It's Time for the NYR KIDS to Grow Up and Take Over

The Youth of Yesterday Must NOW Take Over the Game Today.

New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers
New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The New York Rangers have entered their toughest part of the schedule.  The Blueshirts are battling it out with the Carolina Hurricanes for Top Spot in the Metropolitan Division.  As we speak, NYR holds the number one spot and a 4-point lead over those surging Canes.

Panarin, Trocheck and Kreider, are the top point leaders on the team. All are having career years or very close to it, along with many other Ranger Players. However, winning the Stanley Cup takes All Teammates pulling together in April, May and June. So, the spotlight will now shine on the NYR Kids who will need to Step It Up from Here on Out.  If the New York Rangers want to make noise in the 2024 Playoffs, it MUST BE the NYR KIDS who start taking over games.

Trending Article: NYR Now Enter Their Toughest Part of the Schedule

Lafreniere #13 LW
Drafted in 2020 -Round #1 -Pick #1.  This 22-year-old, stands 6’1, makes $2.3 Million per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2025-26. 

#13 is having a breakout season, already scoring the most points of his young career.  Playing with great players such as #10 and #16, for most of the year certainly helps. 
NYR Needs Laffy to have a Rock-Solid 2024 Playoffs.  Period.

Kakko #24 RW
Drafted in 2019 -Round #1 -Pick #2.  This 23-year-old, stands 6’2, makes $2.1 Million per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2024-25.

#24 was supposed to be the future of the New York Rangers. From where I sit, I can see the talent.  I can see the big body.  I can also see the playmaker as well as the shot.  I’m just not seeing the results.  I understand he has had some injuries this year, which set him back, as well as affected his stats.  I also understand that he is slotted in the Third Line Checking role.  However, he has also played "up the line-up" and his play did not make you stand-up-and-take-notice, which is a concern.  I’m not trying to slam the guy, I’m just not seeing any pizzazz in his game. No seeing a glimmer of dominance at all.

NYR Needs KK#24 to play hard from here on out, as well as throughout the 2024 Playoffs. 
(2 Goals over the last 2 games is a start.) He is basically playing for his Next NYR Contract as we speak. Dominate some games dude..  Hit somebody Hard along the boards.  Defend with Passion.  Make a Play.  Score a few more Goals, and I’m sure GM Drury will reward you. (...Prior to this: 1 goal over the last 10 games...yikes). It's not always about scoring ...but it sure helps.

Trending Article: Kaapo Kakko Gott Go-Go Get Grit in Return

Cuylle #50 LW
Drafted in 2020 -Round #2 -Pick #60.  This 22-year-old, stands 6’3, makes $828k per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2025-26.

#50 is a Big Body who uses his gifts and sees success because of it.  Banging People, Light’n the Lamp and chucking Apples, makes for an effective Third Line Checker.
NYR Needs Cuylle to continue playing his Rock-Solid, well-rounded style of game into the Playoffs. This will get him that Next NYR Contract.

Rempe #73 C
Drafted in 2020 -Round #6 -Pick #165.  This 21-year-old, stands 6’7, makes $820k per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2025-26.

#73, the “REMPIRE” State Building, has certainly made his name well known, since his insertion into the Blueshirts Line-up a few weeks ago.  An unknown force, who is wanting to make a difference in each game, is a good thing, unless it is forced.
NYR Needs his Muscle, Youth, Speed and Smart IN-Game Decisions, heading into the 2024 Playoffs.

Trending Article: NYR Cup Hopes are Pinned to D 4-5-6

Schnieder #4 D
Drafted in 2020 -Round #1 -Pick #19.  This 22-year-old, stands 6’3, makes $925k per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2024-25.

#4 has had a solid season, his best as a pro.  A #4-5-6 Defensemen, who has slide up and down the Depth Chart depending on injuries, has answered the bell, reasonably well.
NYR Needs Mr. Schnibbly to have a Rock-Solid, Mistake Free-Tight D 2024 Playoffs.  He is playing for that Next NYR Contract as we speak.

Jones #6 D
Drafted in 2019 -Round #3 -Pick #68.  This 23-year-old, stands 5’10, makes $812k per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2025-26.

#6 is a big part of New York's Depth on D. Everybody knows that Defense Wins Championships.  And it is that Depth on D, which will be the Key Factor when all is said and done, this June. 
NYR Depth Chart shows Jones has filled in many times this season. He got burned, and learned along the way.  Standing 5’10, I’m not sure of the long term, but in the short term, he is gap filler with speed who needs to Level Up in April.  Our Cups Hopes are Pinned to him. and a few others.

Miller #79 D
Drafted in 2018 -Round #1 -Pick #22.  This 22-year-old, stands 6’5, makes $3.87 Million per season until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent in 2025-26.

Miller is having a decent season overall.  He is usually paired with Captain Trouba, which sometimes exposes Miller to odd man rushes. 
NYR Needs Miller to have a Super Tight Defensive 2024 Playoffs.  In my opinion, he is playing for that Next Big NYR Contract. If Miller can Level Up throughout this years Playoff Run, he will cause some serious Cap Issues going forward. A nice problem to have, if they win the Cup.

Trending Article: NYR Enter Level 3 Intensity but need to get to Level 8

New York Rangers Record as of March 18.2024.
45-19-4 = 94pts
1st - in the Metropolitan Division
2nd -Tied - in Eastern Conference
2nd -Tied - Overall in NHL

My View from the Cheap Seats    
Section: TV     Row: PVR     Seat: The Couch
The New York Rangers had Gaps in their Line-up and GM Drury brought in those players, he felt, could plug those holes. He did not overpay for over-hyped pending Free Agents, nor did he trade away any NYR youth.  This Line-up is set.  We know who they are.  It’s Now Show Time.

In order for the New York Rangers to hoist the Stanley Cup, All of the NYR Stars Must Shine Brightest in April, May, and June, However, it will be up to the NYR KIDS, and how they play over the next 3 months, who will actually determine if this happens or not. At some point, our True Character and Natural Tendencies show up to reveal who we really are.

Remember Hockey is a game of Youth, Speed and Skill.

Quote of the Day:
“I’d be pretty dumb, if all of a sudden I started to become something I’m not.”
Yogi Berra – New York Yankees

For More Marc Penner Blue Line Station Articles – Click Here