Rangers Preseason Notes
Rangers Preseason Game 1 Prospect Notes
Ladies & Gentleman hockey is back! I couldn’t be more excited for this Rangers team to finally hit the ice after a dreadful off season. I fully plan on writing weekly blog posts that give a little bit of a preview for what’s going to be going on with the team that week, and then I will also be doing my game reactions like I did with the playoff run last season. For the Preseason I won’t be diving too much into the games though, rather the players fighting for a roster spot.
In the Rangers 4-1 preseason win against the Islanders Monday the Rangers had some returning players suit up for the game like newly named Rangers captain Jacob Trouba, forwards: Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreirder, Kappo Kakko, Filip Chytil, Ryan Reaves, and defenseman K’Andre Miller. But like I said above we are focused on the prospects fighting for an opening night roster spot. The 3 players I will be focusing on today are Jimmy Vesey, Zac Jones, & Brennan Othmann who all saw some ice time in the Monday night win.
We’ll start off with the prospect who got the scoring started for the Rangers Jimmy Vesey. Now for those of you who have been following the Rangers for a couple seasons this player should raise an eyebrow. Vesey was drafted by the Predators in 2012 but continued playing in college. Once he finished his college career he informed the Predators he was not interested in signing with them and wanted to choose his destination, which any collegian can do four years out from when they are drafted. That year he signed with the Rangers and played 3 seasons with the team until his production declined and he then began hopping from team to team, until this off season where he was unable to find a team to sign him. The Rangers were able to offer Vesey a professional try out, so these preseason games are pretty much the only way this dude is going to be getting paid. Which I have to say the 29 year old is off to a great start. Vesey was able to score a power play goal just about half way through the first period on a shot along the goalline off of Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov and into the net. Vesey is going to have to continue the scoring in these next couple of preseason games, he looked great out on the ice winning 50% of his face offs & firing off 4 shots on goal, hopefully he is able to continue the on ice production otherwise I could very easily see Vesey hitting the open market before the beginning of the regular season.
Next up I wanna talk about Rangers defensive prospect Zac Jones. Jones was drafted 68th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.He won an NCAA championship with UMass in 2021 prior to signing his professional contract with the Rangers in April 2021. He has seen some brief ice time over the past season with the Rangers but it has been very limited. The 21 year old was paired up on a defensive line with Braden Schneider tonight and was able to net a wrist shot from the point that deflected off of Islanders forward Anders Lee. Jones was tied for blocks tonight with 2, and led all defenseman in 4 shots on goal, and came in second for time on ice for the defense with 20:33. I honestly feel like Jones will be in the rotation a decent amount this year. He’s relatively familiar with this style of play and has good chemistry already with some of the current defenseman.
Finally we come to Brennan Othmann, this dude is an absolute stud. He was drafted by the Rangers 16th overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and played last season in the OHL for the Flint Firebirds. He recorded 50 goals & 47 assists (97 points) in 66 regular season games and an additional 24 points in 19 playoff games for the Firebirds. He was also on the gold medal winning team Canada in the 2022 world junior championship. Othmann came to play tonight, recording 2 assists. First being on the Vesey power play goal & the second on a short handed 2 – 1 break away with K’Andre Miller. He wasn’t as successful in the faceoff category recording a 33% but the team chemistry he already has is very evident. I feel like Othmann is one of those players that you can just throw out onto the ice with anyone and he will be able to make the plays your team needs to win. I do not see Othmann going down to the minors, he in my opinion will for sure will be on the opening night roster.
Game 1 is in the books and again I am really excited to see how this roster will come together. Expect to see newly acquired Vincent Trocheck get some ice time in the next preseason game, and other familiar faces like Panarin & Lafrenière. I feel like those 3 will be on a line together. The Rangers came into this preseason game ranked 5th by the NHL Network and I do not see this roster dropping out of the top 5 any time soon no matter what prospects make the roster.