Russian free agent signing, Alexei Bereglazov will make his Rangers debut tonight against the New York Islanders. He, gotaltender Chris Nell and forward Malte Stromwall will see their first action of the preseason ahead of tomorrow's anticipated second round of roster cuts.
Signed out of the KHL, where he's spent the past four years with the Magnitogorsk team, Bereglazov was initially expected to compete for a spot on the roster. An indifferent tournment in Traverse City saw his prospects moderate a little, but he'll get a chance to make his case as a 6th/7th defenseman tonight.
At 6-4, 203lbs, he has good size, and the potential to add more if he so chooses. At this stage he probably sits behind Anthony DeAngelo and possibly too Neal Pionk on the depth chart, and a poor game could lead to him being sent to Hartford as soon as tomorrow.
Swedish forward Malte Stromwall - a UFA signing last year from Sweden - will also try to stick around camp a little longer. Stromwall struggled to make an impression in Hartford last year with just 2 goals and 4 assists in 44 appearances, and will need to put up much better numbers if he is to get an extension on his 2 year contract that runs out on June 30th, 2018.
For Chris Nell, he'll be largely battling for a chance to move up the goaltending depth chart. The starter position in Hartford is not yet set, with perhaps Alexandar Georgiev the modest favorite right now, and last year's part-time starter Brandon Halverson also in the mix. How much time Nell gets will remain to be seen, with perhaps the third period and any overtime being the most likely option.
Buchnevich, Carey, Chytil, Desharnais, Farnham, Hayes, Lettieri, Miller, Puempel, Stromwall, Tambellini, Vesey
Bereglazov, DeAngelo, Graves, Kampfer, Pionk, Skjei