By: Alexandria DiNatale
During the offseason, the New York Rangers made some moves that have had major effects on the team for the 2016-2017 season. The new guys have helped the Rangers during their hot start.
On May 13th, the New York Rangers signed Pavel Buchnevich, who they drafted in 2013. Ranger fans have patiently waited to see him play with the team. In the KHL, Buchnevich had 37 goals and 50 assists.
In 10 games with the Rangers, Pavel has 8 points (4 goals and 4 assists). Furthermore, his four goals came in four consecutive games. However, back spasms have kept the 21-year-old sidelined but he has started to skate.
Nonetheless, the Russian forward will look to continue being a key component to the Rangers offense when he comes back from injury.
On July 1st the New York Rangers agreed to terms with right wing Michael Grabner. The off-season signing of the Austrian forward has turned into an absolute steal for the blue shirts.
Grabner has a career total of 117 goals and 73 assists, the former New York Islander and Toronto Maple Leaf has endured a breakout with the Rangers. In 39 games, he has 13 goals in 26 games, which includes a hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Grabner has become an offensive force that has to lead the Rangers to have a +29 goal differential. His skillset has excited the entire Rangers fan base so it will be intriguing to see how he plays for the remainder of the season.
On July 18th, the Rangers traded center Derick Brassard to the Ottawa Senators for forward Mika Zibanejad and a 7th round draft pick in 2018. In his four seasons in New York, Brassard had an impact on the team and the fans.
Nevertheless, the 23-yearold had 64 goals and 87 assists in 281 games with the Ottawa Senators. Zibanejad has enjoyed a promising first year with the Rangers. In 19 games this season, he has recorded 15 points (5 goals and 10 assists).
However, a broken fibula has sidelined Zibanejad, but with his great start fans should definitely be happy with the trade.
On August 19th, the Rangers agreed to an entry-level contract with college free-agent Jimmy Vesey. After spurning Nashville, the team that drafted him and failing to sign with Buffalo who acquired his rights.
Vesey became a hot commodity in the offseason with teams lining up to try and sign the Harvard forward. His hometown Boston Bruins appeared to be the front-runners, but the Rangers were able to woo the Boston native into coming to the Big Apple.
The 23-year-old had 80 goals and 64 assists in his four years at Harvard and in his rookie season, Vesey now has 18 points (10 goals and 8 assists) 9 goals and 7 assists and has become a huge fan favorite.
Vesey is quick with the puck and makes unbelievable moves that will leave you wide-eyed and speechless. The way he plays the game has had a huge impact on the team and can keep Ranger fans wanting more.
On August 27th, the Rangers inked center Brandon Pirri. The 25-year-old has 54 goals and 36 assists in 92 career games, which includes 5 goals and 5 assists with the Rangers.
Pirri has enjoyed a great start with New York due to his play on the man advantage and in the faceoff circle. In his four-year career, Pirri has averaged a 47.9% on the faceoff.
However, in New York, he has seen an increase with a percentage of 58.5%. Pirri has become a great addition to the team and can definitely have a good season on the third or fourth line.
These were some of the major additions the Rangers made during the off-season that has had major effects on the team this season. These offensive players have been great to watch with their skillset. Ranger fans should definitely look forward to how the rest of this season will unfold with these new guys and their hot starts.