There will be at least five new Rangers tonight, with the debuts of Kevin Shattenkirk, Filip Chytil, Paul Carey, Anthony DeAngelo and David Desharnais. Backup goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is also dressing, but would not be expected to see the ice unless the game situation dictates it.
Together the five players will represent the 1031st, 1032nd, 1033rd, 1034th and 1035th players to dress for a regular season game for the Rangers. If Pavelec does see action, he’ll become the 1036th player to represent the Blueshirts.
Henrik Lundqvist will appear in his 13th regular season, matching original Ranger Frank Boucher and 1970s star Vic Hadfield. The three will be tied for ninth in franchise history, trailing Rod Gilbert – 18, Harry Howell – 17, Brian Leetch – 17, Ron Greschner – 16, Jean Ratelle – 16, Ott Heller – 15, Mike Richter – 14 and Walt Tkaczuk – 14.
Defenseman Marc Staal will play his 11th regular season, joining eleven other players who are tied for 18th all time. Others in the top 100 include Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello who will both play in their 8th regular season for New York, good enough for 46th all time.
Chris Kreider will be appearing in his 324th regular season game, which ties him with Dave Kerr and Alex Shibicky for 88th overall, while Rick Nash will tie Mike Rogers for 94th all time with hsi 316th regular season appearance for the Rangers.
New York will start the year with seven draft picks – Lundqvist, Chytil, J.T. Miller, Staal, Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich and Brady Skjei – in the starting line-up. They also have Jesper Fast, who would have more than likely been on the ice if not for off-season surgery. Additionally, Kevin Hayes, Zuccarello, Jimmy Vesey and Ryan McDonagh were signed or acquired before they played with any other NHL team.