You guys know the drill by now. Player and position evaluations are below.
J.T. Miller (Still his position to lose): He didn't have the flashiest numbers (he didn't register any points) but he did have a 70% faceoff percentage and played 16 solid minutes of hockey. Sure, it was against a night-shift Flyers team, but still nice to see. He did make one glaring error when his blind back pass in his own zone lead to a Flyers' goal, but outside of that mistake he was fine. No reason to assume he's not the 3C right now.
Anthony Duclair (Proving the hype is real): Another really, really impressive night from the 19-year-old. A beautiful snipe for the first goal of the game followed by an assist shortly after. He also contributed a pretty pass that resulted in a Rick Nash breakaway and had another breakaway opportunity himself. Duclair always seems to be at the right spot at the right time, and he's really good at creating something from nothing. He was responsible for creating or having six or seven golden chances Monday night, and he's getting another shot tonight in Philadelphia. Let's just say he isn't making this decision easy for Alain Vigneault.
Ryan Haggerty (Brilliant debut): I had a few debates on Twitter about how effective Haggerty was going to be if all he did was score goals. Since the top six is seemingly locked up, Haggerty would have to be really solid everywhere else to earn a third line position this year. Well, Haggerty was solid last night, and showed what he can do when you give him those offensive opportunities. He scored two goals -- his first with a strong move to the net and his second a very pretty in-tight snipe -- and added an assist. He was one of the Rangers better players. Not a bad showing from him at all.
Kevin Hayes (Quietly efficient): I was disappointing to see Hayes lining up with Tanner Glass before Monday's game. I thought it was going to be difficult for him to do anything offensively. But Hayes responded with a good overall game. He had two assists and look far more comfortable than he did in his first game. I still think the wing position on the third line is his to lose, but I might be wrong.
Jesper Fast (Don't forget about me!): Three goals in two games. Two goals Monday night -- one off the pass by Hayes. Fast has been solid, and he does have more NHL experience under his belt than any kid not named Miller trying to make the team. Maybe he pushes Hayes off of the third line, or maybe he's a speedy energy guy on the fourth line. There might be a spot available for him.
Dylan McIlrath (Can I use quietly efficient again?): McIlrath played 22 minutes last night and I only truly noticed him once -- when he threw a big hit. Is there any better compliment for a defenseman who plays McIlrath's defensive game? Not really. There was some talk about him potentially staying with the team to be the 7th defenseman. Maybe that means the team thinks he's ready. Or maybe it means they're not sure how much more he can develop. Not sure if either is true, but we'll see how this plays out.