The New York Rangers have recalled forwards Jonny Brodzinski and Adam Edström, according to a team announcement. In a corresponding move, the Rangers have reassigned Connor Mackey to their AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.
The recalls of these two forwards is likely an indication that the Rangers expect to be without Kaapo Kakko for some time. Kakko left last night’s game with an injury and no more detail has been released in an official capacity beyond that.
The recall of Brodzinski is no surprise seeing as he appears to have cemented himself as the Rangers’ first-choice call-up over the last few years. A blisteringly hot start with the Wolf Pack (25 points in just 16 games) has further entrenched him in that role, and as a result, he’s likeliest to step into coach Peter Laviolette’s roster in place of Kakko.
The 30-year-old forward offers versatility (he can play both center and wing) and abundant energy. He’s also regarded as a high-character player, as he is in his third season as captain in Hartford. Since November 15th, Brodzinski has scored 13 points in six games, so maybe with another chance to play in the NHL Brodzinski will be able to chip in some offense.
As for Edström, his recall gives the Rangers a different flavor of forward to potentially plug into their lineup. While Brodzinski is undersized and relies on his work ethic and compete level to succeed at the game’s highest level, Edström boasts rare size at his center position.
The six-foot-eight Swedish pivot was a sixth-round pick of the Rangers at the 2019 draft who is currently in his rookie AHL campaign after a lengthy stint developing with the SHL’s Rögle BK. He has posted decent numbers in Hartford so far (nine points in 18 games) though one does wonder if he’s truly ready for NHL minutes.
Since the Rangers called up two forwards, it is somewhat notable that they passed over veteran Alex Belzile in favor of Edström. Belzile, a former AHL captain, currently ranks second on Hartford in scoring with 18 points in 18 games. He scored at a 16-goal, 37-point pace with the Montreal Canadiens late last season while playing fourth-line minutes, and has experience playing wing, center, and in the NHL playoffs.
But rather than call up Belzile, who may have offered a somewhat similar package of skills as Brodzinski, the Rangers have opted for a player with rare size in Edström, giving the prospect the chance to potentially make his NHL debut.