There is plenty of excitement surrounding the New York Rangers in 2019-20 and now we have an idea of how their top line could look.
Pavel Buchnevich will have the chance to start the year with newly acquired Artemi Panarin and center Mika Zibanejad. Quinn cited Buchnevich’s play towards the end of last year as one of the main factors for going with him.
DQ, in his first media briefing of camp, says Panarin, Zibanejad and Buchnevich are the top line coming in. Buch earned it late last season. Also, Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson will start out at center, rather than on the wing. Ryan Strome gives the team "flexibility."
— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) September 13, 2019
Buchnevich finished 2018-19 strong, turning his early-season struggles on a dime. He turned into a legitimate threat on any given night. The forward looked more confident and started to use his shot more often than he did early in the season.
The skillset Buchnevich possesses goes well on paper with Quinn’s preferred style. His ability to move the puck will help set up Panarin and Zibanejad, both of whom have excellent finishing ability. Buchnevich can put the puck in the net himself. He notched 21 goals last season, 12 of which came after the All-Star break.
If last year taught us anything, it’s that playing on a top line for Quinn is something earned, not given. After finding himself scratched or on the bottom line, he eventually moved up, becoming one of the more important Blueshirts.
2019-20 looks to be a big year for the Rangers fourth-year winger, so far it looks like he’ll be given every chance to shine alongside to talented top-line guys. Steady growth over two years can make a world of a difference in a young player’s career.