The New York Rangers acquired four players before the trade deadline (all are set to become unrestricted free agents after this season) to help them right now. The Blueshirts are in a position to make the playoffs for the first time in five years, and their deadline acquisitions give them much-needed depth. However, in addition to acquiring players with expiring contracts, the Rangers also signed undrafted free agent Bobby Trivigno, a Long Island native, who could end up helping them for years to come.
Trivigno’s Rise as a Prospect
Trivigno played very well for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL) during the 2017-18 season, finishing with 16 goals and 27 assists in 58 games. Though he is only 5-foot-8 and 161 pounds, he played with an edge and ended up with 91 penalty minutes.
Following that season, Trivigno decided to play college hockey for UMass-Amherst, and he quickly proved to be an effective and important player for them. As a freshman during the 2018-19 season, he had 13 goals and 15 assists in 39 games. He scored a power-play goal in UMass-Amherst’s 4-3 victory against Denver in the Frozen Four, however, he also elbowed an opponent and was suspended for the championship game, which they lost 3-0 to Minnesota-Duluth.
Trivigno finished with nine goals and 11 assists in 34 games as a sophomore during the 2019-20 season. He proved to be an effective forechecker who got to the front of the net, while also playing responsibly defensively. Unfortunately, the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Trivingo’s junior year last season, he continued to improve, showing off impressive playmaking ability and a knack for scoring timely goals. He led UMass-Amherst with 34 points, including 11 goals in 29 games. Additionally, he stepped up in the Frozen Four, with assists on the game-tying and game-winning goals in UMass-Amherst’s 3-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth. He also scored a goal in their 5-0 win against St. Cloud State to win the championship.
As a senior this season, Trivigno was named team captain and he dominated, finishing with 20 goals and 29 assists in 37 games. No one else on the team had more than 13 goals or 33 points. Though UMass-Amherst didn’t cap off the season with another championship, he earned a spot as one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award (for the NCAA’s most valuable player.) The winner will be announced on April 8.
Trivigno Could Help the Rangers Next Season
While the Blueshirts have plenty of forward depth right now, they could lose quite a few forwards in the offseason. Ryan Strome, Andrew Copp, Frank Vatrano, Tyler Motte, and Kevin Rooney are all set to become free agents after this season. Losing some of these free agents could create an opportunity for Trivigno with the Rangers.
Though Trivigno isn’t a big player, he plays with grit and doesn’t back down from bigger players. He is an all-around player, and at 23 years old, he appears to be more prepared to make the jump to the NHL than some of New York’s younger forward prospects.
Trivigno plays with a chip on his shoulder, which fits in perfectly with the identity the Rangers have formed under head coach Gerard Gallant. Before the trade deadline, the Blueshirts relied extremely heavily on star players Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Mika Zibanejad and they didn’t get much production from other players. Trivigno’s fantastic senior season should certainly give Rangers fans hope that he can contribute in the NHL.
For the Rangers and Trivigno Moving Forward
Trivigno is currently playing for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), and he had two assists in his first game with them. Getting some experience playing professionally is an important step for him, and he’s off to a strong start.
The Rangers have already had quite a bit of recent success signing undrafted players, including Dan Girardi, Mats Zuccarello, Cam Talbot, Alexandar Georgiev, and Neal Pionk. The hope is that Trivigno will become the next member of that list, and though he is in the AHL right now, he has the potential to become a valuable player for the Rangers.