Tarmo Reunanen shows to New York Rangers he belongs, gives them trade deadline flexibility

tarmo reunanen
Mar 15, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Tarmo Reunanen #51 of the New York Rangers skates in his first NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers may have lost last night, but every dark cloud has a silver lining and the debut of Tarmo Reunanen was certainly one. Here’s his stat line from last night, 1 assist in 8:57 of total ice time with one shot and a +1 rating.

He played a total of 14 shifts, but only three of them came in the third period. This was due in large part to the special teams’ play and the David Quinn tightening his bench. Not bad night for an emergency call up who found out he may play last night when he didn’t see his name on the Wolf Pack’s practice sheet.

Tarmo Reunanen gives the Rangers some flexibility at the deadline

The 23 year-old lefty looked very comfortable on the right side. He picked up his first NHL point off a beautiful pass to Artemi Panarin to get the Rangers on the board. This is what he’s been doing now for a year in both Finland and the AHL with the Wolf Pack.

tarmo reunanen
Mar 15, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Tarmo Reunanen #51 of the New York Rangers skates in his first NHL game against Scott Laughton #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

He’s extremely poised and confident with the puck. Reunanen plays a heads up style that was evident in his limited action last night. He was noticeable in the fact that he wasn’t noticeable in his own zone. For a defenseman, playing defense is about being positionally sound and keeping the opposition at bay. Sometimes when you aren’t standing out in your own zone it’s because you haven’t made any glaring mistakes and that was Reunanen last night.

His ability to step in the lineup was easy because both the Wolf Pack and Rangers play the same system. Tarmo also noted the speed was the biggest difference.

We need to see more of Tarmo in action to make a full assessment. When Adam Fox comes back it would be great to see Reunanen paired with Libor Hajek who has been quietly very good every game in his own right. If that pairing works as I expect, it would make moving Brendan Smith at the deadline regardless of standings much easier to do.

NHL RUMORS

Get the latest trade rumors in the NHL here.