Potential PTO candidates for New York Rangers

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New York Rangers training camp is getting closer and although the opening night roster appears set based on the number of low-cost free agent signings, the team can still offer professional tryout contracts (PTO) to some available players.

What is a PTO? It’s basically a contract that teams can offer unsigned free agents in order to invite them to training camp. This will give the club a closer look at a player they may want to sign.

According to CapFriendly, the Rangers have 46 out of a possible 50 max contracts on the books. So there is certainly room to add another if a PTO candidate earns a roster spot.

Last season, Jimmy Vesey came to camp on a PTO and parlayed that into a one-year deal and then a two-year extension in January.

New York Ranger PTO candidates

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Phil Kessel, RW (35 years-old, 82 GP – 14 G – 22 A – 36 PTS)

The NHL’s Ironman with 1,064 consecutive games played and counting is open to a lesser role, which would mean an end to the streak. He’s not the player he once was, but one thing is clear – he knows how to win. After raising his third Stanley Cup this past summer with the Vegas Golden Knights, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to give him a chance, especially with question marks on right wing.

Nick Ritchie, F (27 years-old, 74 GP – 13 G – 13 A – 26 PTS)

The Rangers have been rumored to be interested in this 6-3, 216 lbs winger who plays a physical game. Although GM Chris Drury signed Tyler Pitlick in July, he may want to see if Ritchie would be like to earn a spot on the team’s fourth line.

Josh Bailey, F (33 years-old, 64 GP – 8 G – 17 A – 25 PTS)

It’s been a rough summer for this longtime New York Islanders player, who was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks and then bought out. After 15 seasons playing against the Blueshirts, he would be an interesting PTO candidate to bolster the bottom-six and provide veteran leadership. His ability to play center is also a plus.

Max Comtois, F (24 years-old, 64 GP – 9 G – 10 A – 19 PTS)

If the Rangers are in the mood for a reclamation project, look no further than Max Comtois formerly of the Anaheim Ducks. Another sizable forward at 6-2, 210 lbs with an ability to play center, he could at least impress enough to earn a two-way contract and play with the Hartford Wolf Pack this season. Considering the Rangers prospect pool has dipped in the eyes of experts, he may be worth a flyer.

Zach Aston-Reese, F (29 years-old, 77 GP – 10 G – 4 A – 14 PTS)

Another solid depth add for a potential fourth-line role is former Pittsburgh Penguins nemesis Zach Aston-Reese. Although he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, he understands what the grind is like in the Metro Division.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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