All the beat writers have announced the Rangers roster for the pre-season opener in Albany tomorrow against the basically bankrupt Devils. If you haven’t already seen it, here it is:
Goal: Henrik Lundqvist, Cam Talbot
Defense: Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, Brendan Bell, Steve Eminger, Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath
Forwards: Sean Avery, Brandon Dubinsky, Dale Weise, Andre Deveaux, John Mitchell, Erik Christensen, Artem Anisimov, J.T. Miller, Christian Thomas, Ryan Bourque, Shane McColgan, Carl Hagelin
My first impression is one of excitement. The team going head to head with the Devils tomorrow has a ton of young talent on show with Christian Thomas, Carl Hagelin, JT Miller, Ryan Bourque and Tim Erixon. However, the young talent can relax because they’ll be playing in front of Henrik Lundqvist (at least to begin with) while there is also plenty of NHL experience among the skaters with Dan Girardi, Brandon Dubinsky, Sean Avery and Artem Anisimov leading the way for the veterans.
It’s when looking at the ‘veterans’ where it gets most exciting as even the veterans in this line-up (Bell, Eminger and Mitchell withstanding, to an extent) are some of the young Rangers core emphasising just how young and talented the Rangers franchise is from top to bottom.
Line’s would be hard to gauge and probably isn’t worth over analysing at this stage because the majority of the roster haven’t played together before. Dubinsky and Anisimov for example may be teamed together as they have been previously but may be split to provide some veteran leadership for some of the kids. Regardless though, there’s a ton of exciting possibilities to look forward to for tomorrow’s game.
A few players to watch: Watch out for Carl Hagelin and his skating ability while the clock really starts ticking for players such as Dale Weise, Sean Avery, Erik Christensen and Brendan Bell even though it ticks in different ways for each player. Weise and Christensen in particular are playing for their immediate NHL futures.
Quick note; as Andrew Gross acknowledges in his blog the first cuts from camp will be made after the Friday pre-season game in Newark, against the Devils once again.