Chris Drury appears to have his Rangers roster set for the beginning of training camp set for September 23.
The Blueshirts had a quiet offseason, well quieter than the last few off-seasons anyway, that saw some familiar faces dealt away and at the same time added grit and toughness to the lineup.
Plenty of rumors suggested that Drury was planning to make a big splash and acquire Jack Eichel, but that deal has yet to materialize. So it’s a pretty safe bet to say that the 46 players listed on the club’s website currently will be be at camp.
That being said, there are very few spots to be claimed. Head coach Gerrard Gallant will see fierce competition from the guys looking to crack the lineup.
The Rangers roster heading into 2021-22
The following players are currently listed on the team’s website:
Morgan Barron, Sammy Blais, Jonny Brodzinski, Filip Chytil, William Cuylle, Jake Elmer, Julian Gauthier, Tim Gettinger, Barclay Goodrow, Anthony Greco, Dryden Hunt, Kaapo Kakko, Patrick Khodorenko, Vitali Kravtsov, Chris Kreider, Alexis Lafreniere, Greg McKegg, Brennan Othmann, Lauri Pajuniemi, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Reaves, Justin Richards, Ty Ronning, Kevin Rooney, Austin Rueschhoff, Ryan Strome, Mika Zibanejad.
Anthony Bitetto, Adam Fox, Mason Gersteen, Libor Hajek, Zac Jones, Ryan Lindgren, Nils Lundkvist, K’Andre Miller, Patrik Nemeth, Tarmo Reunanen, Matthew Robertson, Braden Schneider, Jarred Tinordi, Jacob Trouba.
Alexandar Georgiev, Adam Huska, Keith Kinkaid, Igor Shesterkin, Tyler Wall
Many of the young players listed will take part in the team’s Development Camp which will be held beginning Friday, September 10. Most will participate in team training camp and will be among the first to be sent back to their minor league affiliates.
With a roster of 23, there will be a few spots available for players to try and claim.
Easy roster predictions
The easiest prediction lies with goaltending where Shesterkin will be the number one and Georgiev backing him up unless he is dealt via trade. If he’s moved, Keith Kinkaid gets first crack at backup.
The defense has a top-four consisting of this year’s Norris Trophy winner Fox, Lindgren, Trouba, and Miller. The fifth and sixth defenseman will be a contested battle. There is a mixture of veteran and rookie defensemen that will look to make the club. Gallant has indicated that he will give every opportunity for the younger and less experienced players to make the team.
The club is also loaded with left-handed defensemen (10) so this battle will be watched closely beginning with the team’s first pre-season game against the New York Islanders on Sept. 25.
At this time lefty d-man Nemeth and rookie Lundkvist are penciled in the third pairing. It will be interesting to see how young players like Jones, Robertson, and Schneider perform.
The forwards that are locked in with a roster spot are Panarin, Zibanejad, Strome, Kreider, Kakko, Chytil, Lafreniere, Goodrow, Kravtsov, and Reaves. That leaves three or four spots depending on how many forwards the club decides to carry when the season begins.
Sammy Blais, acquired in the Pavel Buchnevich trade, could have an inside track as the club has spoken highly of him. The 25-year-old would have a prominent role on the fourth line. Kevin Rooney and Morgan Barron also seem to have the upper hand in getting a roster spot.
Rangers Preseason Action
The Rangers will play in six preseason games. These contests will be crucial for some of these players to make an impact.
Sept. 26 vs. Islanders
Sept. 28 vs. Boston
Oct. 1 at New Jersey
Oct. 2 at Boston
Oct. 6 vs. New Jersey
Oct. 8 at Islanders
Gerrard Gallant is looking for a hard-working team that will put fear into the opposition every night. He will be looking closely at every player, veteran or rookie, to inject the right style of play to make this a reality.
The coaching staff will then decide who opens the season at Washington against the Capitals on Wednesday, October 13.