The New York Rangers’ have had significant shake-ups to the core of the team with the departure of Derek Stepan and the acquisition of both Mika Zibanejad last season, and Kevin Shattenkirk in the latest off-season. These changes pave the way for even more minor alterations to the rest of the line-up with opportunities for young Rangers to steal a spot in the opening-night lineup provided they perform in this year’s training camp.
While the Rangers’ latest draft picks Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil will be under a certain spotlight as the highest profile young players at camp, players like Ryan Gropp, Sean Day, and Anthony DeAngelo are among the new, unseen young Rangers with a significant chance to take a roster spot with a good performance.
Day was selected #81st overall in the 2016 draft by the Blueshirts and he performed incredibly well during the last Rangers training camp and while the Rangers’ brass may rightfully think that at 19 years old he needs time to mature in the minors.
Day’s head coach during his time with the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL praises his “positioning and his ability to defend and his awareness away from the puck.” Both are critical skills to hone at only 19 years old, and Day expressed his own hopes for this season in an interview with NYRangers.com earlier this summer.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be in the NHL. This year, you have the experience of being there at least one time. I think just going into it, I’m more prepared and more ready with trying to impress… “
The 21-year old, is entering professonal play for sure this season, but his performance in both training camp and preseason will determine if he takes a detour from his hopeful NHL campaign with the Hartford Wolfpack in the AHL. Gropp was selected #41st overall in the 2015 draft by the Rangers as they keyed-in on his excellent two-ability.
After a slow start to his last season with his WHL club, the Seattle Thunderbirds, he rebounded and posted personal-career highs in the league as he bounced between wing and center. This stand will tell Rangers’ fans and management a lot about where to project him as he gets more used to playing with NHL caliber players in this stint.
Out of Rangers prospects Gropp has had reasonable amount of time to mature, but his schedule in making it to the NHL is still in question. Rangers management will be sure to keep track of him this training camp/preseason to determine if he could perhaps steal a bottom-6 role in the 2017-2018 season.
DeAngelo is the only of these players that was not drafted by the team. The 21-year old, right-handed D-man has notable NHL experience with the Arizona Coyotes in the 2016 season. He posted 14 points in 39 games, and though many suggest he needed the rightful time he spent in the AHL with Coyotes organization, Rangers’ brass will be hoping that he has matured enough to offer a reliable presence in the 6th/7th D-man role.
DeAngelo has bounced around the league substantially already, being drafted by the Tampa Lightning in the #1st round of thee 2014 draft. He was later traded to the Coyotes, before making his way to the Blueshirts in the stand-out trade of the 2017 off-season that saw Derek Stepan and Anti Raanta make their way out west.
The full Rangers’ training camp roster:
Lias Andersson, Pavel Buchnevich, Paul Carey, Daniel Catenacci, Adam Chapie, Filip Chytil, David Desharnais, Andrew Desjardins, Bobby Farnham, Jesper Fast, Steven Fogarty, Gabriel Fontaine, Tim Gettinger, Michael Grabner, Ryan Gropp, Kevin Hayes, Scott Kosmachuk, Robin Kovacs, Chris Kreider, Dawson Leedahl, Vinni Lettieri, JT Miller, Rick Nash, Boo Nieves, Matt Puempel, Ty Ronning, Cole Schneider, Malte Stromwall, Adam Tambellini, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello.
Alexei Bereglazov, Brandon Crawley, Sean Day, Tony DeAngelo, John Gilmour, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Steven Kampfer, Brenden Kotyk, Ryan McDonagh, Vince Pedrie, Neal Pionk, Brady Skjei, Brendan Smith, Marc Staal, Sergey Zborovskiy
Alexander Georgiev, Brandon Halverson, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Nell, Ondrej Pavelec