The New York Rangers made big moves in the 2017 NHL Free Agency and in the 2017 NHL Draft. Come September, they will be welcoming a lot of new guys to the ice, hoping they fit right in with the flow of the team to give them the extra edge they need. The Rangers prove year after year to be an elite playoff contending team, but each season something is missing to get them all the way. Will these moves push the team that much further? What can we expect from these new additions?
Deangelo is a defenseman that was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes, through a trade for Derek Stepan, who is known to have an offensive edge. This alone is great for the Rangers because they have not had someone with that description in a very long time. Currently, Brady Skjei, a defenseman who had no trouble finding the net, is the closest thing they have; now there’s someone on another line with a similar style. The issue with Deangelo is that for a defenseman, he needs to step up his defense. He is young and his body will mature which will add strength, but skill has to be developed as well. The high-risk of the Stepan trade for a potential high-reward is something only time can tell.
Kevin Shattenkirk: The Player Everyone Wanted, But Nobody Thought They Would Get. When this deal was finalized a simultaneous, unanimous “YES!” was shouted by Rangers fan everywhere. Aside from the Shattenkirk deal being amazing and wholesome, he is the type of defenseman that the Rangers need. He is both an offensive defenseman, and a shot suppressor. Hand in hand with his shot suppressing skills, he doesn’t allow the other team to have the puck, and is elite in power-play scoring (which will fit him in nicely with the Rangers). Shattenkirk and McDonough will most probably be partnered together then grouped with Skjei and Brendan Smith, which makes for an intense line and an aggressive power play. This addition helps the team dynamic by not forcing nearly as much pressure of McDonough, or any of the defensemen for that matter. Shatty can’t wait to be playing for his childhood team, and they have most definitely been waiting for him.
Andersson is still a Rangers’ prospect but will be competing for a full roster spot during training camp. He was drafted 7th overall which was a surprise to most fans and critics, but has proved himself as a great player. Andersson has played in the Swedish Hockey League for three years and just recently played in the World Junior Summer Showcase and had goals in each game. Although it isn’t often that a player drafted in the same year as a season to play in that season, the Rangers are at a loss of two centers, Oscar Lindberg from the expansion draft and Derek Stepan to the Arizona Coyotes. Andersson would not be able to fill the void that that the aforementioned players left but he could develop into a player that could be used for quick power goals.
With Antti Raanta being traded to the Arizona Coyotes, the Rangers acquired Pavelec as a backup for The King of New York, Henrik Lunqvist. Pavelec ay get more playing time than most back up goalies considering Lunqvist is 35 years old, and as always the Rangers are hopeful that they will be in the playoffs. They need to make sure that he can make it through a full playoff run at full strength. While Pavelec shouldn’t expect a full schedule, he will be the back up the Rangers need to make sure The King is at his best at all times.