The Rangers will report for physicals tomorrow, one day ahead of the official start to training camp on Friday. 54 players were included on the practice squads, with defenseman Yegor Rykov also expected to be added if he can overcome a sprained ankle he suffered during the recently completed Traverse City Prospects Tourney in Michigan.
There were few surprises this year, with only forward Matt Beleskey and defenseman Sean Day not receiving invites. Beleskey has never really been part of the Rangers plans, and made just five appearances since being acquired from Boston as part of the deal that sent Rick Nash to the Bruins at the 2018 trade deadline.
As for Day, he was once a highly touted defensive prospect who fell to the 3rd round of the 2016, and has only continued his downward trajectory. Neither Day nor Beleskey are expected to be offered contracts at the end of the season.
Included in the roster are eight invitees, headlined by former Rangers Micheal Haley, a hard-headed winger who played nine games for the team back in 2012-13. The 33 year old has 248 NHL games under his belt at this stage of his career, and while it’s unlikely that he’ll be signed, could provide the team with some added grit if needed.
Also included is UFA forward Connor Brickley, who made 14 appearances with New York last year after coming over from Nashville. Brickley was not offered a contract at the end of the year, but comes to camp on a try-out basis, although again it would appear unlikely that the Rangers will extend an offer to him.
Rounding out the eight invitees are:
F – Nick Jones – signed by Hartford after a career split between the NCAA and BCHL. He completed his second year with North Dakota last year, and saw two games at the end of the seaosn with the Pack. Jones is a part of an influx of undrafted free agents into the Hartford line-up, as the team attempts to become relevant again.
D – Mason Geertsen – a former fourth round pick of the Avalanche, the 24 yeard old has appeared in 217 AHL games registering 6 goals, 31 assists and 367 penalty miinutes. He played last year for the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.
D – Vincent LoVerde – also signed to an AHL contract, the 30 year old has spent the last two years playing with the Toronto Marlies, and brings a veteran presence to an otherwise young Hartford team
D – Joe Morrow – signed to a PTO, the former 2011 1st round pick of the Penguins has 162 NHL games to his name, including 41 appearances last year with the Jets. The 26 year old has been a depth defender his whole NHL career and could provide the Rangers with a backup option in the vein of Fredrik Claesson if they choose to make an offer.
G – Francois Brassard – a 6th round pick by the Senators in 2012, Brassard failed to earn a pro contract and went to college in Canada. He saw six games with the Mariners last year, and will likely serve as a depth goaltender for the practice teams.
G – Tom McCollum – another former first rounder, McCollum was signed to an AHL contract over the summer, and provides some depth in the minor leagues. The 29 year old has three NHL games to his credit, all for Detroit, and even picked up a win back in 2014-15. Since then he has primarily been an AHL netminder, and will give the Rangers some depth at that level, rather than going in with two uinproven netminders
Several other AHL signings were not included in the camp roster, and while 2019 draftees Kaapo Kakko, Matthew Robertson and Hunter Skinner will all attend at least the start, Karl Henriksson will head back to Sweden in time for the start of the season with Frolunda.
The status of Rykov will likely be better known tomorrow after the team looks at his ankle, and we’ll hopefully get a sense whether he’ll be able to participate in any part of camp or the preseason.