Examine the five most likely candidates to make it to the Rangers roster

There may still be nearly two months until Rangers Take the ice to training camp, but the club’s unofficial business is basically completed since there isn’t much space left to work with. While the majority of the line-up is closed, there are a few locations that will see friendly competition between potential clients and new signings during the week-long camp in late September.

Players like Vitaly Kravtsov, Zach Jones and Nils Lundqvist are not considered potential anymore. Each of the three has 25 or fewer NHL games to his name and will be tasked with impressing Rangers management during training camp to maintain his standing with the organization. However, for the sake of this article, we will consider them as possibilities.

Whether they’re making the opening night roster straight or called up to fill it up due to injury, here are the top five potential players likely in the Rangers jersey this coming season:

1. Vitaly Kravtsov

After returning to Russia to play in the Continental Hockey League instead of accepting his NHL assignment from Rangers last season, Kravtsov signed a one-year, $875,000 contract for the 2022-23 season in what is presumably his last chance in the new. York. There’s a spot in the Rangers’ roster for Kravtsov to take; All the 22-year-old needs is to prove that he is worth it. Rangers would be in a great place if Kravsov could convincingly secure a place in the opening night squad – not only to reap the benefits of his offensive rise, but to maintain their hats.

Possible alignment spot: Right wing in the middle of the six

Vitaly Kravtsov and Zach Jones
Vitaly Kravtsov and Zach Jones
Getty Images Bill Gastron

2. Zach Jones

Since the Rangers traded Patrick Nemeth for Coyote and Justin Brown lost in free agency, they have a slot on the left side of their third defensive pairing, likely next to Braden Schneider. Aside from Lundkvist, Jones has the most NHL experience among the rest of the Rangers’ defensive prospects. In 12 games last season while playing amid injuries, Jones scored assists and was minus 7 with eight shots on target.

While head coach Gerard Gallant might prefer a veteran there, or perhaps a player bigger than Jones who is 5-foot-10, 175-pound, it would provide a great option to play a quarterback in the second play — his Massachusetts major.

Possible alignment spot: The left side of the third defensive pair

3. Will Coil

There is no doubt that Cuylle is physically ready to make the jump to the NHL. He plays with a physical superiority that Rangers can use in sixth place in the event of an injury or things getting stuck with players like Ryan Reeves, Sammy Blais or Dryden Hunt.

Coyle went through an adjustment period in his first season with Rangers’ Hartford Wolfpack in 2020-21, when he finished with two goals and three assists in 18 games. Rangers may want him to prove he can dominate at the AHL level before he joins the college club.

Possible alignment spot: bottom suite six

4. Brennan Usman

The difficult situation with Usman is that he cannot be assigned to the AHL. Since he won’t turn 20 until January 5, Usman could be reassigned back to the OHL or to the NHL roster. He’s coming off a breakout season, scoring 50 goals and 97 points in 66 games for the OHL Flint Firebirds. Osman also scored nine goals and 15 assists in 19 play-offs.

Possible alignment spot: Six center wing

Brennan Usman
Brennan Usman
Bill Gastron

5. Matthew Robertson

If there are concerns about Jones’ size, Robertson is certainly the other option, with a build ready for the NHL. Rangers have already had a look at Jones and Lundqvist, but Robertson has yet to make his NHL debut, and the organization might want to see what they have at 6-foot-4 and 201-pound.

Possible alignment spot: The left side of the third defensive pair

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