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Rangers Radar: Kakko scores, Miller buries two for the Badgers

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Edmonton Oilers v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s time for another installment of Blueshirt Banter’s Rangers Radar, where we focus the spotlight on trends in performance, production, and collect notes on players in the New York Rangers organization. As was the case last year, we will include players on the New York Rangers, the Hartford Wolf Pack, as well as Rangers prospects playing elsewhere.


New York Rangers

  • Rangers rookie forward Kaapo Kakko scored his first NHL goal against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Through three games this season, the Finn has put four shots on goal and is averaging 15:25 TOI/GP. For a bit of history: Rangers great Reijo Ruostalainen scored 18 goals in 78 games during his rookie season in 1981-82 (he was 21).
  • Rangers center Ryan Strome earned the primary assist on Kakko’s goal during Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Oilers. Last season, Strome had six primary assists at 5-on-5 in 63 games with the Rangers. His 0.44 A1/60 at 5-on-5 was seventh among Rangers skaters who played in at least 20 games in 2018-19.
  • Through 96 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey, Henrik Lundqvist has faced 12 high-danger shots and has allowed one high-danger goal. In a sample size of three games, the Rangers have the highest xGA/60 and CA/60 in the league.

Hartford Wolf Pack

  • Czech prospect Filip Chytil now has points in his last three games and goals in his last two games with the Wolf Pack. His 14 SOG is second on the team behind veteran Phil Di Giuseppe and his five points are level with Danny O’Regan for the team lead. All five of O’Regan’s points thus far have been assists.
  • Russian prospect Vitali Kravtsov picked up his first career AHL assist in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Rochester Americans. Kravtsov earned the primary assist on Boo Nieves’ first goal of the season. He is still searching for his first shot on goal in an AHL game.
  • Goaltender Adam Huska stopped 35 of the 37 shots he faced from the Americans on Sunday. One of the two goals he allowed was scored with just 13 seconds remaining in regulation. His performance on Sunday matched his AHL career-high for saves in a game, which was set on Apr. 13, 2019 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
  • Finnish forward Ville Meskanen, who finished fourth on the Wolf Pack last season in points (34), has dressed for just one game thus far this season. Meskanen, 24, will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Other Rangers Prospects

  • K’Andre Miller (22nd overall, 2018 Draft) scored two goals against Merrimack on Oct. 12; one on the Badgers’ power play and one while Wisconsin was shorthanded. His shortie, scored in the third period, against Merrimack was the first of his collegiate hockey career. He is one of three Badgers with at least two goals through the first two games of the 2019-20 season.
  • Forward prospect Riley Hughes (216th overall, 2018 Draft) scored his first collegiate goal for Northeastern against Union on Saturday. Hughes’ goal was unassisted and tied the game for the Huskies midway through the third period.
  • Swiss defenseman Nico Gross (101st overall, 2018 Draft) is riding five-game point scoring streak. In his last two games Gross has scored a goal and picked up two assists — one of which was primary. He’s now up to eight points in his last five games. Gross had 20 points in 56 games with the Generals last year and has already set a new career-best for goals in an OHL season (5).
  • Defenseman Zac Jones (68th overall, 2019 Draft) had a primary assist at even strength, a power play goal, and put six shots on goal in his collegiate debut for UMass (Amherst) on Oct. 11. Jones is coming off of a 52-point season in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm.

All data courtesy of hockeyeastonline.com, naturalstattrick.com, corsica.hockey, and ontariohockeyleague.com.