These Rangers Rookies May Contend For The Calder Next Season
The start of a new season brings along the opportunity of a lifetime for many up-and-coming Rangers. With the start of the season still months away, there are some prospects that are expected to play with the Blueshirts throughout the year, which gives them a chance at bringing home the Calder trophy. Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil are the two men that are expected to be given the best shot by the Rangers this season, but there are two dark-horse candidates that have just as good of a chance to make waves throughout the league this season.
Starting with one of the two 2017 first-round picks, Andersson is expected to play the full 82-game schedule next season on Broadway. Although nothing is guaranteed, Andersson was called up for the very end of last season and has shown throughout his development the ability to be the perfect role player. Not being known as the high point-tallying prospect like some others, if given the right playing time with the right linemates, Andersson can find some success on the scoresheet this season. If Andersson sees himself centering any of the established Rangers players, along with proper time on the power play, Lias Andersson can have himself an exceptional rookie season.
Playing 46 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack last season, Chytil tallied 31 points. That number doesn’t seem to indicate a future Calder-trophy winner, but like Andersson, Chytil can light the lamp if given the right chance. Out of the two, Filip Chytil is certainly expected to score more often. As long as Chytil is in the lineup, I’d expect his lefty shot to be used on the power play, and perhaps even on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and/or Chris Kreider.
This is the guy that I have super high hopes for. Ty Ronning is the guy that can burst onto the NHL scene with his wicked goal-scoring ability. Playing for the Vancouver Giants in the WHL last season, Ronning tallied 84 points through 70 games, with 61 of the points coming via a Ronning goal. That’s just a tremendous stat, no matter what league you’re playing in. Of course, the gap in talent level between the WHL and NHL is massive, but the talent to put the puck in the net doesn’t just disappear. Ty Ronning is a question mark whether he will make the Rangers roster for opening night, but I really think the Rangers should give him a shot. Through three full seasons in the WHL, Ronning has played 205 games and put up 196 points. His ability to fill the scoresheet didn’t come out of nowhere last year; he’s been filling nets for his entire playing career. That playing career not being long at all, as Ronning has played just 15 games in the AHL and is only 20 years old.
Another 20-year-old that absolutely lit the lamp in his four WHL seasons, putting up 267 points in 248 games. Sniper-like numbers for the young gun who was acquired by the Rangers from Tampa Bay this past trade deadline. As for outside of the WHL, Howden played a few games for the U20 Canada team, posting a point-per-game. Howden has impressed in his short time as being a Ranger, and if he can make the opening night roster that would be an even greater surprise. The goal-scorer wasn’t expected to make it immediately into the NHL, but if Howden shows up in camp and shows he can play with the big boys, I don’t see why he can’t carry his goal-scoring tendencies to the NHL.