Rick Nash – Derek Stepan – Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanajed – Pavel Buchnevich
Jimmy Vesey – Kevin Hayes – J.T. Miller
Oscar Lindberg – Sam Gagner – Michael Grabner
The Rangers success was dependent on their forward depth, and their ability to roll four skilled lines.
It’s important to hang on to as many forwards from last season as possible considering the Rangers ranked fourth in the NHL with 3.09 goals per game.
Mika Zibanajed is a restricted free agent, but the Rangers will either look to lock him up long term, or sign him to a bridge deal.
The growth of Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich will make this forward group even more dangerous.
The only problem lies in the expansion draft, where Michael Grabner, Oscar Lindberg, and Jesper Fast will all be exposed. If the Las Vegas Golden Knights opt not to take a defenseman or goaltender from the Rangers, they will lose a valuable forward for nothing.
Since I predict the Golden Knights will take Fast, I think the Rangers make a good depth signing in free agency which they have done before. Just ask Viktor Stalberg, Lee Stempniak, and Benoit Pouliot.
Sam Gagner is a 27 year old center man, and would be a great add for the Rangers at a good price. Gagner would be a small piece to a forward group that is young, and almost exactly intact from last season.