Predicting the Next 5 New York Rangers Prospects to Arrive in the NHL
The New York Rangers have a number of talented, young prospects in the AHL.
Many of these youngsters are on the cusp of being ready for the NHL. Their varied skill sets could benefit the Rangers greatly.
There aren't many spots available on the Rangers roster, but there is certainly room for improvement. Any of the next five players could provide the team with a jolt.
Read on to find out which five players will be the next to arrive in the NHL.
Danny Kristo is absolutely dominating the AHL.
He's scored 10 goals and added seven assists in 19 games. What's more impressive is that this is his first professional season.
Kristo is ready for the NHL—he just needs the opportunity.
The Rangers struggle to score goals. So far this season, they average just 2.2 goals per game, which is 25th in the league. Should the Rangers decide they need to add some more punch in the lineup, then Kristo is the guy to call.
He has a great shot, is a terrific playmaker and always seems to be around the puck. Kristo offers much more than players like Benoit Pouliot or Taylor Pyatt.
It would be shocking if Kristo doesn't get called up this season. He's ready, and he almost certainly will have a full-time spot next season.
The Rangers could use more toughness throughout the lineup.
You're not going to find many tougher than Dylan McIlrath.
The 6'5", 215-pound defenseman has an incredible 111 penalty minutes in just 21 games this season.
Remarkably, though, he's plus-one this season, and last year he was plus-seven. Despite his toughness, he's responsible defensively.
McIlrath has a lot of potential, and it seems like he's finally realizing it. He provides the type of bite that teams need to win.
It would not be surprising to see him get a chance this season, especially against the more physical teams. In essence, he's a potentially better version of Justin Falk.
McIlrath will probably having a regular role next season, but he could play an important part on this year's team.
The Rangers have a lot of depth at center. They currently have five centers on the roster, with either Brad Richards or Brian Boyle shifting to wing.
So it won't be easy for Oscar Lindberg to find a spot. However, he's too good to just leave in the AHL.
The Swedish pivot has scored 10 points in his first 21 games in North America. This is a year removed from dominating the Swedish Elite League, where he scored 17 goals and had 25 assists. He was also awarded the Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy, which is the Swedish equivalent of the Conn Smythe.
He's not the biggest player, but Lindberg projects as a two-way center that can play in every situation. At his best, he could settle in as a second-line center.
The Rangers will have to find room for Lindberg, whether it is this year or next. He is oozing with talent and should be a mainstay in New York.
Conor Allen almost made the team out of camp.
It won't be long before he's back in New York.
The smooth-skating defenseman impressed Alain Vigneault, who spoke highly of the youngster to Rick Carpiniello of the Journal News:
The player who really caught our attention was Conor Allen. He, I wasn’t in Traverse City but he didn’t really catch attention but as soon as he stepped on the ice with us he was really good. Good stick, good percentage plays. Basically the job we had available is that seventh spot and he is a young guy that needs to play. Hartford is an hour and a half away and is an easy call up if we need him.
Allen is big at 6'2", and he plays a steady game. He won't wow you with his skill, but he won't make many mistakes, either.
In his first professional season with the Wolf Pack, Allen has scored three goals and notched three assists in 21 games.
The sixth defensive spot is up for grabs now, as John Moore, Michael Del Zotto and Justin Falk have all rotated in and out of the lineup. Should the Rangers want to try something different, looking to Allen might not be a bad idea.
Marek Hrivik is not known for his defensive play.
What he is known for, however, is his explosive shot and his ability to put the puck in the net.
He's enjoyed success in the AHL, scoring 26 points in 40 games last season, and nine points in 19 games this year.
Hrivik dominated juniors, notching 70 points in his final season. That's the kind of potential he has if he can round out his game by improving his skating and defensive awareness.
He has enough offensive talent to stick in the league. If anything, he would be an upgrade over Benoit Pouliot.