Libor Hajek

Camp Set To Start Around September 22nd

Perhaps the only advantage of the ongoing COVID situation is that this season’s Summer is about a month shorter than normal.  Normally you’d expect a team that missed the playoffs to be off the ice in early April, and then a substantial gap between the July1st free agency period and the restart of festivities in late September.

With the past two years being affected by the pandemic, things are little more compressed this time round, with approximately one month less in the duration of the off-season.

That’s not to say everything is back to normal.  The Rangers typically hold their development camp immediately after the Entry Draft, usually around the end of June, followed up by the Traverse City Prospects Tourney in Michigan during the second week of September.   As to the latter, the Rangers have elected not to participate in this year’s abbreviated version, and have instead moved their development camp to start September 10th.  The typically five day camp will provide the prelude to the main event which is scheduled to get on the ice on September 23rd, with players likely reporting for physicals on the 22nd.

Per Mollie Walker players are already gathering for informal workouts at the Rangers practice facility, with numbers expected to grow as other return to the area following their Summers away.

The proximity of development camp to regular training camp, also gives the chance for some of the prospects to make the case to be included, with 2021 1st round pick Brennan Othmann likely to be amongst those looking to impress.  

Another player who will be looking at training camp as a big opportunity, will be defenseman Libor Hajek.  The 23 year old is the only Rangers who remains without a contract, and any hope of impressing the new coaching staff will be contingent on an agreement being reached.  Per Walker’s article, it appears that will get done prior to training camp.

With the additions of Patrik Nemeth and Jarred Tinordi, Hajek continues to remain on the outside in terms of depth, and will face additional competition this year from Zac Jones, Brandon Schneider, Matthew Robertson and Hunter Skinner.  At best it would seem Hajek could earn an injury call-up, or be part of a potential trade, but if he is to remain a part of the Rangers, he’ll want to make an impression with Gerard Gallant and the new Rangers bench crew.

Summer may be reluctant to let go its grip, but we’re now just four weeks from the Rangers being back on the ice.

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