Prospects Daniel Bernhardt and Dominik Lakatos are no longer New York Rangers’ property. Both players’ rights expired on Saturday at 5pm, and the Rangers opted to sign neither of them.
Bernhardt, 23, was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL draft. He had a mediocre 2015-2016 season, which was split with Djugardens in the SHL and the London Knights of the OHL. Hip injuries then severely limited his ability to get on the ice. He played just three games during the 2017-2018 season and missed all of this past season.
Dominik Lakatos, 22, was a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Lakatos was once a decent bet to carve out a bottom-six role in the NHL, but his development simply plateaued in the Czech Republic over the following two seasons. Originally a favorite of Liberec Head Coach and Rangers’ acquaintance Filip Pesan, Lakatos saw his role diminish in Liberec before he was loaned away from the team.
Both players were decent selections at the time of the draft and serve as further reminders of how difficult it can be to successfully find NHL players in the later rounds of the draft.