Chris Kreider set a New York Rangers franchise record and moved closer to the 50 goal mark. President and general manager (GM) Chris Drury shored up his prospect list by acquiring Maxim Letunov and signing Bobby Trivigno while the Blueshirts might be able to take the Metropolitan Division.
Kreider Sets Record
On Tuesday, April 5, Kreider notched his team-record 25th power-play goal of the season, surpassing the previous record-holder Jaromir Jagr. The Rangers forward, who’s provided a great deal of heart and soul to the team, hit 47 on the campaign.
Kreider assisted on the Rangers’ first power-play goal and scored the record-breaker on the following power play. His goal ended up being the game-winner as the Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1. He’s tied for third on the team in scoring at 67 points with Adam Fox. Artemi Panarin leads the team and Mika Zibanejad is second with 84 and 71 points respectively.
Letunov and Reunanen Deal
Drury announced a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. He moved Tarmo Reunanen for Maxim Letunov. Letunov was playing for the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) and will suit up for Rangers’ AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack. Letunov is a six-foot-four, 181-pound center who was originally drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Blues in 2014. In 60 games this season with the Wolves, the Russian native scored 13 goals with 10 assists.
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Letunov played in three career NHL games with the San Jose Sharks and scored one goal. He played in 199 AHL games before the trade and registered 106 points and in four contests with the Wolf Pack, he has a goal and an assist. He played three seasons at the University of Connecticut which goes along the lines of Drury’s affinity for acquiring and signing former college players since he’s been GM.
Trivigno Could Be a Sleeper
The Rangers announced they signed Bobby Trivigno Friday. Trivigno is a 23-year-old free agent who just finished his senior season with UMASS of the Hockey East. He’s proven to be a later bloomer registering career-highs this season in goals (20), assists (29) and points (49). He ended up tied for third in points in the NCAA and was named team captain at the start of this season. He was named College Hockey News Player of the Year and Hockey East Player of the Year while being a Top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s best collegiate player.
Trivigno, a Setauket, NY native helped the Minutemen to a National Cham[pionship in 2020-21. He was named Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament-Team at The Frozen Four. He also was named First-Team All American for 2020-21. He finished his career with 53 goals and 78 assists and a whopping plus-73. He could possibly find himself a role somewhere on the bottom six at some point with his 200-foot game. However, at 5-foot-8, 161 pounds and not being a highly-touted prospect, he won’t have an easy road to crack the lineup.
Rangers Division Champs?
The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled a bit of late and that could open the door for the Blueshirts to win the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have 96 points with 71 games played and the Hurricanes have 98 points after 70 games. They have the fortune of playing eight of their remaining games at Madison Square Garden (MSG) so that could help them catch head coach Rod Brind’amour’s team. Plus, the two teams play each other twice, both at MSG and the Hurricanes have six of their remaining twelve on the road. But they choose to use backup goaltender Alexander Georgiev down that stretch.
Kreider Continues the Path to 50
Kreider continues his path to 50 goals, while Drury continues to make smart moves from the front office and the Rangers have a shot to win the Metropolitan Division. However, they may choose to rest Igor Shesterkin to prepare for the playoff run.