The Rangers prospects kicked off the season with a win in Allentown tonight, defeating the Flyers prospects by a score of 4-2. It was far from a perfect game for either side, but there were a few prospects that stood out for the Blueshirts.
Brennan Othmann starts his first pro season as perhaps the highest regarded player in the Rangers prospect camp, and he certainly started the game that way. His puck handling and vision on the ice in the first period was clearly above his team mates, though he became less involved in the second and third. He certainly didn’t look out of place on the right wing, and he’ll look to build on that as camp proper opens.
Paired up with Karl Henriksson and Adam Sykora, the line looked clearly the best of the Ranger lines, with Sykora in particular becoming more prominent as the game progressed. The first Ranger goal – scored by Henriksson on a flukey deflection – came courtesy of a power play that Sykora earned by trying to escape the clutches of his defender in the corner boards.
The only draft pick from the 2023 draft in camp is Dylan Roobroeck, and the lanky 18 year old actually looked pretty good for a first-time camp attendee, and may be worth watching as a value pick as a 6th rounder. Roobroeck looked fairly quick on his feet for a big guy, and gave the Rangers their first lead in the second period.
The Flyers did come back to tie it late in the second, getting a second by goaltender Dylan Garand. Garand played the whole game, and looked very sharp with his positioning and movements, though did leave a few rebounds that he’d probably take back with a second chance.
On defense the Rangers went into the game with AHL signing Seth Barton, along with invitees Ryan McCleary and James Petrovski. Along with Brandon Scanlin, this unit had plenty of side, though lacked footspeed and that first step, giving the Flyers more chances than they probably should have had.
Center Ryder Korczak could well be battling for an AHL job this season, put the Rangers up 3-2 in the third, when he took advantage of a loose puck that came out to him in the low slot. Korczak got his shot off quickly, but didn’t perhaps have as much time and space to work with as he would have liked, and will need to speed his game up if he hopes to stick with the Pack.
Of the remaining prospects, Maxim Barbashev didn’t have the best game, and will need to work harder to stick around. Bryce McConnell-Barker looked like he needs some more time in the OHL – where he’ll head after camp, and AHL signing Sahil Panwar started slowly but looked more settled in the second half.
Brett Berard created some space, but then saw his ice taken away from him before he could make anything of it, and Bobby Trivigno was largely a non-factor.
The Rangers biggest prospect in camp, 6-8 240lb Matt Rempe got plenty of attention from the Flyers after leveling Zayde Wisdom, though it was more a case of his much smaller opponent running into him. Rempe’s size was definitely an advantage, though he generated little offense as a result.
One player who will want to make a positive impression is defenseman Matthew Robertson, and he played a fairly steady game, low-mistake game which stood out against the bottom four, who looked overmatched at times. He did seal the game with a length of the ice empty net goal, to go with an earlier assist, though all eyes will be on the defensive side this season.
Both teams meet again tomorrow at 5:00pm Eastern, again in Allentown. It won’t be streamed, though you’ll be able to watch if you happen to be in the Philadelphia TV market.