The Rangers are in a bit of an interesting goalie situation at the moment. With the recent call up of heir apparent Igor Shesterkin, they are currently carrying three goaltenders on the big club. With one in the press box every night, and only two nets at practice, many think this problem will be resolved soon with an inevitable trade of 23 year old , Alexander Georgiev.
Since Shesterkin has been called up to the big club, Hartford still has Adam Huska and now Tom McCollum. Huska, who is having a good year in the AHL, and even has a chance to at some point make the big club. McCollum is not someone that many see as the answer in Hartford, but more of a stop gap to take up some games because of the Shesterkin call up. The Rangers with their embarrassment of riches at the goaltender position, should get 2016 draft pick Tyler Wall signed to his ELC and in Hartford for next year. When Georgiev is eventually moved, and the Rangers do (hopefully) bring Wall in, next year would have two very solid tandems in both the NHL (Shesterkin and Lundqvist), and in the AHL (Huska and Wall).
Who Is Tyler Wall?
Tyler Wall was the 174th overall pick by the Rangers back in 2016. As per a recent prospect report on Wall:
“Tyler Wall made 25 saves and earned a win on Jan. 10 against RIT. The Rangers’ sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft earned his 52nd career collegiate win, breaking Dwayne Roloson’s UMass-Lowell record for wins by a goaltender since the school began playing in Division 1. Wall has posted a 12-3-4 record, along with a 1.81 GAA, a .941 SV%, and 2 SO in 19 appearances with UMass-Lowell this season. Wall is tied for second in the NCAA in SV%, ranks sixth in the NCAA in GAA, and is tied for 10th in the NCAA in wins in 2019-20.”Source: NYR PR Dept
Wall as you can see, is having a fantastic season at UMass-Lowell. He can be a very successful goaltender at the AHL, and possibly even at the NHL level.
The Possible Issue With Wall:
Wall was drafted in 2016 by the Rangers, and now is in his final year at UMass-Lowell. Since it is four years since the Rangers drafted Wall, he must be signed by August 15th, or he becomes a free agent (same situation that happened with both Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey). If the Rangers do not sign Wall by the August 15th date, he is free to go wherever he would like. It would be very wise for the Rangers to lock Wall into his ELC as soon as the NCAA season is over, and have him in Hartford next year with Huska.
When Lundqvist’s contract is up after next year, the Rangers will have some options to be the backup to Shesterkin. If Wall or Huska perform well enough in Hartford, they can get the call up to be the guy behind Shesterkin in 2021-2022. The Rangers also have 39th overall pick in 2018 Olof Lindbom in Sweden that may be ready to make the leap over by then. The Rangers (unlike most NHL franchises) will still have all of these goaltenders to play with even when (yes, when) they move on from Georgiev in the next few weeks.