The NHL season is less than two weeks away, and all the fans preparing to see their team in action. Many players from all 31 teams have started training, as training camp began on January 3rd. But who really has the determination and abilities to achieve the overall goal at winning the Stanley Cup? Will it a Lightning repeat, a projected winner Colorado Avalanche, or maybe even the New York Rangers? Here are our views on what 5 big achievements may look like for the young Rangers team.
Rangers Make Playoffs
With new rules and changes to the upcoming season, it is time to begin planning the Rangers’ game plans next year. They are the youngest team in the league, aging through 25.48 years of age across the whole league. This allows the young kids to play their hearts out, showing they have what it takes to compete in a very competitive team and its league. Few veterans such as Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin, who are both beneficial players can help the kids develop. This shows that younger players could rely on and study their game materials, which creates better playmaking, and communications on the ice during practices and games.
While the New York Rangers are in a very pleasant position to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup, it will take harder work to cut across rivals New York Islanders, and underestimated Washington Capitals. It will come down to the wire in a tough 56 game battle, creating a playoff state of mind every single game!
Rangers Rookie Alexis Lafrenière Hits 40 Points
Since being selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, Alexis Lafrenière has adapted to life in New York, as well as preparing for the upcoming season with the rest of the team. Last season, Lafrenière 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in only 52 games played for the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL. This proves that the left-winger is able to light it up on the ice and show that he is worth his draft choice. The NHL Network analysts explained that their prediction for Lafrenière’s rookie season was to hit the 60 points mark if there was a usual 82 game season. Due to the shortened season of 56 games, Lafrenière will most likely not hit 60 points. Remember that 40 points in a 56 game season for a first-year major sports athlete is very excelling, and with other great teammates playing with the number one overall pick, Lafrenière should have the abilities to achieve 40 points.
Igor Shesterkin Finishes Top 3 in Calder Votes
There is plenty to talk about goaltender Igor Shesterkin since the previous season. The goaltender was called up to the NHL from the Hartford Wolfpack after his first career in 25 AHL games. The 25-year-old had won 17 games, with a save percentage of 0.934 per game. For someone coming into a new league, in a new country with different regulations, Igor Shesterkin rose to his peak. He demonstrated that the best is yet to come. Since moving to the grandest stage on Broadway, Shesterkin has played a total of 13 games, 12 in the regular season and 1 in the playoffs. The young goaltender has a win/loss ratio of 10 and 3. His three losses came against the Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, and a crucial playoff battle versus the Carolina Hurricanes.
Igor Shesterkin is ready to compete for the Calder Trophy next season. He has adapted to the Rangers playing style, and getting better day by day. Not only is he the Rangers’ first choice goalie, he now begins a new era after Henrik Lundqvist‘s departure. Shesterkin is able to move around in the butterfly position. This allows him to quickly glide across the left and right sides of the goalie crease making mind-blowing saves. He knows he is ready to lead the Rangers in their newly developed young team and will represent that Broadway Blueshirts come next season.
Chris Kreider Becomes Captain
The Rangers haven’t had a captain since 2018 and should make their pick in the upcoming seasons. A captain is someone who not only excels on the ice but also improves the team as a whole. From the 2020-2021 New York Rangers team, two big names come up in the decision. That being Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad.
Kreider, 29, is the only player left on the current team since the 2014 Stanley Cup Final run. He is strong, pushing, and always ready to stand in front of the net. Kreider had scored 53 points in a 63 game season, where he suffered a fractured foot in March 2020. Zibanejad, 27, was also injured throughout the season and was able to make a comeback reaching 75 points in 57 games. Both forwards are key to the club but based on seniority, Chris Kreider will most likely be named captain. The captain must live up to his expectations and supports his team. Since Kreider has been with the Rangers for a longer period of time, the management will trust him to lead New York to greatness.
Kaapo Kakko Bounces Back
In Kaapo Kakko’s first season as a Ranger, he didn’t achieve as much as the team and fans hoped for. There was too much pressure on the then 18-year-old. Kakko was selected at 2nd overall in the 2019 NHL Draft and did not achieve his ultimate goal of winning the Calder Trophy. It was tough for him to adapt to the NHL playing level and its pressure. Kakko had scored 10 goals, the most for a 2019 drafted player, and finished with 23 points. The right-winger also gained postseason experience playing the Stanley Cup Qualifying round this past August. Kaapo Kakko showed hard work on the ice and is ready to compete. Kakko will now adjust to the NHL playing level and help the Rangers win.