With nearly 10% of the season underway, GM Sean McAndrew thought it would be a good time to examine some of the early results for the Rangers.
We won’t grade every player, especially those that haven’t played much but having a look at the core is interesting.
The Rangers have a 4-1-2 record through 7 games. Only losing 1 game in regulation is encouraging but the team will want to make sure those OT losses don’t pile. Without further ado, here are the early season grades.
Connor McDavid: B Minus: It’s tough to be critical of a player that is over a point per game but only one of those points was a goal and expectations are sky high for McJesus. Expect his 4% shooting percentage to improve and production to rise accordingly.
Jonathan Drouin: B: the skilled play maker has really flourished alongside McDavid wracking up 5 assists although he does have yet to score. It’s a little confusing who is getting the goals on this line for all of these assists.
Jakub Silfverberg: C Minus: the skilled Swede has struggled to find his rhythm on the top line. His 3 goals are the most on the line but his underlying numbers aren’t great. With the second line clicking a shift off the first line could mean reduced minutes on the 3rd line.
Chris Kreider: A minus: The big winger leads the team with 9 points in 7 games including 3 goals and has very positive possession numbers. His shift to the second line has really sparked improved production and better balance. His 18 hits also lead all forwards.
Nico Hischer: B Plus: Another point a game player the young star leads the way with 5 goals and is anchoring a very strong second line alongside Hischer.
Filip Zadina: B Minus: While his 4 points don’t pop he has fit in well on the second line and has shown flashes of his skill. With the other two line mates scoring consistently his spot is safe but if there is an extended drought he could get some minutes on the top line with Silfverberg going down to this spot.
The bottom six will get an overall grade of C Plus. They have generally played even 5 on 5 and have contributed to special teams on the penalty kill. There has been some rotation and the Rangers look to find a little more secondary scoring.
No one has stood out but the Blue Shirts likely expect more out of Marcus Foligno who is pointless an leads the with a -2. Artem Anisimov is leading the bottom 6 in scoring with 3 points but is also a -2.
Erik Johnson: B Plus: Johnson has played steady D, has 4 assists through 7 games, and has mentored Mikael Sergachev. The only knock is his 14 penalty minutes somewhat offset by his 15 hits.
Mikael Sergachev: C Plus: Sergachev has been solid defensively also laying the body and driving positive possession but with only 2 assists it is fair to expect a little more offense from the talented blue liner who went 62nd overall.
Filip Hronek: C: Almost with matching numbers to Sergachev he gets the same grade but gets a little more of a pass as he gets 2nd PP minutes.
Jacob Chychrun: No grade: With only 2 games with the Rangers it would be unfair to grade the young blue liner. He has shown early chemistry with Hronek so will get a solid run on the second pair.
Brendan Dillon: B Plus: Although he only has a single point, a goal, he has been very steady defensively and has featured on a strong penalty kill. He also has 18 hits and does the heavy lifting in the D zone.
Adam Boqvist: C Minus: Not a good grade for the young blue liner as he is a team worst -3. He has been better since Dillon has been paired with him but with zero points the offensive D man can’t be happy.
Semyon Varlamov: B Plus: The big Russian has been really solid notching 4 wins in 6 games with a solid 0.916 save percentage and a 2.65 GAA. While not all-star caliber numbers, he has done what he has to in order to get wins. With a young D in front of him he has been a steadying presence.
Overall the Rangers’ grades sit in the middle range which is understandable given that they sit 3rd in the division with a 4-1-2 record through only 7 games. While the team was expected to be one of the higher scoring teams in the league, their solid defensive play has been a pleasant surprise give some of the youth on the roster.
MVP to date is probably Chris Kreider who is in a contract year. If the offense breaks out the Rangers should shoot up the standings and compete in the East. If they continue to be middling offensively their young players could get exposed through a full 82 game schedule.