The moves continued for the New York Rangers Sunday as they added some depth to the blueline in Fredrik Claesson.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 1, 2018
The 25-year-old defenseman played in a career-high 64 games for the Ottawa Senators in the 2017-18 season. In that span, he scored seven points, one goal, six assists, and was a minus-seven. He has the ability to play on both the left and right side of the ice.
Claesson has only seen action in 113 career games, all with Ottawa. He also appeared in 14 games during the Senators playoff run in 20116-17 when they eliminated the Blueshirts.
Coming into 2018-19, the defense is an area where the Rangers needed to address. In the NHL entry draft, they took six defensemen, two in the first round. Now with the addition of Claesson, the depth just gets built upon. Claesson will join the likes of Neal Pionk, John Gilmour and Tony DeAngelo who will be fighting for a roster spot come training camp. He might have an advantage over the likes of Gilmour considering the experience is there, and he has put up respectable numbers over the last two years.
Elite Prospects provides a description of what Claesson’s game consists of:
“A solid stay-at-home defenseman. Claesson plays a simple and smart game without taking any risks. Has a pretty good shot, but does not use it too often. Could use some work on his puck skills.”
The Rangers currently only have one stay-at-home defenseman in Marc Staal, but over the last few years, he has changed that. The addition of Claesson now gives the Blueshirts’ something they have not had since they bought out Dan Girardi.
It’s only a one-year-contract, meaning there is little risk. But the reward has the potential to be significant.