The Rangers continue to conduct hockey business as usual when it comes to signing college free agents and prospects. As we hope and pray the COVID-19 curve flattens in the next two weeks, let’s just check in on the latest with the Blueshirts prospects.
In a recent Swedish interview, Nils was asked about playing in New York next season. He answered plainly, “Nothing is definite. But I’m sure to give it a try, and then we’ll see what happens.” Nils then added, “Everyone who plays hockey has a dream to play over there, that’s mine too.“
The SHL has cancelled its season and now the IIHF has cancelled the World Championships to which Nils Lundkvist was likely to participate in. With the recent signings, in particular that of fellow draft classman K’Andre Miller you can expect Nils Lundkvist to be signing his ELC and reporting to North America next season.
Larry Brooks’ latest warns the Rangers to proceed with caution when it comes to rushing both K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist.
The worst thing management could do would be to heighten expectations and then rush either or both of these young men into the NHL. They’re going to need time, both of them, and they should get that time in Hartford with the Wolf Pack.NY POST
The points made are valid, and anyone who has seen Miller up close knows he is not ready for the NHL. Next year, Miller should spend the season in the AHL and the same may be the case for Lundkvist. However, Nils is playing in a league with men and has shown a level of maturity and hockey IQ that could force the Rangers to move Tony DeAngelo or Adam Fox to the left side.
Other Key Prospect Signings
The Rangers didn’t just go the Amateur Try Out route with center, Patrick Khodorenko. Instead they also signed him to an entry level contract starting next season. This is exactly what they want to do with K’Andre Miller.
Khodorenko, 21, skated in 36 games with Michigan State University this season, registering 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points, along with 20 penalty minutes. He led the Spartans in several categories in 2019-20, including goals, assists, points, and shots on goal (96). Khodorenko posted 11 multi-point games this season, including four multi-point games during his six-game point streak from Oct. 26 – Nov. 14. He also served as an alternate captain for Michigan State during the season.NYR Press Release
The Rangers also signed the towering 22 year old Austin Rueschhoff as a free agent out of Western Michigan University. This season he scored 12 goals and 26 points in 36 games. His addition will bolster the size and offensive punch of the Wolf Pack next season. He’s a work in progress and the Rangers try to develop him into a potential power forward.