The New York Rangers season has been over for over three weeks now, and for fans, all eyes are on October. There is no doubt that the season ended earlier than expected and the wait will seem endless for the fans.
Since the end of the Rangers season, one of Rangers’ best prospects has been making noise: Brennan Othmann. Othmann helped the Peterborough Petes win the J. Ross Robertson Cup in the OHL. Othmann was a consistent feature on the team’s front line and had 25 points in 23 playoff games.
Othmann is considered one of Rangers’ hottest prospects, and with the team’s current salary cap situation combined with his rise, it has been debated whether he should be on the squad’s roster come October. This will be one of the best scenarios of training camp; but there is a lot to decide (a head coach, perhaps?).
Here are some pros and cons of Othmann’s start to the NHL year.
1. Othmann is a scoring machine
There is no doubt that Othmann can be a star. Since being selected in the 2021 NHL Draft by the Rangers, he’s thrived in the OHL and worked his way up the prospect rankings. Regular and playoff combined, Othmann has 213 points in 164 games. This is one of the highest points per game rates in the league.
Many have already called Othmann a star, and with this production he will surely get a glimpse at training camp. If he performs well and that translates into the league, he can become a mainstay for Rangers.
2. It helps the Rangers cap crack
Next season will be Othmann’s second year on his entry-level contract, signed with Rangers shortly before last season. All NHL fans, Rangers fans or not, know the Rangers are in a tough spot. According to Capfriendly.com, Othmann’s cap next season will be $863,333.
It can be a budget for Rangers, especially if Othmann plays well.
3. A new children’s range?
One of the biggest indicators of success next season for Rangers will be their secondary production, be it Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko or Alexis Lafrenière (if Rangers bring him back). These players all need to step up next year. Kakko has mentioned he wants to play more, and Lafrenière should feel the same, especially with the wingers’ high draft slots.
If Kakko and Lafrenière take a step forward next season, as they gradually progress in points each year, can Othmann be the center of a new youth movement? Many prospects in the Rangers system, such as Othmann and Will Cuylle to name a few, will be watched closely by the coaching staff that will be recruited.
1. The left wing is crowded
Rangers already have two strong left wingers in the top six in Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider, and adding another wouldn’t give Othmann much room to grow. That’s Alexis Lafrenière’s problem: he hasn’t yet managed to break into the top six in his natural position on the left wing.
For Othmann to play on the left wing, which is the best position he has flourished in, he would almost have to play on the fourth line. The new coaching staff should mix it up for Othmann to play in the top six — or even top nine to start the season — minutes.
2. Hurry the youngsters?
Would Chris Drury and company throw Othmann on the roster without him playing in the AHL at all? If he deserves it, absolutely. But, with the Rangers’ crowded top tier, it might be best for Othmann to play in the AHL and get acclimated.
Rangers have plenty of young players – Alexis Lafrenière, Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil, to name a few – and all have shown consistent increases each season. It might be a priority for these guys to develop before Othmann gets his chance.