Will Cuylle replaced for AHL All-Star Game, returning to New York Rangers?

Will Cuylle
Will Cuylle ready for action (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

Will Cuylle is not going to attend the AHL All-Star Classic this coming weekend raising speculation that the New York Rangers will be recalling the young forward.

The Hartford Wolf Pack will face the Providence Bruins tonight at the XL Center and Cuylle is scheduled to play in that contest. That eliminates the possibility of an injury at this time.

Update: Per source, Cuylle is in the Wolf Pack’s lineup

Per AHL website:

The AHL also announced that Providence’s Vinni Lettieri, Hartford’s Will Cuylle, Laval’s Justin Barron and Coachella Valley’s Andrew Poturalski will be unavailable for the event.

The AHL’s All-Star Classic will be held at Place Bell in Laval on Sunday, February 5th, and Monday, February 6th. Cuylle earned the honors by recording 13 goals and 20 points in 40 games with the Wolf Pack, in his rookie season.

So the question needs to be asked, are the Rangers going to recall Cuylle for their first game back from the NHL All-Star Break against the Calgary Flames on February 6?

Will Cuylle replaced for AHL All-Star Game

Will Cuylle New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Cuylle, who will turn 21 on February 5, was impressive in his two game stint with the Rangers leading up to the break.

In his NHL debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 25 , he played just 5:49 of ice time and finished with a -1 rating. He did force a delay of game penalty in the third period but the Rangers eventually fell 3-2 in overtime.

His second game was on January 27 and it included his first NHL fighting major in a 4-1 win at home versus the Vegas Golden Knights. He registered a shot as well in 6:31 of ice time.

“He fought a tough guy but did really well,” Gerard Gallant said. “Good for him. Willy came up and played two games which is pretty exciting… [Keegan] Kolesar is a tough kid and I had him in Vegas… Good for [Cuylle], he showed up.”

There’s no doubt that the Rangers second-round pick in 2020 didn’t look out of place on the fourth line. He was undoubtedly a better fit there than Vitali Kravtsov, who is a skilled winger that belongs in the top-nine.

It’s also expected that Sammy Blais will return from his conditioning stint in time for Monday’s game as well. That will give the Rangers a full 23 man roster and eat into their accrued cap space for the trade deadline.

Which will open up the following question: Is a trade on the horizon?

The NHL Trade Deadline is set for March 3.

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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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