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Two Of New York’s Young Stars Shine In Preseason Loss To Islanders

Although it will go down as a defeat, two of Rangers’ young stars stood out in their preseason loss to the New York Islanders.

Only a few weeks left until P.A. announcer Joe Tolleson announces the Opening Night roster for the New York Rangers. As I have previously mentioned, the names are all but set, with the roster’s identity slowly coming to fruition. That should not stop the young, up-and-coming stars from fighting for their respective spots.

Although it is a difficult task, two forwards are showing the organization, the reporters, and the fans that they mean business. These two forwards hope to have their names called by Tolleson on October 16th when the Rangers host the Arizona Coyotes. Both have proved their talent on multiple stages, for their clubs and for Team Canada. Now, only one stage stands in their way: under the iconic ceiling of Madison Square Garden.

Two Of Rangers’ Young Stars Shine In Preseason Defeat To Islanders

Whether it’s a playoff series or a preseason tune-up, a matchup between the Rangers and the Islanders never disappoints. Many would prefer playoff hockey to preseason hockey, there’s no debate there. The names you see are the ones that will lead your team for years to come.

Some of the Islanders fans saw so much potential from Kyle MacLean the other night. Maybe, they’re looking forward to someone like Hudson Fasching getting a chance to make Lane Lambert’s roster. For Rangers fans, the two forwards that impressed many last night were names that fans are hoping that will stay up in the big club: Brennan Othmann and Will Cuylle.

I will admit that I left both Othmann and Cuylle off of my projected roster. I felt as if Peter Laviolette would favour veteran leadership over youngsters for the start of his Rangers tenure. That does not scrap the idea of one, or both of them making the roster eventually. These two have the potential to have their names on the back of many Blueshirts fans’ sweaters and here’s why.

Brennan Othmann Is The Real Deal

Are the World Junior Championships the best hockey tournament that is played annually? No matter what time the games are on, you can find me throwing on NHL Network, hoping to find the TSN feed of whatever game is on that hour. Now, preseason hockey is where fans can take a glimpse of their franchise’s future, but it’s not the only outlet.

Having limited access to OHL Hockey here in the States, The WJC’s was where the hockey world obtained my first look at Brennan Othmann. From then on, the Rangers knew that this kid had “it”. You may be asking “What exactly is ‘it’, Jeremy?” It’s tenacity, it’s never backing down from your opponent even while moving the puck.

For countless years, Rangers fans have been complaining about the lack of grit on the roster. Well, how about someone who can throw the body and find the back of the net? I’ll speak on behalf of the Garden Faithful when I say, “Sign me up!”

He is the first young star to shine in the Rangers preseason games. With two goals in the last two games, Brennan Othmann can be a future scoring threat for New York. Throughout his time in both Flint and Peterborough, Othmann was seen as the number one scoring option. He can maneuver his way out of any trap and is not afraid to throw the puck on the net. What also helps his game is that he’s a human wrecking ball. If there’s a play along the boards, it is more than likely that #78 will be there. The beauty about this is that there isn’t just one budding superstar, there’s another.

Keeping It Cuyl(le)

This past week, Will Cuylle did more than just score. He was not afraid to block a shot. He was not afraid to throw a hit. He was also effective when using a drop pass, finding every target that he was looking for. For someone who has been impressive while in Hartford, Cuylle’s time as a regular at Madison Square Garden cannot come soon enough.

The 2020 NHL Draft Class for the Rangers was highlighted by the arrival of QMJHL standout Alexis Lafrenière. More attention should have been brought to Cuylle. New York selected Cuylle with the 60th overall pick that same draft. He’s another player that I got to see represent Team Canada at the WJC’s. He’s another tenacious player who is swift on his feet with excellent skating ability. Although he will probably get looks on the 4th line, if called up, Cuylle’s time in the Top 9 is fast approaching.

Main Photo: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports


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