Upcoming New York Rangers player milestones for 2023-24
As the New York Rangers gear up for their 98th season, several players are chasing significant milestones during the 2023-24 season. Although most players would never publicly admit it, they know their statistics and are aware of any personal accomplishments they are closing in on.
Outside of a player dressing in their 100th game or scoring their first point, our goal with this list is to highlight some big names and the numbers they hope to achieve this year. Ultimately, this list has no particular order since every milestone deserves a celebration and acknowledgment.
Upcoming New York Rangers Milestones
As Mika Zibanejad begins his eighth season on Broadway, he’s closing on some significant personal milestones. Thanks to a productive five seasons with the Ottawa Senators to start his career, the Swedish forward is closing in on 800 games and 700 points.
Statistically, Zibanejad is closer to the game’s milestone since he’s about to skate in his 777th game on opening night. However, he’s only 94 points away from 700, sitting at 606. Although it may seem like a stretch that he accomplishes this feat in 2023-24, he just had a career year with 91 points, so don’t count him out yet. Additionally, he’s only 45 points away from 500 with the Rangers, which could land him in the top ten all-time.
Before Artemi Panarin chose to take his talents to New York in 2019, he was already a star with multiple 30-goal seasons and a boatload of assists. Ultimately, as the Ranger’s most lethal playmaker, he’s about to skate in his 600th game and score his 700th point.
After ten games, he’ll reach his first milestone; after 39 points, he’ll get the next one. Considering he’s collected over 90 points in three of his four seasons with the Rangers, we will discuss him closing in on 800 points after the 2023-24 season.
As the longest-tenured player in New York’s lineup, Chris Kreider will continue his ascent up the franchise’s all-time leaderboards. Statistically, he’s closing in on 800 games, 300 goals, and 500 points, all milestones within reach for one of the team’s most passionate players.
After playing 67 games, Kreider will become just the tenth player in Rangers history to skate in 800 games. Meanwhile, if he manages to collect at least 35 goals, he’ll be only the third player to score 300 goals with the franchise. Eventually, after 23 points, he’ll move into 12th place all-time and, with 30 points, overtake Adam Graves for tenth place.
Blake Wheeler came to the New York Rangers as a free agent this past summer after playing the last 13 years with the Winnipeg Jets. Originally starting his career with the Boston Bruins, the veteran is approaching 950 games played and 1,150 points.
At 36 years old, he is now the second oldest player on the club, just a year younger than Jonathan Quick. However, he must collect 28 points and skate in 32 games to reach both milestones. Considering Wheeler usually plays in 70 games and scores over 50 points outside of shortened seasons; these milestones are achievable before Christmas.
Although Vincent Trocheck is relatively new to the Rangers organization, with 2022-23 being his first year in blue, he finished the campaign with the second-best statistical season of his career. After ten seasons, he’s compiled enough points to close in on 500 and is about to skate in his 700th game.
Heading into opening night, Trocheck will need to play 63 games, which should be relatively easy for a player who usually never misses a game. Furthermore, he needs just 58 points to reach 500 in his career, and if he turns out assists like last season (42), this milestone is well within reach.
The current Rangers captain, Jacob Trouba, will have a busy year collecting personal milestones. As he begins his 11th season in the league, he’s on the verge of 700 games, 300 points, and 1,500 hits.
Of course, the fans love to see Trouba take out opponents with bone-crunching hits, and he is just 152 away from reaching 1,500 in his career. Moreover, he’s 21 games away from 700 and needs only 13 points to get 300.
Surprisingly, Adam Fox is just 25 years old and is about to start his fifth season with the Rangers. Statistically, the former Norris Trophy winner will also skate in his 300th game and net his 300th point at some point in 2023-24.
Ultimately, his next assist will be his 200th career helper, and after 15 games, he’ll continue his climb up the games played list, reaching 300. Additionally, Fox is only 65 points away from 300; considering he’s potted over 146 in the last two seasons, there’s a real chance he’ll check off all these milestones during the upcoming season.
The newest Rangers defender may not be a top-pairing guy, but Erik Gustafsson can earn his spot in the lineup and contribute offensively. As it stands, heading into the start of the season, he’s on the verge of skating in his 400th game and is only nine points away from 200.
Although there are no guarantees he will draw into the opening night lineup, Gustafsson only needs to play in 21 games to reach 400. Ultimately, this would be a considerable achievement for a player dressing on his seventh team in seven seasons. Additionally, he needs only nine points for 200, and considering he’s collected 80 over the last two seasons if given a chance, he’s a lock to reach the milestones just weeks into the next campaign.
Interestingly, just like Fox, former second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko just finished his fourth season with the Rangers and is also on pace to skate in his 300th game this year. However, the similarities end there between the two players since the Finnish forward is only two points away from 100 in his young career.
In 2022-23, Kakko skated in all 82 games, so barring any injuries, he needs to play in just 61 this year to reach his next milestone. Meanwhile, after a career-high 40 points last year, he will be closing in 150 career points with a repeat performance.
Igor Shesterkin took over the crease from franchise legend Henrik Lundqvist and will continue to chase down many of his former mentor’s milestones. However, first things first, he’s about to collect his 100th win and play his 200th game. Although he has a long way to go towards franchise records, his accomplishments thus far in five seasons are impressive.
Ultimately, Shesterkin’s next victory will be his 100th, making him only the eighth netminder to reach that plateau with the club. Meanwhile, after appearing in 42 games, he’ll become the eighth goalie to play 200 games in a Rangers’ uniform.
While fans wait for the 2020 first overall pick in the draft to sign his bridge deal, Alexis Lafreniere is just 9 points away from registering his 100th career point.
It’s been a fight for Lafreniere to get significant ice time, especially on the power play, in his first three seasons. However, the 2023-24 campaign should see an uptick for the Quebec native.
Note: Stats via Hockey-Reference