New York Rangers: Projecting Mats Zuccarello’s point total

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 07: New York Rangers Right Wing Mats Zuccarello (36) carries the puck in the first period during the game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers on April 07, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 07: New York Rangers Right Wing Mats Zuccarello (36) carries the puck in the first period during the game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers on April 07, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 05: Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on April 5, 2018 in New York City. New York Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 2-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 05: Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on April 5, 2018 in New York City. New York Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 2-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images) /

What it means

What can we learn from these comparisons? If anything, it helps to give New York Rangers’ fans a little bit of hope for Zuccarello’s individual performance in this upcoming season.

It is all but confirmed that the Rangers are going to be a lot worse than usual this year, which we as fans got a preview of in the second half of last season. As part of their rebuild, they’ve traded away familiar faces like Antti Raanta, Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, Nick Holden, Ryan McDonagh, and J.T. Miller and fired former head coach Alain Vigneault, hiring David Quinn as his replacement.

They’ve hinted at trading a few other players as well, such as Kevin Hayes and even Zuccarello himself. Regardless of where he will be when the trade deadline and next offseason roll around, Rangers’ fans should root for the forward to have success.

If he remains in New York, his success would be a bright spot in the middle of a season that’s projected to be pretty dark. If the team is looking to deal him at the deadline or once next summer comes, a great season could help increase his value on the market.

Whether the Rangers see him as a part of this team long-term as a veteran throughout the upcoming rebuild or trade bait that can bring back valuable draft picks and prospects, a successful individual season in the midst of a season expected to be bleak would definitely help.

These player comparables help ease our minds as fans, showing that skilled players can still thrive despite an inexperienced or less-than-great team around them.

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(All stats via Mats Zuccarello’s Hockey Reference page under “Similarity Scores”)