New York Rangers Prospects at World Junior Championships

New York Rangers prospects

The dust has settled on the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships. However, the New York Rangers prospects played a hand in the gold-medal game of the delayed tournament. Four Blueshirts youngsters played in the gold medal game, with a trio of hopeful future Rangers getting the gold. There was one Finnish New York prospect that walked away with silver.

The Rangers also had a prospect each play for the United States, Czechia and Slovakia. All New York skaters earned a goal while Team Canada’s goalie was a huge part of the host’s victory. We look at the hand the New York Rangers prospects played at the World Juniors.

It wasn’t all sunshine as the Blueshirts had some problems staying out of the box. Three Rangers prospects got ejected during the tournament.

New York Rangers Prospects Play at World Juniors

Team Canada

Dylan Garand

Garand was the main man for Canada in net and won six games for the hosts. The Kamloops Blazers goalie went 6-0 with a 1.98 goals-against-average and .925 save percentage. Garand took the No. 1 job in the crease and never let go.

The Victoria, British Columbia native stopped 29 shots in the 3-2 overtime victory over Finland. Mason McTavish may have gotten the save of the game, but Garand played his part.

He’s still young at only 20 years old, but this tournament is a good start. Let’s remember not to read too much into international tournaments, but Garand was solid net. The Rangers have the goalie position secure for the foreseeable future with Igor Shesterkin. However, it’s nice to have goalie depth and Garand is a few years away from making the show.

Brennan Othmann

Othmann was a new addition to the roster after players like Shane Wright and Owen Power were held out by their NHL clubs. The Flint Firebirds forward stepped in and supplied two goals and six points during the tournament. He had a great early start to the tournament and made the most of his second chance.

Canada coach Dave Cameron limited Othmann’s ice time as the 19-year-old only logged 10 minutes of ice time in the gold medal game. Despite this, Othmann played most of the tournament on the top line. He certainly did his part in helping Canada win a record 19th gold medal. Othmann will go to training camp with a chance to make the Rangers’ roster. However, he will be key for Flint if he goes back to the OHL.

Will Cuylle

Cuylle also didn’t play much during the final as Cameron limited his ice time to just over 10 minutes, like Othmann. Cuylle did score twice and added a pair of assists during the tournament.

The Windsor Spitfires winger did have a good OHL season with 43 goals and his Rangers’ development camp was very solid by all reports. Cuylle may not have played a lot in the gold medal game, but his development did take some positive steps. The 20-year-old will need some more time to develop, but his 2021-22 was successful.

Rest of the World

Kalle Vaisanen, Finland

Othmann and Cuylle may not have played a lot in the last game of the tournament. However, Vaisanen got plenty of game action for the Finns. The 19-year-old right wing played 19:35 in the final. He managed a goal and an assist in the tournament but was solid all-around.

The TPS Turku forward was very strong on the defensive end. He played the prototypical Finnish forward that was very strong in his end of the ice. The performance was much like fellow countryman and fellow Ranger Kaapo Kakko. It’s a good sign that Vaisanen’s defensive game is despite his young age.

Brett Berard, USA

Berard may only be 5-foot, 9-inches tall. However, he plays much bigger than that frame. The East Greenwich, R.I. native has a mix of speed, toughness and some nastiness to his game. That sandpaper part of his game may have cost the USA in their 4-2 loss to Czechia. He got a game misconduct that may have hindered the Americans comeback attempt.

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He managed a goal and an assist in five games for the Americans, who were bounced in the quarterfinals after a perfect pool group stage. Berard has been solid in two seasons with Providence College of the NCAA. The 19-year-old scored 18 goals last season under World Juniors and college coach Nate Leaman. He’ll be ready for his junior season with the Friars in 2022-23.

Jaroslav Chmelar, Czechia

Chmelar only got into three games during the tournament but did get a goal and an assist. The 19-year-old did miss time with an injury, but there was another reason he missed time.

Chmelar boarded fellow Ranger prospect Othmann earlier in the tournament. That hit got Chmelar ejected, but he wasn’t suspended. The fifth-rounder may have to have an apology for Othmann when two get together a camp.

Adam Sykora, Slovakia

Sykora also got ejected during the tournament after a kneeing penalty. The 63rd pick in the draft got tossed after kneeing Nashville Predators first-rounder Joakim Kemell on Aug. 14. Sykora looked like he stuck out his knee to hit the Predators’ prospect.

The young Slovak did get a goal and an assist during his four games. However, he was the only Rangers prospect to not make it out of the group stage.

What it Means

Four Rangers did get a medal, including three golds for Canada. Bedard was part of an American squad that looked dominant until the elimination round.

However, it was a mixed bag for the Blueshirts during the tournament. There were three ejections of Ranger prospects during the tournament. It may just be a coincidence, but it’s a dubious one to have. Still, Rangers fans should be happy with how a good number of their prospects looked at the World Juniors.