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New York Rangers: An Evaluation of Personnel Changes, Key Players, and Playoff Chances Ahead of the 2023-24 Season

Beginning August 1, NHL.com will take a daily look at one team in the league as they head into the 2023-24 season in the 32 in 32 series. The two-part inventory consists of an analysis of the most important personnel changes, the key players, the strengths and weaknesses, the playoff chances and a separate player portrait.

In this issue: New York Rangers

The New York Rangers’ list of departures includes some prominent names, and yet the Big Apple team is no weaker than they were at the start of last season. Especially the showpiece, the defensive, got an upgrade in depth and, with a goalkeeper who is probably again fabulous, should also be the decisive factor for success in 2023/24. In 2022-23, Rangers finished third in the Metropolitan Division with a match record of 47-22-13 and 107 points.

The main changes in the squad

Although the New York Rangers were able to keep their top players at first glance, there are expected departures, especially among the last-minute additions of the past season, which still hurt. With Vladimir Tarasenko, Rangers’ strongest offensive right winger is leaving the franchise. His 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) from 31 games will be missed by New York. The unrestricted free agent went to the Ottawa Senators.

Another talented right winger left the Big Apple in Patrick Kane. Like Tarasenko, Kane also became a UFA. However, he has not yet joined a new club.

Video: NYR@NJD, Sp2: Kane hits the target

On the other side, Rangers have strengthened with goalkeeper Jonathan Quick who will replace Jaroslav Halak as Igor Shesterkin’s backup. Defense was upgraded with Erik Gustafsson, who played for the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs in the preseason.

Blake Wheeler, an experienced attacker, was recruited for the offensive. After twelve years with the Winnipeg Jets, he is looking for a new challenge at the end of his career. New York also relied on experience for the squad with the signings of Nick Bonino and Tyler Pitlick.

The biggest change at Rangers, however, hasn’t been in the playing staff. New York have secured the services of a new coach in Peter Laviolette, tasked with putting the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together to form a successful team.

[Ähnliches: Fox ragt in der Defensive und Offensive der Rangers heraus]

key players

Adam Fox is one of the best NHL defensemen for the Rangers on the ice. The Blueliner must continue to excel to give Rangers any chance of a successful season. At the same time, Shesterkin needs to confirm the strong performances between the posts in order to give the defense the necessary security.

On offense, all eyes should be on Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, who were the top scorers in Mannhatten last season. Together they came up with 183 points. It will also depend on which right wingers Rangers put alongside the top strikers and whether that weakness can be masked.

Video: Zibanejad’s top 5 goals of the 2022/23 season

Players from DACH



The strength of the Rangers also lies in their own zone in 2023/24. With strong defenders and a fantastic goalkeeper, they managed to concede just 219 goals in 2022/23. Only the Dallas Stars (218), the Carolina Hurricanes (213) and the Boston Bruins (177) were more solid defensively. The depth of the defense was further improved by the further reinforcements on the defensive with Pitlick and Gustafsson.

potential for improvement

A clear weakness of the Rangers can be found on the right wing position. Without Tarassenko, Kaapo Kakko has to slip into the role of number one winger. At 22 and a 2022/23 season with 40 points, the step is quite big and the chances of success are at least questionable. Whether Wheeler can continue to deliver top performances at the age of 36 is also questionable.

Video: TBL@NYR: Kakko extends Rangers lead

Promising Talents

Kakko and Alexis Lafrenière stand out among the talented players. Both are fully established in the NHL, but should still have some potential for development. Especially when looking at the coming season, the attackers drawn first in 2020 and second in 2019 are the great hope for the Rangers.

On the defensive, the talent focus rests on Braden Schneider, who should be looking for more responsibility after his first full NHL season. The other talents will still need some time before they succeed in making the leap into a mature Rangers squad.

playoff chances

Rangers will make the playoffs if Shesterkin has another cracking season and two attacking talents, Kakko and Lafreniere, take the next step. In principle, the Rangers’ chances of making the playoffs should be quite high, especially given their strong defense and offensive potential.

2023-08-20 13:46:43
#Defensive #key #success #barely #weakened #Rangers

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