The Hockey News 2019-20 Yearbook has the Rangers finishing sixth in the Metro Division (behind Washington, Carolina, Philly, Islanders and Pitt but ahead of the Devils and Blue Jackets) and missing the playoffs.
Based upon their projections for Henrik Lundqvist (23-21-7) and Alex Georgiev (16-13-5) they have the Rangers finishing with 90 points this season.
The depth chart for the Rangers they have listed is:
|1||Artemi Panarin||Mika Zibanejad||Kaapo Kakko||Jacob Trouba|
|2||Chris Kreider||Ryan Strome||Pavel Buchnevich||Brady Skjei|
|3||Vlad Namestnikov||Filip Chytil||Jesper Fast||Tony DeAngelo|
|4||Brendan Lemieux||Brett Howden||Vitali Kravtsov||Marc Staal|
|5||Greg McKegg||Lias Andersson||Boo Nieves||Brendan Smith|
*Kevin Shattenkirk was ranked 4th on the Rangers defensive depth chart.
Panarin ranked 23rd by The Hockey News in their list of the Top 50 players, with them writing “his elite skill set gives him 90-point potential, if not more.”
Adam Rotter: The goalie numbers add up to 85 total games, not 82, so this isn’t exact but around 39 wins is close to what has been projected for the Rangers based upon the players they have added this summer. 90 points is an improvement over last season but it’s probably somewhere between 8 to 12 points too few to make the playoffs. With how quickly teams are able to go from out of the playoffs to the playoffs, it’s certainly not far fetched for the Rangers to get close to 100 points but they will need the overall team defense to improve on the ice the way it has on paper and for Henrik Lundqvist to be healthy and on his game.
Expectations for the Rangers are certainly higher after adding Panarin and Trouba but three of the other big players they’ve added (Kakko, Kravtsov and Fox) have a combined 0 games in the NHL. Libor Hajek only has 5 more NHL games to his name that that trio, Lias Andersson has only played in just over half a seasons worth of games and Filip Chytil, of 84 career games, doesn’t turn 20 until just before training camp starts. The point is, the Rangers should be better but they are still going to rely on a ton of players that range from having zero NHL experience to just one season, and that is before they, likely, move on from Chris Kreider and Vlad Namestnikov. The best hope for this season is a return to the playoffs, but the second best scenario, and possibly the most likely scenario, sees the Rangers around .500 or below for the first half of the year but then finishing strong, with all the young players gaining more experience, and making it known that the 2020-21 Rangers are going to be playoff bound.