Poor Zach Boychuk, the former first-round pick has been waived twice in the span of a month. Originally waived by Carolina, Boychuk was picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins. There was some thought that the New York Rangers had interest in Boychuk, but the Penguins had a better claim and took Boychuk before the Rangers had a shot.
This time around things are different. When Boychuk was originally waived the Rangers were in desperate need of depth, needed something to spark the offense and simply weren't winning many games. Well, maybe things aren't much different, but now that the Rangers are healthy things are a little better on Broadway.
Boychuk -- who went pointless in seven games with the Penguins this year -- presents an interesting option for the Rangers. Yes, he's obviously had his stuggles in the NHL, but he obviously has a significant amount of potential and he might just be worth the risk.
Boychuk did lead the AHL in scoring a couple of years ago, but has only posted 18 points in 80 career NHL games. He's a bigger body, can protect the puck and has good vision, but those skills (to this point) have never translated to the upper level.
Is the risk worth the reward? In my mind, yes, simply because there's nothing but monetary risk in claiming Boychuk. If he doesn't work out in New York the Rangers can expose him to waivers and allow another NHL team to give him another shot.
He's not a bad option for the third line, he's a fine option for the fourth line and he can allow some other Rangers players not to be leaned on as much. He's a better option than Stu Bickel as a forward for sure and would keep the rotating wheel of prospects coming up for a game from the AHL and then going back down. Not that it's a bad thing to get a good look at the younger guys, but it's better to bring them up when they're actually going to have a chance to stick around.
As for depth, well, every team can use depth. I think the Rangers recent issue with the injury bug proved that. Wouldn't you rather have Boychuk than not? Even if you don't need him.
I don't know how excited I would get about the prospect of this happening, however. Apparently the Carolina Hurricanes -- of all teams -- are interested in bringing him in if he reaches them on waivers. Spoiler alert: Carolina has a better claim than the Rangers do.
So what do you guys think? If his name reaches Glen Sather's desk should they take a risk on him?