Rangers’ 2015 second-round pick Ryan Gropp has been suspended by the Hartford Wolf Pack after failing to report to the Maine Mariners of the ECHL, according to the AHL as well as the NY Post’s Larry Brooks.
It is unclear whether Gropp, 23, is not reporting to the team’s ECHL affiliate with the Rangers’ permission or whether his absence is in defiance. In either case, it’s the latest tribulation in what has been a painful downfall for a player the Rangers traded up to acquire and whom the team ranked as the sixth-best forward in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Gropp has had his moments in Hartford, but has ultimately failed to consistently produce offense and last year produced just 26 points in 61 games while also seeing a short stint in the ECHL. With the team’s overhaul of the AHL roster as well as his status as a veteran player by AHL rules, Gropp was relegated to Hartford’s press box for all but one game this season prior to his demotion. this suspension will likely expedite what was an inevitable departure from the organization, as Gropp is a restricted free agent in July and the Rangers are unlikely to give him a qualifying offer.
The Wolf Pack have opened the 2019-2020 season with a 3-0-1 record and play their next game on Friday.