New York Rangers: Which minor league free agents will be brought back?

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the NHL shield logo before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the NHL shield logo before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Yohann Auvitu (33) and New York Rangers defenseman Chris Summers (55) fight for the puck during the first period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Yohann Auvitu (33) and New York Rangers defenseman Chris Summers (55) fight for the puck during the first period of a preseason hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Troy Donnay, Chris Summers, Michael Paliotta, Tommy Hughes

Of these defensemen, two are UFA’s and two are RFA’s. Let’s start with the UFA’s.

UFA’s

Chris Summers is the only thing the Rangers still have to show from the Keith Yandle trade. The 29-year-old was brought back last season to be a veteran leader in Hartford. His past two seasons have been the best statistical seasons of his career.

He played in 74 games in each of them boasting 11 points in 15-16 and 12 points in 16-17. He also had 71 PIM this past season showing that he isn’t afraid to get involved in the rough stuff. Perhaps it’s time for Summers to try to break in somewhere else although the Rangers defensive unit will hopefully have lots of openings.

Tommy Hughes has been with the Wolf Pack for four seasons now. The 6′ 2″, 225 lbs defenseman has posted underwhelming numbers throughout his whole AHL career as he has never tallied double-digit points in a season. Hughes is always one to miss a big chunk of the season, too. In his first season with Hartford, Hughes played in 72 games. Since then, the 25-year-old has yet to play 60 games in a season and has only played in more than 55 once.

RFA’s

The 23-year-old Troy Donnay has only played one career game in Hartford back in 15-16 and has spent the last two seasons in the ECHL with the Greensville Swamp Rabbits. Donnay recorded 17 points to go along with 72 penalty minutes in 61 games this past season. Donnay is a young kid that is still growing into his massive frame at 6′ 7″. He only weighs 207 pounds right now, so until he puts on that wait, he isn’t going to be as effective as he could be.

Michael Paliotta signed with the Rangers as a UFA on July 1st. The hometown boy just turned 24 years of age hopes to make a bigger impact next season after a very disappointing one in Hartford. Paliotta only tallied one goal and 13 assists in 52 games this past season. He was solid defensively and used his big frame (6’2″, 207) to make it difficult for whoever he was defending.

The Verdict: Re-sign Donnay, let the rest go.