New York Rangers: Evaluating Vinni Lettieri’s role and play in Hartford

With top forward Chris Kreider out for two months, the New York Rangers must find a way to remain strong. They intend to do that by playing Vinni Lettieri in his place.

Chris Kreider was diagnosed with a blood clot in his right arm a few days ago. Of course, this was a shocking blow to the New York Rangers, as they were told he would miss 6-8 weeks of game time. Now it’s up to Vinni Lettieri to take on a big role.

Questions are being raised by the minute. What’s his style of play? Is he in any way like Chris Kreider? And will he be able to provide a solid amount of offensive threat on a consistent basis?

Before we analyze his role with the Rangers, we’ll take a look at what he’s done down in Hartford this season.

Play in Hartford:

In 31 games played, he recorded 12 goals and nine assists for 21 points. The right winger is only 5-foot-11 and 180lbs. However, what he lacks in size he makes up for with speed. He is also known for being primarily a goal scorer.

Over the course of the 22-year old’s young career, he has been able to record more points than games played in two seasons and 56 points in 61 games in another. Overall, he is a go-to-the-net without a second thought type of player.

And as he stated, he wasn’t going to change anything coming into the NHL. As of the Rangers’ latest game against Detroit, that mentality seems to have happened.

Role with the Rangers:

Kreider is also primarily a goal-scorer, not a playmaker. So it makes sense that the Rangers would want to bring up a player with the same style of play.

Lettieri will fit in perfectly with this team if he sticks to what he’s been doing. His role will simply be to provide speed and goals. Who he’ll be on a line with is anyone’s guess since it’s never entirely consistent, although it appears he will start on the fourth line with Paul Carey and Boo Nieves. However, that shouldn’t matter because he’s not supposed to be a playmaker.

As long as the rest of the Rangers’ team remains as they have been for the past number of season (unselfish), he should actually be a great addition to the roster. Unlike Kreider, who sometimes passes up on good opportunities, Lettieri never hesitates to shoot.

For the next two months, Lettieri will have the chance to prove himself worthy of a roster spot. Hopefully, through him, there will be a silver lining in Kreider’s injury.