Final Grades for Rangers 2022-23 season after disappointing playoff exit

Rangers end of season grades
The New York Rangers celebrate a goal by New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photos

The 2022-23 New York Rangers season is over – far sooner than anyone had expected it would. 

New York’s Game 7 shutout loss to the rival New Jersey Devils left a sout taste in the mouth of the entire front office, its fans, and players. A team of supreme talent like the Blueshirts possessed should not have lasted less than a couple of weeks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

That being said, the Rangers’ season was not only full of disappointing moments. Several young players had career years, while other stars seemed to hit their stride at the perfect time. 

So without further ado, the final grades of the Rangers 2022-23 season:

Mika Zibanejad: A-

For the majority of the season, Zibanejad was the team’s best overall player. He set career highs in points, assists, and powerplay goals. The lone reason he gets an “A-” and not a true “A” is because he was kept in check for most of the series against New Jersey.

Chris Kreider: B

A lot of people will get on Kreider for not reaching the 50-goal plateau he set last season but putting up the second-most goals he has ever tallied makes for another solid season. He also was really the only offensive player that wasn’t too afraid to get in front of the net during the series against New Jersey. 

Artemi Panarin: C

Everyone knows that Panarin is a great regular-season player for the Rangers. His lack of production in the playoffs for the second straight year is inexcusable and blows his grade. New York needed more from him and he did not deliver. 

Vincent Trocheck: B+

The Rangers needed Trocheck to put up better, more consistent numbers than Ryan Strome and he did just that. Next year will be interesting to see who is paired with him, but Trocheck had a fine first season with New York. 

Kaapo Kakko: A-

All of the Kid Line could’ve gotten an “A” from their regular season work, but Kakko really played well in the playoffs despite not scoring a lot. He had a career year and showed why he should be in line for top minutes next season.

Filip Chytil: A

Speaking of breakouts, no player on the Rangers broke out more than Filip Chytil. New York was so impressed with the young center that they gave him an extension before the season even ended. 

Alexis Lafreniere: C+

In totality, Lafreniere easily had the worst year of the kids. He was benched early in the year and didn’t record a single point in the playoffs. While Kakko and Chytil both showed spurts during the first-round series, it was a quiet few weeks for the former first-overall pick.

Jimmy Vesey: B+

It really was an impressive season from Jimmy Vesey. From being a camp invite to having an extension done halfway through the year, the Rangers did a nice job in finding a really good fourth-line player. 

Barclay Goodrow: B

Speaking of the fourth line, they were the only ones who appeared to show up in each game against the Devils. A good reason for that was Goodrow’s play. His being bumped up early because the team wasn’t getting any production wasn’t on him, but it was a solid year for him as well. 

Adam Fox: A-

Fox had another tremendous season and was the first Rangers defender to record two-straight 70-point seasons since Brian Leetch. BUT… his turnover in Game 7 was a killer and while he was an assist machine early in the series, the team’s inability to hold off the Devils’ offense was a major problem. 

Ryan Lindgren: A

Lindgren battled injuries but still had the best +/- on the team. He was a consistent defender and, when needed, could provide enough offense to keep the team afloat. A good season for him.

Jacob Trouba: B

The first season as captain for the Rangers was quite the roller-coaster. Trouba’s tirade in December turned the team around when they became one of the best teams in hockey. But he also tried to valiantly play through an injury early in the year and it showed with him and his partner giving up the most goals of a duo at a certain point in the year. For the captain, it was good, but not great.

K’Andre Miller: B

Miller’s career year in points and assists was overshadowed by inconsistent play with an injured Trouba. He’s got the talent to be a top defenseman though and had a fine year. 

Braden Schneider: B+

“Baby Trouba” found his niche as a strong defender throughout the season and became a consistent player for the Rangers when they were down defensemen. Schneider really showed he belonged with the Rangers this season and deserves more minutes next year. 

Igor Shesterkin: B+

People will look at Shesterkin’s numbers from last season and think this year was a down year but it’s hard to replicate what was a historic year for the Vezina winner. Still, Shesterkin gets points for being the only member of the Rangers that showed up in Game 7. He certainly deserved better. 

The trade deadline: F

Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane, Tyler Motte, and Niko Mikkola were brought in to be the finishing touches on a team that was going to go far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The fact they couldn’t get out of the first round means that the entire group, and the deadline full of rental players, was an abject failure.

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