The New York Rangers kicked off their second day of on-ice training by splitting into three separate groups, all hand picked by Alain Vigneault. While it is too early to read into any specific line combinations and pairings, we did get an idea of who will likely be paired together when preseason kicks off on Monday night.
Here is the roster breakdown of each group:
Group A: Dan Girardi, Dylan McIlrath, Brian Gibbons, Tanner Glass, Luke Adam, Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Dan Boyle, Jayson Megna, Oscar Lindberg, Ryan McDonagh, Dominic Moore, Ryan Bourque, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Summers, Rick Nash, Travis Oleksuk, Jeff Malcolm, Calle Andersson, Keith Yandle, Petr Zamorsky.
- One big takeaway from the first group was Dylan McIlrath being paired up with captain Ryan McDonagh. McIlrath needs to have a very good camp if he wants a chance to crack the Rangers opening lineup, and being paired with McDonagh puts him in an excellent position to succeed. Now it's just a matter of him stepping up or crumbling under the pressure.
- Alain Vigneault also had Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash skating together as a line, while Dan Girardi and Keith Yandle served as one of the defensive units.
Group B: Kevin Klein, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Derick Brassard, Marc Staal, Viktor Stalberg, Jarret Stoll, Antti Raanta, Raphael Diaz, Mats Zuccarello, Brett Bellemore, Magnus Hellberg, Marek Hrivik, Tommy Hughes, Ryan Graves, Brady Skjei, Adam Tambellini, Kirill Kabanov, Richard Nejezchleb, Mat Bodie, Jayden Hart, Emerson Etem.
- Just like the first group, Vigneault elected to keep some of the regulars together by pairing Derick Brassard with J.T. Miller and Mats Zuccarello. On defense, Marc Staal is skating with Raphael Diaz, while Kevin Klein is aired with Brady Skjei.
- In addition, Kevin Hayes is between Viktor Stalberg and Richard Nejezchelb, while Jarret Stoll is centering Emerson Etem and Marek Hrivik. Hrivik is another player to keep an eye on this camp, as he caught the attention of Alain Vigneault last year. He was surprisingly one of the final cuts of last year's camp, so it will be interesting to see if he turns some heads again.
Group C: Matt Lindblad, Cedrick Desjardins, Chris McCarthy, Chad Nehring, Nick Tarnasky, Josh Nicholls, Troy Donnay, Kodie Curran, Michael St. Croix, Mackenzie Skapski, Brad Morrison, Keegan Iverson, Brandon Halverson, Ryan Gropp, Sam Noreau, Jacob Smith, Sergey Zborovskiy, Ryan Mantha.
- The final group appears to be a bunch of the camp hopefuls, most of which will either be Hartford bound or returned to their respective junior teams. Mackenzie Skapski is also included on this list, but he is not expected to be ready for the start of the season after undergoing hip surgery during the summer.
We will continue to update more from training camp as it carries on, but for now, these were just some quick notes from today's practice.