New York Rangers: Key Players to Watch at the Traverse City Tournament
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Jeff Gorton of the New York Rangers attends the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers will be participating in the Traverse City Tournament later this week. Here are a few must watch prospects.

Once again, the Rangers will be participating this year in the Traverse City tournament which showcases the league’s top prospects.

The Rangers will be joined by seven other teams, the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, and St. Louis Blues.

The tournament will run from Sept. 8 through Sept. 12, and you can find the whole Rangers roster here. Filip Chytil, one of the Rangers’ two first round picks, will most likely miss the tournament with a strained leg muscle.

With that said, five exciting prospects to keep an eye on during the tournament.


CHECK OUT the New York Rangers Team Center: News, Stats, Standings


Lias Andersson

Andersson, the 7th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, is already showing why he was such a great grab back in June.

In the World Junior Summer Showcase, the Swedish centerman put up four points in four games and showed his ability to score from anywhere on the ice. He’s a very good skater, a strong fore checker, and has great awareness making him an all-around player in all three zones.

Andersson is competing for a roster spot this fall, making this tournament all the more critical. The Rangers are getting their first look at how NHL-ready he is, and hopefully signs of an immediate impact player. For the present and future.

Sean Day

Day was the Rangers’ top draft pick in 2016, and only the 4th player in OHL history to be granted exemption status. He was allowed to enter the OHL Entry Draft at the age of 15.

The only other three players ever granted such exemption were John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, and Connor McDavid. That set the expectations sky-high for the young defenseman. However, he struggled in junior hockey and fell to the Blueshirts in the 3rd Round, looking like another steal for the team.

Day had 32 points in 58 games with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires and had five points through seven playoff games. He showed his great skills on the ice last year, as he is a very good skater that can keep up with opposing forwards. His shot from the point is getting better too.

Day played with Team USA during the World Juniors Summer Showcase, and will most likely start in Hartford. If he continues to improve, the left-handed defenseman could be joining Rangers Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei in the near future.


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Alexei Bereglazov

This 23-year old defenseman will be entering his first year in North America after spending the parts of the past four seasons in the KHL.

Bereglazov is not the type of defenseman who will blow you away with his shot from the point, or his point production as he scored 19 points through 60 games last season in the KHL.

Yet the Russian skates well and can keep up with fast forwards, something the Rangers need from their defensemen.

He knows how to clear the zone, and does a solid job of passing the puck up the ice to spring forwards up the ice. This is a critical part of Alain Vigneault’s system.

Bereglazov will also be competing for a spot on the roster this fall, so this tournament will be his chance to make his case to the Rangers.

Tim Gettinger

The Rangers 5th round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Gettinger had a breakout year in the OHL last year. He had 54 points in 62 games, and seven points in eleven playoff games for his junior team, the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds.

The 19-year old forward has the look of a classic power forward, as his 6-6 216 lbs frame allows him to get on the forecheck and dominate. Gettinger has a good shot as well and can be an effective forward on the penalty kill. It’s something Team USA had him do when he played for them during the World Junior Summer Showcase.

Gettinger will return to the OHL this season, but Rangers fans may not have to wait much longer for him to play at Madison Square Garden as the Blueshirts next versatile weapon.

Neal Pionk

An undrafted free agent out of Minnesota-Duluth, Pionk was signed by the Rangers back in May after putting up 34 points in 42 games of NCAA play.

An offensive defenseman, he’s an impressive skater with great puck-moving ability. Not only can he spring up forwards, but Pionk also beat teams with a shot from the point that is very refined.

Like the others, Pionk will be competing for a roster spot this fall. If he continues to work on suppressing shots and keeping opposing forwards away from the front of the net, it won’t be long before he comes to Broadway.


 NEXT: New York Rangers: Jesper is Back on the Ice, and Fast with a New Number 


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