder for the Seattle Kraken in the Expansion Draft.

Once again, hard to argue with the analysis. Here’s what I want to call out, the Rangers do not need to worry about Georgiev and the Seattle Expansion. That’s a mistake by TSN.

Igor Shesterkin is exempt. The Rangers signed Keith Kinkaid to a 2-year deal for the purpose of meeting the requirements of exposing one goaltender to the Seattle Kraken.

With that said, Alex Georgiev will make a very attractive trade chip in the offseason or next deadline.

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