The New York Rangers are in trial and error mode with a little under 20 days left of this season, meaning several kids can receive the call-up notice.
The New York Rangers have made some roster moves post-trade deadline that have worked in their favor. Calling up Libor Hajek was a definite plus as he played adequately well before being injured on March 9. Also, in more recent news, they made a harmless transaction in acquiring 20-year-old Jake Elmer from the WHL as a UFA.
With 10 games left to be played, there are some other names that can get the call-up from Hartford to New York.
John Gilmour should be the first man up.
The Rangers defensive core is in shambles, as it has been for a majority of this season. He has recently netted his 20th goal on the season for Hartford, setting the franchise record for goals by a defenseman.
— Hartford Wolf Pack (@WolfPackAHL) March 14, 2019
He saw a good amount action last season with the Rangers but was slated down to the AHL for all of this season. In 2017-18, he appeared in 28 games for the Rangers and notched two goals and three assists. He held a -11 on the ice however and had a significant amount of giveaways at 29. This season, he leads all defensemen in the AHL in points and is tied for the league lead in overtime goals at three.
After appearing briefly this season with the New York Rangers, Gettinger was sent down to Hartford. He played in just four games to start the season and didn’t see very much action. At a measly 7:31 average ice time per game, he didn’t have much opportunity.
In Hartford, he has played 53 games thus far this season. Gettinger has netted 13 goals and assisted on 12 more for 25 points. He currently sits with a -13, but only five skaters on the Wolf Pack roster have a positive plus/minus rating.
— John Williams (@JaW1224) February 14, 2019
After having a slide in his contract last season and being 20-years-old, he will get paid for this season. It makes sense to see how much he has improved since the end of November, his last time in a Rangers uniform.
Ty Ronning has had a roller coaster of a season. From almost being apart of the Rangers preseason squad, to going all the way down to the ECHL club, the Maine Mariners, Ronning has nearly seen it all.
But, he has picked it up significantly since being demoted to Maine. While there, he suited up for 22 games, scored nine goals and added 10 assists. It was good enough to bring him back up to Hartford, where he has stayed.
He returned to Hartford on Feb. 22 and scored three goals in his first six games back. Ronning also registered a shot in all but one game in that stretch. But in the six games since, he hasn’t registered a point.
— Ricky Milliner (@Milliner06) February 24, 2019
Ronning could get the call-up as the Rangers are heavily undermanned on the right side. The signing of Jake Elmer gives them another option at right wing, but Ronning would likely get first dibs. As the season winds down, the Rangers need to see how far along the 21-year-old has come.
Next up is 21-year-old Sean Day. He is in his first year of AHL action with Hartford. The Belgium native player was drafted 81st overall by the Rangers in 2016.
In 35 games, he has scored twice and dished out four assists. He has played a relatively clean game with only four minutes in the sin-bin thus far.
— Ricky Milliner (@Milliner06) February 23, 2019
With it being still very early in his career, it is very unlikely he will get a nod before seasons end, but it could happen. With enough injuries and/or healthy scratches, we could see Day behind Gilmour.
Last 10 Games
These last 10 games are going to be the most exciting of the season. Sure, the Rangers aren’t fighting for a playoff spot, but these games are for the future of this franchise. It is developing these young up-and-comers and seeing just how high there ceilings are.
Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Brett Howden, Neal Pionk, Alexandar Georgiev and even head coach David Quinn are still developing. The trade deadline over the last two seasons has catapulted the Rangers into (and hopefully soon out of) this rebuilding phase.
There isn’t very much to lose over these next 20 days. Winning builds confidence and a glimpse into the coming seasons, and losing helps with the draft lottery. Giving a few more members from Hartford a chance to prove their worth isn’t the worst thing to happen. Each of these players can/won’t replicate Hajek’s arrival and the only way to find out is by trial and error.