Training camp may be cut down to only 35 players, who will the New York Rangers invite?

By Forever Blueshirts
new york rangers training camp
Panarin (via NYR Instagram)

Elliotte Friedman discussed on his latest 31 Thoughts Podcast that the NHL may shorten training camps and limit exhibition games for this season. Additionally, he heard some news about what the NHL has in mind for the number of players teams can invite.

NHL will cut down training camp rosters

“You are not inviting 60 players to camp this year” Friedman began to explain. “I’ve heard talk they are going to cap it at 35.” The Sportsnet Insider also gave some insights as to when he thinks camps will begin. “You have the players show up for camp right after Christmas and you play for January 6th.”

All this lines up with what Nick Kypreos told me yesterday. “Maybe the players want Christmas with their families,” he said. “They’ll probably go in the last two weeks in January,” Kypreos predicted.

Confirmed 2020-21 New York Rangers Camp invites

The New York Rangers roster as listed on the team’s official website has 23 players. They are all expected to be there for the opening of training camps. Names in italics are on the bubble to make the big club.

At center (6): Mika Zibanejad, Ryan Strome, Filip Chytil, Brett Howden, Colin Blackwell and Kevin Rooney

On the wings (8): Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, Brendan Lemieux, Julien Gauthier, and Phil Di Giuseppe

On defense (7): Jacob Trouba, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Lindgren, Adam Fox, Jack Johnson, Brendan Smith, and Anthony Bitetto

In goal (2): Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev

new york rangers training camp
Kakko at camp (NYR Twitter)

Projecting the Rangers remaining camp invites

Based on all available information, here’s my projections for the additional 12 invites. Names in italics have the best chance of making the opening night roster.

  1. Libor Hajek (D)
  2. Tarmo Reunanen (D)
  3. K’Andre Miller (D)
  4. Brandon Crawley (D)
  5. Keith Kinkaid (G)
  6. Adam Huska (G)
  7. Morgan Barron (C)
  8. Anthony Greco (W)
  9. Jonny Brodzinski (C)
  10. Tim Gettinger (F)
  11. Patrick Khodorenko (C)
  12. Justin Richards (F)

Libor Hajek and Tarmo Reunanen are the two candidates on this list with a legit chance to make the team. Both players have been talked about on this website in recent days with Reunanen my favorite to make it.

RELATED: Tarmo Reunanen stands in the way of Libor Hajek

Two other notable players on this list are K’Andre Miller and Morgan Barron. Both are signed to ELC’s and their performance bonuses would make it harder for the Rangers to add them to an already loaded lineup with ELCs.

NHL may adopt taxi squads

Also of note, the NHL is talking about adopting taxi squads with players getting paid their AHL salary but getting NHL per diem.

A quick glance of players on the Rangers with two-way deals that fit the bill are as follows:

  1. Julien Gauthier
  2. Brett Howden
  3. Anthony Bitetto
  4. Phil Di Giuseppe
  5. Tim Gettinger
  6. Adam Huska
  7. Libor Hajek
  8. Tarmo Reunanen
  9. Anthony Greco
  10. Jonny Brodzinki
  11. Brandon Crawley
  12. K’ Andre Miller
  13. Morgan Barron
  14. Justin Richards
  15. Patrick Khodorenko

Note: Lafreniere, Kakko, Chytil, and Fox are also on two-way deals but I doubt would ever hit a taxi squad.

Other obvious taxis squad players would be Keith Kinkaid, Kevin Rooney, and Colin Blackwell. They all make less than the cap amount you are allowed to bury in the AHL.

(h/t: Puckpedia)

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Alexis Lafreniere jersey sale (NHL SHOP/FANATICS)