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Lias Andersson skating as an extra, will not be sent to AHL

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With Zuccarello and Buchnevich healthy, Andersson has become the odd man out

NHL: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been some interesting news out of the New York Rangers practice today. Lias Andersson and Adam McQuaid were skating as extras, which means that Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich should both be in the lineup tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes. Buchnevich has been out of the lineup since Nov. 10 and Zuccarello has been out since Nov. 23.

Zuccarello and Buchnevich are also practicing on the Rangers’ power play units — Zuccarello on the first and Buchnevich on the second — which is further evidence of their imminent return to the lineup.

Of course, the other big story here is that Lias Andersson, not Matt Beleskey, has been pushed out of the lineup. Furthermore, the former 7th overall pick is not being sent down to Hartford just yet. Which leads one to wonder how this serves the development of the 20-year old prospect.

In 16 games with the Rangers this season Andersson has one goal and two assists and has averaged 10:54 TOI/GP. He played 11:08 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 10 and 8:26 against the Panthers on Dec. 8.

It goes without saying that the deployment and development of Andersson thus far has been a disappointment. After Andersson started the season in Hartford, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton commented that he believed that the Swedish prospect had made the team, but suggested that they wanted to get him more ice time. He also suggested that the goal for Andersson would be to keep him in New York the next time he was called up.

In three games with the Rangers this season, Beleskey has one goal, three shots, and has earned a fighting major.