Welcome to the show, kid. At the very least, the Rangers are allowing Filip Chytil the chance to see if he hang with the big boys, keeping the first-round pick (No. 21 overall) with the team after the cuts came Thursday to bring the Blueshirts very close to their opening-night roster. Chytil, who just turned 18 years old earlier this month, can play nine games before the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in — and it seems like his career will be starting with him as a center between Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello. “He’s earned the right to start this season with us,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s played well. Shown a real good skill set. It’s day by day. Now, it really starts. It’ll be a real NHL lineup with all the players. So far he’s handled it well. Can he handle it moving forward? His play will tell us that.” In the same breath, the team sent Lias Andersson, their other first-round pick this year taken No. 7 overall, back to his native Sweden to play big minutes for his club team Frolunda. Set to turn 19 years old on Oct. 13, Andersson showed flashes of his two-way game this preseason but the franchise didn’t want to stunt his growth by marginalizing his playing time in the NHL. It also didn’t help that he suffered a minor foot injury that kept him out the previous few days. “I think it’s a decision we made when we looked at the roster and where he fit in on the roster right now,” general manager Jeff Gorton said. “He needs to go play — go play in the top six on his club team and go back to Frolunda, play power play, play penalty kill. And right now, just didn’t see that happening here.” Unlike with junior teams, it is easier for the Rangers to bring Andersson back to the NHL if they need him during the season. But as of right now, that’s is not their intention.
Rangers’ roster comes into view with one rookie’s breakthrough
New York Post | Sep 29