All the focus at the 2020 draft for the New York Rangers was on Alexis Lafreniere, the first-overall pick. But 59 selections later, the team took another standout CHL forward, selecting Will Cuylle from the Windsor Spitfires 60th overall. After spending this year in the minor leagues with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Cuylle has agreed to terms on his three-year, entry-level contract with the Rangers.
The 6’3″ Cuylle only turned 19 in February, but he’s already off to quite the start for Hartford. He has five points in 13 games but is third on the team in penalty minutes with 26 and got his first AHL fight under his belt last month. It’s not that Cuylle is an enforcer (far from it), but the big winger is more than willing to engage physically, using his size and strength to lean on defenders. That has even been evident while playing against opponents sometimes a decade his senior in the AHL, a league he wouldn’t even be eligible to play in if this were a normal year.
With the OHL still suspended, Cuylle can continue to play with the Wolf Pack and test himself at the professional level. Unfortunately, given he doesn’t turn 20 until February 2022, he actually would need to go back to the OHL for next season if he fails to make the Rangers roster. That’s quite an odd development path, but perhaps Cuylle can take some of the lessons he has learned this season to dominate for Windsor and play an even more offensive role.