New York Rangers 2018-19 player preview: Fredrik Claesson

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

RALEIGH, NC – MARCH 26: Fredrik Claesson #33 of the Ottawa Senators rushes up ice during an NHL game on March 26, 2016 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Phil Ellsworth/NHLI via Getty Images)

Fredrik Claesson was the lone unrestricted free agent signed by the New York Rangers this offseason, but he may not even have a spot on the roster come October.

When the New York Rangers signed Fredrik Claesson in July, he seemed primed for a depth role on a young blue line. His mostly steady play in Ottawa was a calling card for a defensive group surrounded by questions and packed with untested youth.

Two months later, Claesson may not even crack the Rangers lineup as a seventh defenseman.

Unlike many of the Rangers’ up-and-coming prospects, Claesson is less offensively inclined. With only 20 career points over 113 games, his biggest impacts come in the defensive and neutral zones. In fact, Claesson is remarkably adept at defending his own blue line—and could complement a player like Tony DeAngelo well in that regard.

Claesson already has a proven track record of responsible play on a cellar-dwelling team in Ottawa, and was new Shark Erik Karlsson’s best partner over the past few seasons.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse