Justin Soryal

Just In Case

The preseason wraps up after tomorrow night’s game in Ottawa, and the Rangers roster will be set some time shortly after. The battle for positions on opening night will be largely resolved, but there’s still plenty to do for those who didn’t make it.

Justin Soryal didn’t get much of a look at camp, but he has returned to Hartford and will battle it out there. He’s also the subject of this Rangers Countdown profile.

Player Profile
Signed as an undrafted UFA in 2008, Soryal was brought into the Rangers’ system to provide some toughness, and hopefully some scoring as well. The former captain of the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, made a name for himself as more of a middle weight/light heavyweight, than your typical NHL enforcer.

The Petes at the time were a relative no-name squad, with the future Thrashers d-man, Zach Bogosian the only recognizable name in the line-up.

The 6-2 210lb forward plays hard, but probably doesn’t have the necessary skill to make it to the NHL, and even found himself a healthy scratch at times through his first two pro seasons.

With the competition for spots on the roster pretty intense, Soryal’s limited contributions offensively have probably hurt his chances of going further. On the other hand, he’s been a willing combatant, and his 159 penalty minutes in 67 games certainly draws attention.

Entering his final contract year with the Rangers, it would take a significant turnaround this season for to prolong his tenure. The addition of Kris Newbury last season, added to the competition for spots, while future reassignments by the Rangers may just make his job even harder.

It’s not even out of the question that he’d get reassigned to Greenville if things get too congested.

Given the situation that he’s now in, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll ever see Soryal on Broadway.

2009-10 Statistics
Team: Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Stats: 5 goals, 4 assists and 159 penalty minutes in 67 games

Prediction
Team: Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Stats: 3 goals, 6 assists and 120 penalty minutes in 50 games

Trivia
Soryal fought thirteen times last season, including against former Ranger prospects Craig Weller and Jake Taylor.

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