What the Rangers lines could look like to start the season

On the NHL Network on 8/8, they listed the Rangers projected lines for this season as:

  • Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich
  • Chris Kreider – Ryan Strome – Kaapo Kakko
  • Vlad Namestnikov – Filip Chytil – Vitali Kravtsov
  • Brendan Lemieux – Brett Howden – Jesper Fast

Lemieux is the only forward listed that is currently unsigned.

Lias Andersson, Boo Nieves, Greg McKegg, Danny O’Regan and Phil Di Giuseppe are all forwards that could start with the Rangers.





NHL.com, as part of their series, previewing each team, has the Rangers lines listed as:

  • Artemi Panarin – Mika Zibanejad – Pavel Buchnevich
  • Chris Kreider – Filip Chytil – Kaapo Kakko
  • Vlad Namestnikov – Ryan Strome – Vitali Kravtsov
  • Brendan Lemieux – Brett Howden – Jesper Fast

The Hockey News Yearbook projects the Rangers to finish sixth in the Metro.

John Davidson said on Sirius Radio on 8/20 of the top-line, “Zibanejad is going to be the center, from there, that is why we have camp. Does Panarin, on the left side and being a right handed shot, does he fit better with the right winger being a left handed shot or a right handed shot? These are things that we will figure out as we march along and find out what young players are ready to play. Is Kravtsov, Kakko ready to go? ”

Adam Rotter: We know that Zibanejad and Panarin will play together and that Pavel Buchnevich will likely be on the other side in what the Rangers hope will be the Russians on the outside, Swede in the middle version of the Jaromir Jagr, Michael Nylander, Marty Straka line (Czechs on the outside, Swede in the middle) from after the 2005-06 lockout. Outside of that, and Chris Kreider being the second line LW, roles and roster spots could be jumbled in a variety of different ways. If Kreider, and Vlad Namestnikov, are with the team to start the season then at least one of the young Rangers (Kakko (18), Chytil (19), Andersson (20), Howden (21) and Kravtsov (19)) will be in Hartford. Even if roster spots open up due to trade or injury, the Rangers will have to weigh whether it’s better for Chytil/Andersson/Howden to play on the wing, in probably a bottom-six role, or have them likely play top-line/all-situation hockey in Hartford.

As always, it’s important to note that the lines and lineup the Rangers field to start the season won’t be the same at the end of the season, let alone how it is at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. It shouldn’t be a huge deal if Andersson/Howden/Chytil play the first 15 games of their season in Hartford but the remaining 65 or so games with the Rangers. Development is still the focus with these young players and the Rangers will put them in situations that accentuate that.