With the news that defenseman Libor Hajek has a separated shoulder, the New York Rangers should recall John Gilmour form the AHL.
The New York Rangers are heading out on a four-game west coast trip beginning in Edmonton on Monday. With the news of Libor Hajek‘s separated shoulder confirmed, the Blueshirts should recall another defenseman as the evaluation process continues.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. Gilmour played with the Rangers for 28 games following his recall during February of last year. He scored two goals along with five points playing in games that had little value as the Rangers began the rebuilding process.
On Aug. 18, 2016, Gilmour signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the New York Rangers after he was not offered a contract by the Flames.
He posted his first career NHL assist in a 3-2 Rangers win in Edmonton. On March 3, he became the first rookie defenseman in Ranger history to tally an overtime goal on Feb. 28 in Vancouver.
Prior to his recall to New York last season, Gilmour represented the Wolf Pack in the 2018 All-Star Classic held in Utica, New York and won the CCM Fastest Skater event in the AHL Skills Competition with a lap time of 13.663 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in the history of the event.
Gilmour was at the Blueshirts training camp this season but was sent to Hartford prior to the start of the NHL regular season.
That decision might have been the best thing that happened for the 25-year-old, who was the Calgary Flames seventh-round pick, 198 overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Gilmour is the second leading scorer in Hartford this season. His 18 goals this season has him tied with Andrew Hutchinson’s 2007-08 franchise record for most goals in a single year by a defenseman. His 18th was also an overtime winner on Saturday for the Wolf Pack.
Gilmour has also scored five goals on the power play, which is a situation that the Rangers continue to work on daily. His skill set and confidence skating would allow him an opportunity to be on the blueline when the Rangers have the man advantage.
That Job was supposed to go to Kevin Shattenkirk, but he has struggled all year when playing the point on the power-play. This would be an excellent opportunity to see what the youngster has learned this year with Hartford.
The Rangers organization have been looking closely at their Blueline. Anthony DeAngelo, Brady Skjei, Neal Pionk are should be all locked in for next season. Libor Hajek had played four games in New York and should get another solid look either at the end of this season or in camp next year depending on the extent of his shoulder separation.
An opportunity could be made for Gilmour as the question of weather Marc Staal, Fredrik Claesson along with Shattenkirk will be on the roster at the beginning of next season. The Rangers would have to by out Marc Stall since he carries a full no-trade clause in his contract.
The team is looking for a young, fast and skilled defenseman with Gilmour fitting the bill.
The organization will look to see if a recall of Gilmour would be beneficial right now. The team isn’t mathematically eliminated from playoff competition, but that is only a matter of time. The Rangers are looking for next season to be a year they return to the Stanley Cup playoffs and Gilmour should be in consideration for a top six spot.
For now, John Gilmour needs to keep doing what he has done for the last two years. The call-up should be coming, hopefully, sooner than later.