The New York Rangers have recalled defenseman Libor Hajek from the Hartford Wolfpack, making for eight total defensemen.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 28, 2019
Hajek, 21, was in the midst of his first season with Hartford. In 58 games this season, he’s compiled five assists and is currently at a -26 with 36 penalties minutes.
The former second-round pick in 2016 was acquired in the Ryan McDonagh trade with Tampa Bay at last seasons trade deadline.
Since the Rangers already have seven defensemen, Hajek will most likely be used sparingly in their next game against Montreal. Consequently, another defenseman may get the night off from coach Quinn to give Hajek proper minutes.
There are 19 games left in this season, so this shouldn’t be the only call-up made. There are a few others that may get the nod as well, like Ryan Lindgren, Tim Gettinger and Ville Meskanen.
Hajek call-up comes as a surprise but can be a good thing. These last games of the season are a preview into what the Rangers would like. Getting the younger players to obtain NHL experience is the most important thing that could happen right now.
All eyes will be on him against Montreal, as he was a considerable acquisition from the McDonagh trade. Rangers fans will know once and for all if the right decision was made in trading their former captain away.
Hajek can truly make his mark over these next coming games, but only time will tell how long he will be in with the Blueshirts before heading back down to Hartford.