The New York Rangers don’t have enough cap space at this time for a call from a player who meets the league minimum of $750,000 unless they place someone on LTIR.
Since the dismissal of Julien Gauthier, the team has the league maximum of 23 players in the squad.
To be clear, Rangers do NOT have to put a player on exemptions as they have 14 forwards, 7 defenders and 2 goalies. From the squad’s perspective, if they had sustained two minor injuries in defence, they would be forced to make a decision. So a striker would have to either fall back or put someone on waiver to get a call.
The number one reason Rangers would want to put anyone on waivers is to free up cap space as this will affect them at the close. For every $1 million cap accumulated, that equates to about $4.5 million in player salaries they can take on.
Now that we understand that, let’s look ahead and rank who the Rangers can call up by position based on need.
New York Rangers Call-Ups: Forward
1. Jonny Brodzinski (center/wing): 14 GP, 2 G, 7 A, 9 PTS, -3, 14 PIM
The 29-year-old forward is the captain of the Wolf Pack and a seasoned veteran with 84-game NHL experience. He was called up for 22 games last season, recording one goal and one assist. Gerard Gallant likes the way the versatile striker plays penalties and kills.
2. Gustav Rydahl (Center/Wing): 12GP, 2G, 3A, 5PTS, -1, 10PIM [Waivers Exempt]
Rydahl, 28, signed a one-year contract as a free agent from the SHL this summer. In his four preseason contests, he registered an assist and recorded two shots. Last season he scored 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points for Färjestad BK in the Swedish Ice Hockey League. He’s certainly someone to watch if there’s an injury in the centre.
“We liked everything he brought” Gerard Gallant said about Vince Mercogliano. “For a guy we didn’t know at all, I was very impressed with him. He might be a guy who’s going to spend some time up here.”
3. Will Cuylle (Winger): 14GP, 3G, 3A, 6PTS, -1, 17PIM [Waivers Exempt]
The 20-year-old was among the late cuts in training camp and is adjusting well to professional life in the AHL. He is a power forward who uses his size well. New York traded Lias Andersson to the Los Angeles Kings to pick the 6-3, 212 lbs forward in the second round of the 2020 draft. If he doesn’t get a chance this season, he definitely will in 2023-24.
4. Tim Gettinger (Winger): 14GP, 5G, 4A, 9PTS, -5, 9PIM
The 24-year-old is an excellent forechecker and has enough NHL experience with 16 games for Gerard Gallant to feel comfortable. Last season, he played 8 games with Rangers in a fourth-row role.
5. Lauri Pajuniemi (winger): 13 GP, 5 G, 1 A, 6 PTS, -2, 2 PIM [Waivers Exempt]
The 23-year-old was selected by Rangers in the 5th round of the 2018 draft for his scoring ability in Finland. It took him a while to sign his ELC and make his way to North America, where he’s slowly adjusting to the North American rinks and tough playstyle. He has yet to play an NHL game.
New York Rangers calls: Defense
1. Ben Harpur (left): 14GP, 2G, 0A, 2PTS, +2, 15PIM
Signed for a professional tryout with the Hartford Wolf Pack on October 13, the 27-year-old was then converted to a one-year deal with the big club, making him eligible for a call-up. He is a 156 NHL game veteran.
2. Andy Welinski (right): 13 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 PTS, -6, 6 PIM
The 29-year-old veteran defenseman has 46 NHL games under his belt and would likely play a right-side injury. He signed a one-year contract in the summer and is currently the top scorer for the Wolf Pack.
3. Matthew Robertson (left): 11GP, 0G, 4A, 4PTS, -5, 6PIM [Waivers Exempt]
The 21-year-old was selected by the Blueshirts in the second round of the 2019 draft. At 6-4 and 201 pounds, he’s the size to play in the NHL but failed to impress management at last camp. In his only game of preseason action against Boston, Robertson played 18:37 and didn’t register a single hit or block. He still needs to improve at both ends of the ice.
New York Rangers Call Ups: Goalies
1.Louis Domingue: 4-2-3, 2.57 GAA, 0.908 SV%
The 30-year veteran backstop has a record of 59-60-10 in 142 career appearances. His GAA of 3.04 and SV% of 0.905 are also respectable for a backup. New York signed him after he pushed them during their first round in the playoffs. He had a 3-3 record in six games against Rangers in the 2022 playoffs.
2. Dylan Garand: 1-3-1, 3.50 GAA, 0.889 SV% [Waivers Exempt]
The 20-year-old goaltender had an amazing record of 34-9 and 4 shutouts for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers in 2021-22. His 2.16 GAA and .925 SV% were good for second place in the WHL. The goaltender was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft and has exceeded expectations since taking charge. At the WJC, he was a perfect 6-0 to help Team Canada win gold. Garand played in a preseason game and stopped 9 of 10 shots in a win over the Islanders. He’s been the victim of some poor defense in the AHL but is progressing.
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