With a very good core, the New York Rangers finished with 102 points, for 4th in the Metropolitan division, making the playoffs. After getting by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, the Rangers fell to the unlikely winners, the Ottawa Senators. In the offseason, the Rangers unloaded Derek Stepan, but signed Kevin Shattenkirk. Here\’s a full look at their offseason.
Notable additions: D Kevin Shattenkirk, C David Desharnais, G Ondrej Pavelec, D Anthony DeAngelo, F Paul Carey, F Dan Catenacci.
Notable subtractions: C Derek Stepan, G Antti Raanta, F Oscar Lindberg, D Dan Girardi, F Brandon Pirri, D Kevin Klein, D Adam Clendening, F Tanner Glass.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey – Kevin Hayes – Rick Nash
Michael Grabner – J.T. Miller – Pavel Buchnevich
Matt Puempel – David Desharnais – Jesper Fast
Zibanejad is a solid 2nd line center, but is one the worst first line centers in the league, if not the worst. Same goes for Kreider. Zuccarello is the only first liner on the team, unless Nash can regain his old form. Vesey is in his second year, and I expect a lot more than 27 points out of him. Grabner had a great 2016-17, and is looking for another one in 2017-18. That fourth line is horrible except for Desharnais. Paul Carey and Dan Catenacci are the extra forwards.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Ryan McDonagh – Kevin Shattenkirk
Marc Staal – Brady Skjei
Brendan Smith – Anthony DeAngelo
If the Rangers play that first pairing, then that can win them games. Skjei was very overlooked in his rookie season. DeAngelo was traded for Stepan and Raanta, and can make the team this year. If he doesn\’t make the team and is sent to the AHL, Nick Holden will take his place. If he does make the team, Holden and Steven Kampfer will be the extra defensemen.
Replaces Raanta with Pavelec is really bad since Lundqvist is injury prone. Pavelec is not a good goalie. They should\’ve targeted another goalie in free agency like Brian Elliott.
The Rangers still have a good team. But after a bad offseason and the rest of the Metro rising, I predict the Rangers will miss the playoffs in 2017-18.