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Where the Rangers stack in the NHL Network’s top rankings to date

August 15, 2019, 7:39 AM ET [225 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
While we wait for Brendan Lemieux and/or Tony DeAngelo to sign and/or the Rangers to make another move, the NHL Network has provided us with a handful of talking points the last few weeks. The network has recently ranked their Top-20 centers and wingers. In addition, they posted their list of 25 blue liners, in alphabetical order, which likely will be narrowed down to the top-20 and will eventually get to goalies. New York has players included in a few of those lists, which will lead to healthy debate. Last, the network had a quick segment on Kaapo Kakko and a poll on who will be the best Metropolitan season this year. I have given my thoughts below each tweet and ask you to provide your view as well.

No Rangers in Top-20 centers:

I don’t think any of us are that surprised that Mika Zibanejad is not on this list. The big debate on this blog has been if Zib is or can be a true #1. From what I saw last year and upside I believe exists, I do think he can be a 1a, or at worst, a 1b. My question to you is if Zib progresses like he did last season, do you think he should be listed in the top-20 next season.

Panarin in Top-20 wingers at #7:

This list isn’t top left or right wingers but wingers overall. For all the criticism lobbied at the contract Panarin received, look at his ranking and then let me know if you still disagree with the deal he received. Panarin’s ranking is a reflection of where the network believes he fit in the NHL as a whole. I could argue that several below Panarin might be worth ranking above him, but somewhere in the 7-13 range seems reasonable to me. What do you think?

Trouba in list of Top-25 defensemen:

This listing will likely be culled down to 20. My questions to you are: do you think Trouba belongs on this list of 25 and if so, do you think he is a top-20 blueliner. To me, if Trouba continues the strides he made last season and plays as if he did last year, then a top-20 ranking sure seems reasonable. If that proves to be the case, then Trouba could be viewed as first-pair defensemen.

What will be interesting is if Henrik Lundqvist will be listed in the top-20 goalies. Are there 20 netminders, despite Hank’s slide the last two seasons, that are clearly better than him. In general, where would you put Lundqvist on the list of NHL backstoppers?

NHL Network thoughts on Kaapo Kakko:

Love seeing all the content on Kakko. Pressure now exists on him to warrant all the praise he is receiving. The only real question is not if he will make the team out of training camp but where in the lineup does he slot?

Top Metro Finisher Poll:

Hard to disagree with the voting. New Jersey added Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban and Nikita Gusev. If Taylor Hall rebounds, the Devils with Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri and a blossoming Jesper Bratt already in house, should have a solid offense. New Jersey’s question is between the pipes. If Mackenzie Blackwood and Cory Schneider are even passable and the defense improved with Subban in house, the Devils should contend for a playoff spot.

For the Rangers, the in flux of talent has been almost on par to New Jersey. Adding Kaapo Kakko in the draft was then augment by importing Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox and Panarin. In addition, Vitali Kravtsov should contend for a roster spot. The defense is a question mark beyond Skjei while the goaltending may be somewhat the same, though Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shetyorkin wait in the wings of Lundqvist falters again.

What do you think?

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