It’s rare that a pair of first rounders picked by the same from the latest draft crack the NHL roster right away but that could be the case for the Rangers. Head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters, including Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News, that both Lias Andersson (7th overall) and Filip Chytil (21st overall) could both break camp with the team to start the season. New York hasn’t really replaced Derek Stepan down the middle and both youngsters are natural centers. There will also be an opening on the roster for a few weeks thanks to winger Jesper Fast’s hip surgery this summer that will have him out for the first few weeks of the season. Andersson and Chytil can each play nine NHL games before burning the first year of their contracts.
More from Manhattan:
- The team signed David Desharnais with the idea that he can hold down the third line center spot despite struggling considerably last season, notes Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post. Although he is only two years removed from a 48 point campaign, he managed just 14 in 49 games between Montreal and Edmonton last year. From a depth perspective, the team may be better off starting with him as a fourth liner that can move up when injuries arise or someone struggles since he wasn’t able to hold down a full-time top-nine spot in 2016-17 with either team.
- The back issues that plagued rookie winger Pavel Buchnevich in his rookie season are a thing of the past, writes Newsday’s Steve Zipay. The Russian got off to a strong start despite playing through the pain but by the time the second half rolled around, he spent most of his time on the fourth line or in the press box. If he’s able to hold down a top-nine spot on the wing, that could also free the team up to try J.T. Miller down the middle as well.