With the big name defenseman on the Rangers out Tim Erixon was called up recently and has performed pretty well. He has stepped up and played a very defensive minded game, trying to limit opposition chances. I think he has a lot of offensive skill but has yet to show it because he does not want to make defensive mistakes on the back-end. I think he will show his offense once he gets more comfortable and the NHL level.
But with all that said I don’t think he finishes out the year with the Rangers. It’s not because he’s playing bad either. It’s important he gets to log the big minutes at the pro level even it’s in Hartford. Once Staal and Sauer get healthy I think Tortorella will send Erixon down to the Whale. Tortorella even said “I don’t know if this is good for his development.” Torts was referring to Erixon playing in the NHL.
Even if Erixon does end up getting sent down that doesn’t mean we won’t ever see him again. I think he has as much upside as Michael Del Zotto and maybe even more. Next year I think is the year Erixon can make the club for good as the Rangers have some expiring contracts on the blue line. I think the Rangers are really hoping that Erixon and Dylan Mcilrath can make the roster and replace “Band-Aid” blue liners like Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka. Also, if management feels that Erixon and Mcilrath aren’t ready to go play full time with the club next year, it wouldn’t surprise me if Anton Stralman got another contract. Stralman has played great since Sauer went down with a concussion.
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