The New York Rangers have been looking for goal scoring all season and over the last six games have been served by their youth.
Through 17 games this season, 27 of the Rangers' 56 goals (48.2%) have been registered by players who are 25 years old or younger (Zibanejad – eight; Buchnevich – seven; Vesey – four; Hayes – three; Miller – three; Skjei – two).
— NYR Stats & Info (@NYRStatsInfo) November 9, 2017
When Rick Nash scored his fourth goal of the season on Wednesday night in helping the New York Rangers defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2, it was the Rangers 56th goal of the season. Yet Rick Nash is no longer the focus of the scoring for the Rangers anymore. The Rangers have a group of young guns that are taking over the team and the National Hockey League needs to be aware of it.
As per NYR Stats & Info Twitter account, out of the 56 goals scored this year by the Rangers, 27 of those goals have been scored by players who are 25-years-old or younger. That is 48.2 percent of all the goals the Rangers have netted. That number is surprising because head coach Alain Vigneault has not been known to have patience with many of the young players on the team.
The six young guns who were mentioned in this tweet are:
1. Mika Zibanejad: 24-years-old, 8 goals
Zibanejad scores against the Montreal Canadiens:
#Rangers Mika Zibanejad's one-time goal, cutting the @NYRangers' deficit to 1.
4-3 #NYRvsMTL #Hockey #Habs @CanadiensMTL #Montreal #NewYork pic.twitter.com/ilcwFk1Jdq
— Call Out News (@calloutnews) October 29, 2017
2. Pavel Buchnevich: 22-years-old, 7 goals
Buchnevich burns Zdeno Chara:
What a skilled goal by Pavel Buchnevich. Hey Zdeno Chara, you left your jock at the edge of the circle. 1-1 after Boston answers. #NYR pic.twitter.com/ik7ddellcB
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) November 9, 2017
3. Jimmy Vesey: 24-years-old, 4 goals
Vesey scores twice against the Bruins:
ICYMI (because it only took 29 seconds) see @19Vesey score twice in last night’s #NYR win! pic.twitter.com/ngKw2I6DPk
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 9, 2017
4. Kevin Hayes: 25-years-old, 5 goals
Hayes scores against the Blue Jackets to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead:
Rangers 1-0 on Kevin Hayes goal pic.twitter.com/Qeu3JmfLlB
— HighLight Hockey (@HILITINGHOCKEY) October 13, 2017
5. J.T. Miller: 24-years-old, 3 goals
Miller with the OT winner against the Lightning:
*Sam Rosen Voice* JT MILLER WINS IT IN OVERTIME!!! What a goal!! #NYR #NYRvsTBL pic.twitter.com/D62cQ5ptSq
— Blue Line Station (@BlueLineStation) November 3, 2017
6. Brady Skjei: 23-years-old, 3 goals
Skjei with the toe drag and goal against the Ottawa Senators.
Brady Skjei with a nice toe drag and snapshot for his 2nd goal after breaking up a 2 on 1 #Gophers pic.twitter.com/hvEW09d7XZ
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 29, 2017
Other then Mika Zibanejad, must of the young guns have had their struggles during this season yet have found a way to keep producing. It was only two weeks ago when Buchnevich found himself on the fourth line with limited ice time. He kept playing his game and when Alain Vigneault decided to shake the lines up again, Buchnevich found an opportunity and took advantage of it. He is now on the teams first line where he is getting plenty of scoring opportunities at even strength and on the power play.
Jimmy Vesey has been quiet on the ice lately and Vigneault has put him on the fourth line over the past several games. Vesey didn’t let this discourage him as he scored two goals in 29 seconds against the Bruins on Wednesday night. He should the coaching staff that regardless of where is in the lineup, he can be a productive contributor to the team.
The advantage these six players have is their age and ability to overcome whatever is thrown at them to get the job done. Doesn’t matter if Miller is at center or wing, he is going to score goals and set up the players on his line. Kevin Hayes has been winning face-offs this year at a higher percentage than last season and has also been scoring goals.
Mika Zibanejad is not just scoring goals, he is the leading scorer on the team. His power play skills have been on the forefront. He is a threat whenever he is on the ice, a superb passer and sniper, Zibanejad is the leader of the young guns.
On defense, Brady Skjei has shown that he has grown into an elite player in the NHL. Speed, scoring, and passing. The man is capable to do it all. He can play on the power play, penalty kill and be the player that can be relied on in the closing minutes of the game.
The young guns have a great future ahead of them and can only hope that along with their teammates, a championship will be won.