The Rangers have announced all of their cuts, and there may be a few surprises among these cuts. The following players were sent to the CT Whale:
Forwards: Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Tommy Grant, Jordan Hickmott, Tayler Jordan, Kale Kerbashian, Chad Kolarik, Chris McKelvie, Matt Rust, Scott Tanski, Kelsey Tessier, and Jason Wilson.
Defense: Lee Baldwin, Collin Bowman, Sam Klassen, Tomas Kundratek, Jyri Niemi, Jared Nightingale, and Pavel Valentenko.
Goalies: Chad Johnson, Jason Missiaen and Cameron Talbot.
I am a bit surprised to see that Scott Stajcer is still with the club, although that may be because he hasn’t played in a preseason game yet. The Rangers said they will be taking three goalies with them to Europe, and as of now, it looks like Stajcer is that lucky guy to be going.
As for the skaters, seeing Valentenko cut so quickly may be a surprise to some, but not to me. As some have said, he lacks the ability to make quick decisions, which hurt him in last night’s preseason game with the Devils. He still had footspeed issues, but the inability to make quick decisions is ultimately the reason why he was sent back. Tomas Kundratek was also cut, which is a bit disappointing as he was my dark horse to make the roster.
In addition to those sent to the Whale, the following players were returned to their respective CHL teams:
Forwards: Shane McColgan (Kelowna, WHL), J.T. Miller (Plymouth, OHL), Michael St. Croix (Edmonton, WHL), Christian Thomas (Oshawa, OHL), and Andrew Yogan (Peterborough, OHL).
Defense: Peter Ceresnak (Peterborough, OHL) and Samuel Noreau (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL).
The only player that really surprises me out of the CHL players cut is Miller. Miller had a very strong Traverse City tournament, and an equally strong preseason. There had been whispers that he might have earned a trip to Europe and a longer look with Rangers brass, but those whispers are now officially untrue.
This leaves the Rangers with 35 players in camp (21 forwards, 11 defense, 3 goalies):
Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Sean Avery, Ryan Bourque, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Andre Deveaux, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin, John Mitchell, Kris Newbury, Brandon Prust, Brad Richards, Mike Rupp, Derek Stepan, Andreas Thuresson, Dale Weise, Wojtek Wolski, Mats Zuccarello.
Defense: Brendan Bell, Stu Bickel, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Tim Erixon, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Blake Parlett, Michael Sauer, Marc Staal.
Goalies: Martin Biron, Henrik Lundqvist, Scott Stajcer.
The organization said they will take six forward line (18), five defense pairings (10) and three goalies to Europe, so expect one more forward and one more defenseman to get cut after Monday afternoon’s game with the Flyers.