This has been a season of personnel moves for the Rangers, and today it was announced that the team would be making three more. Forward Jonny Brodzinski as well as defenseman Ben Harpur were recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League while defenseman Zac Jones was sent down. This happened for a couple of reasons and hopefully, this will explain everything a little better.
According to the NHL.com preview for tonight’s game with the Chicago Blackhawks, one Rangers forward is a game-time decision. While it isn’t known which one, Brodzinski is being recalled just to be the insurance marker and make sure that the Rangers can ice a full compliment tonight if that player cannot go. This is a very logical step for a team that has not had the best decision-making.
Brodzinski has played in 83 NHL games tallying 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points during his time in the big leagues and he has proven that he can fill in quite nicely lower in the lineup. Without knowing who the forward is currently battling injury, it is impossible to predict what the lines will look like tonight, but it makes sense that this veteran forward was the first-choice replacement.
Harpur is a big-body defenseman that hasn’t scored a ton during his 156 games in the big time with just a single goal to his name. While he does have 14 assists to make 15 points, he’s not going to be in the lineup to quarterback the powerplay. At 6’6, and 230 lbs, it is clear what his job is. He’s going to be asked to smack anything that moves. This is a dangerous game with Harpur not being the fastest on his feet, but if he connects he’ll make sure opponents feel it.
As for Jones, this is far from the last we will see of this kid. He’s shown a ton of promise at the NHL level and whether this is just to allow the Rangers to be cap-compliant tonight, it would make sense. It doesn’t seem like the Rangers are done with the young defenseman at the NHL level. Although he has had his issues defensively, he’s shown a lot to like, and at his young age, it’ll be good to get him back up soon.