Trimming Down The Blueshirts: Projecting The 2021-22 Squad

After going 2-2 to begin the preseason, the New York Rangers are just about down to their final roster decisions. Their remaining two exhibition games will reveal a roster much closer to where the Rangers will be when they open up the regular season Wednesday, October 13 at Washington. One thing for certain is that the Rangers will roll out a tougher squad who will be much more difficult to play against, compared to the previous season. With this goal of getting tougher in the off-season; on paper and in these few exhibition tilts, that difference is already pretty clear to see. As of Today; we are down to 15 forwards, 9 defenseman, two goal tenders and below is what I anticipate to see as the starting lineup next week in Washington:

Forward line 1 : Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Alexis Lafreniere

Forward line 2 : Artemi Panarin – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko

Forward line 3 : Barclay Goodrow – Filip Chytil – Vitali Kravtsov

Forward line 4 : Sammy Blais – Kevin Rooney – Ryan Reaves

Current remaining extra forwards : Morgan Barron, Julien Gauthier, Dryden Hunt

Defensive pairing 1 : Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox

Defensive pairing 2 : K’andre Miller – Jacob Trouba

Defensive pairing 3 : Patrik Nemeth – Nils Lundkvist

Current remaining extra defensive skaters : Zac Jones, Libor Hajek, Jarred Tinordi

Maybe some of those predictions above at this point are not that shocking and could there be a slight change to those predictions? Of course. Is Chris Kreider a first line winger on a contending team? Will a young talent like Lafreniere easily transition to RW from the left side? Can Nils Lundkvist withstand the longer season and smaller rink size in the National league? This is all to be seen, but as mentioned earlier there is no doubt with the projected fourth line that this team will be a heavier team to match up with.

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