Starting last week, some notable Rangers gave us, the fans, our first taste of the upcoming 2014-2015 NHL season. They have been holding informal practices at the MSG (Madison Square Garden) Training Facility in Grensburgh, NY. Their hope is to get things started heading into training camp in two weeks.
Key players such as Henrik Lundqvist, Mats Zuccarello, and Derick Brassard have taken part in the volunteer workouts to help with the transition to game-shape. Note-worthy prospects such as J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes helped to better themselves, in the hopes of making the Rangers Opening Day roster this October.
One of the participants was the undrafted-signee from last year, Ryan Haggerty. For those that don’t remember, the Rangers signed 21-year old out RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), located in Troy, NY. From 2011-2012, Haggerty played right wing for the RPI Engineers in Division I hockey of the NCAA. His best season with the team came last season, where he led the Engineers in scoring with 43 points (28 goals, 15 assists). He finished a + 7 and was soon scooped by the Rangers organization and signed to an entry-level contract.
Unfortunately, his 2013-2014 professional career was spent in the press box, especially during the Rangers postseason ride to the Stanley Cup Final. Though he did not see action on the ice, he watched the team from high-above the ice and practiced alongside the veterans. Importantly, it gave Haggerty a better perspective of what it takes to be a Blueshirt.
After Tuesday’s informal workout, Jim Cerney from Blueshirtsunited.com was able to interview the young man and ask him about his experiences from last year and thoughts of his future with the Rangers:
Ryan Haggerty could represent the future of the Rangers organization, if he is able to prove himself. It will take time to develop an all-around game that can compete at the professional level. This is not college hockey anymore. Now, he is a professional dealing with other prospects that are hopeful of making it to the NHL level. He will run into veterans who have taken a hit to their game at the professional careers. Now, they are trying to make it back.
Not much is known of the Stamford, CT native. What we do know is that he caught the eye of the Rangers organization. Someone thinks highly of him. For Ryan Haggerty, he has taken the right steps towards realizing his dream. It started when he stepped on the ice in New York, alongside proven Ranger players. Even the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion Alex Kovalev made an appearance. Hopefully, the young man picked their brains for knowledge and experiences which led them to be successful.
If nothing else, Haggerty has put his name into the hat for the Rangers to draw from, showing up and dedicating himself to the one thing he loves…HOCKEY!