New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is finished with rehab and back to full strength entering training camp.
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk had a rough season last year, to say the least. He struggled through a knee injury for most of the season that ultimately ended his season in January. He also struggled to keep up with faster forwards while not being at full strength and as a result was not effective defensively.
But he expects to change that with his hometown team in his second year.
The New Rochelle product, who tallied five goals and 23 points in 46 games last season, told Matt Calamia of the Rangers official website that he’s back to full strength.
“The rehab process is pretty much done. We’re just in the full swing of summer workouts. I’m doing everything on my left leg that I’m doing on my right. As far as rehab goes, that ended mid-June, and really it’s been a full month of really just going full bore, which is nice.”
He’ll be asked to take on a larger leadership role this season, due to two primary reasons. One of them is that he is the only player who has played under David Quinn, who was hired to replace Alain Vigneault. Quinn was an assistant coach while Shattenkirk played at Boston University. Shattenkirk has called him a firm but fair coach.
Secondly, he is the second most experienced defenseman on the team, behind only Marc Staal. The team traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh, while there’s no guarantee that Brendan Smith makes the roster after a disastrous season.
Shattenkirk has always been a very effective offensive player, recording 73 goals and 321 points over his career. He has at least 40 points in every season besides his injury-shortened 2017-18 year and the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
While not a traditional lockdown defender, he is passable enough defensively to allow his offense to shine.
He’ll be looking to have a healthy bounce-back season in 2018-19.