Three New York Rangers rookies to watch at training camp this season

nils lundkvist
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Nils Lundkvist poses for a photo with team representatives after being selected as the number twenty-eight overall pick to the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have several rookies coming over to take part in training camp in September. Before we get started, excluded are rookies Vitali Kravtsov, Zac Jones, and Morgan Barron as they are expected to either make the team or the final cuts.

Let’s dive into three new rookies to keep an eye on when camp begins.

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Rangers rookie camp watch: Nils Lundkvist

The New York Rangers announced the long awaited signing of Nils Lundkvist in June. The 21 year-old defenseman had an amazing SHL career and is ready to make the transition to the NHL.

This past season, Lundkvist was recognized as the Salming Trophy winner as the SHL’s best Swedish born defenseman. In 52 games, he notched 32 points which included 14 goals. That the most goals from a defenseman as a 21 year-old player or younger in the league’s history.

It’s numbers like that which have many believing he will be a lock to make the lineup as a third pairing right defenseman and get some PP time. The Blueshirts also signed Swedish veteran Patrik Nemeth to partner up with him and ease the transition.

“The plan is to be ready for training camp when it starts. I am going to stay home and train and do my best to be as ready as I can be,” Lundkvist said this summer. “It’s a bright future in New York and hopefully I can be a part of that too.”

Braden Schneider

Braden Schneider Rangers rookie
Braden Schneider signs ELC (Vaughn Ridley -Getty Images)

At 6-2 and 210 pounds, Braden Schneider plays a physical brand of hockey. He was highly regarded by Jeff Gorton who admitted he tried to trade up several times to draft him and was ultimately successful. After making a deal with the Calgary Flames, the Blueshirts chose him 19th overall in 2020.

The 19 year-old had an amazing 2021 as he won Gold with Team Canada at the World Championships with head coach Gerard Gallant. He was also the WHL’s top defender after scoring 27 points in 22 games.

Lundkvist appears to be already behind Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba on the team’s depth chart for right defensemen. Schneider is another top righty defenseman prospect and drawing a lot of attention as well. The two could very well battle it out for the spot in training camp.

Of course, don’t rule out a move to the left side if he impresses.

Will Cuylle

The New York Rangers signed Will Cuylle to an entry-level contract that begins this season. They drafted Cuylle in the second round of the 2020 draft 60th overall. The pick was acquired from the L.A. Kings in exchange for Lias Andersson.

Last season, the 19 year-old played in 18 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL. He registered 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 points in those contests.

When he was drafted, the scouting reports pegged him as hard-nosed power forward who likes to stick up for his teammates. That was the case in Hartford where he racked up 26 penalty minutes in his brief stint.

With Chris Drury looking to keep a pipeline of hard-to-play against forwards stocked, seeing what Cuylle can do for the team in camp will be something to watch closely.

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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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