The Rangers announced today what appears to be their final cuts heading into next Thursday’s season opener against the Buffalo Sabres. Rookie Brennan Othmann was reassigned, and veterans Jonny Brodzinsky and Ben Harpur were placed on waivers, and are expected to be reassigned to Hartford tomorrow.
Going into camp, Cuylle appeared to be in consideration for a spot, though looked to have his inclusion in the opening night roster blocked by a slew of veterans. Offseason acquisitions of Tyler Pitlick, Nick Bonino and Blake Wheeler seemed to seal up the remaining spots, and a veteran was expected to take the reserve spot as 13th forward.
With today’s placement of Jonny Brodzinski on waivers, it means – at least for now – that Cuylle is the preferred option, though who he displaces in the line-up remains to be seen. The most likely candidates would seem to be either Tyler Pitlick or Jimmy Vesey, both currently projected to be 3rd or 4th line players.
A more controversial option might be to supplant Alexis Lafreniere, though that seems less likely at this stage of the season, with the Rangers looking to get the soon to be 22 year old going, rather than hurt his confidence any more.
While Cuylle is no doubt thrilled, fellow rookie Brennan Othmann may feel a little disappointed. The 20 year old didn’t look out of place in the preseason and was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable six games. He of course doesn’t have the advantage of playing and having success in the AHL as Cuylle did last year, so it’ll be up to him now to make a slash with Hartford and force the Rangers hand a little bit, or at the very least bide his time until opportunity arises.
Hartford makes cuts
The Hartford Wolf Pack made several roster cuts today, including sending down goalies Talyn Boyko and Olof Lindbom to the Cincinnati Cyclones. Boyko and Lindbom are the only Ranger contracted players that have been cut so far, and were both projected to start the year in the ECHL.
Forward Sahil Panwar, who was signed to an AHL contract after attending development camp back in June, also was amongst the cuts.