Heading into the 2009-10 season, the Rangers are set to do battle with their captain and a bit of youth manning the top three center positions.
Chris Drury is joined by the emerging (yet still unsigned) Brandon Dubinsky and promising prospect Artem Anisimov. The Rangers are convinced that they have found the personnel to anchor the squad from the middle.
Anisimov is a promising 21-year old former second round pick of the Rangers who would make Ranger management giddy if he would add a few pounds to his towering frame. At 6-foot-4 and 194-pounds, Anisimov is a dynamic Russian center who can wreak havoc on opposing defenses, as demonstrated last season when he finished fourth in the league with 37 goals and 81 points. The Rangers are hoping he makes ‘the leap’ this season on Broadway.
NHL.com had a chance to speak with the Ranger Director of Player Personnel, who seems convinced that this is the year for Anisimov:
“I would say that he’s got a position on the team that’s his to lose,” Rangers Director, Player Personnel Gordie Clark told NHL.com. “He’s not coming in to try out … we have our top three centers — (Chris) Drury, (Brandon) Dubinsky and Anisimov.”