The fifth and final day of Rangers development camp saw the collection of drafted prospects and invitees partake in a competitive scrimmage.
The white team consisting of the likes of 2022 second round pick Adam Sykora and Bobby and Will Cuylle ended up outlasting the blue team with 2021 first round pick Brennan Othmann and 2022 third round pick Bryce McConnell-Barker by a score of 5-1.
While the controlled scrimmage saw plenty of physical hits along the boards and in play, director of Player Development Jed Ortmeyer was pleased with the way the young guns played.
“It was a good, busy week. Got to know the guys better and they got to know us and how we do things.” Ortmeyer said. “We wanted to see the guys compete and fight for jobs and get us excited for training camp.”
There were several standouts throughout the controlled scrimmage, with a healthy majority being from the white team today.
“I think a lot of guys played well.” Ortmeyer said. “We have a good group, a lot of good pieces. Our scouting staff did a good job of giving us character guys with good skill.”
One of the main players who stood out in camp was 2022 second round selection Adam Sykora. After dubbing himself the name of a “rat” on the ice, the 17 year old scored a goal in the scrimmage and then was rewarded with a three-year, entry-level contract, as announced by the team.
Whether it was getting into pushing matches after the whistle blew, physicality along the boards, or cleaning up plays in the crease, Sykora was everywhere Friday morning. His physicality is clearly a calling card and will serve him well as he continues to grow his game.
“How can you not like him?” Ortmeyer joked. “He (Sykora) has a smile on his face every time. It was fun to work with him this week.”
On numerous occasions over the last week, Sykora was seen even making life uncomfortable for Brennan Othmann, perhaps the top Rangers prospect the team currently holds.
Sykora was not the only standout in Friday’s scrimmage. Top prospects Othmann and Will Cuylle both scored during the scrimmage. Ortmeyer also pointed to both of the player’s leadership as a major focal point and something he was pleased to see throughout camp.
The Rangers have a deep core of young defensive prospects but Cuylle and Othmann are seen as the two best forwards coming up that the Rangers have.
New York also saw some of their late round and smaller players make an impact. UMASS star Bobby Trivigno also scored in the scrimmage, and paired with Providence standout Brett Berard, made a lethal combination all through Friday morning.
“He’s got a big heart.” Ortmeyer said on Trivigno. “He plays hard and competes. Really excited to see him work and he’ll have a big summer to get ready for training camp.”
While Trivigno will be looking for ways to make the big league club, Berard is going back to Providence College for his third season with the Friars. The Rhode Island native had multiple good shots and excellent feeds that were saved by the opposing goalie. He looked like he had a great feel for the game and matched very well when paired with Trivigno and Skinner.
Ortmeyer was also impressed with the swagger of the Rhody native.
“He has a lot of energy. He’s getting ready for World Junior camp and he likes the big stage.” the director said. “It’s fun to watch him play.”
Trivigno and Berard all stood out in key ways as late round, or undrafted targets by the Rangers. Paired with high draft picks like Sykora, Cuylle and Othmann, the Rangers could have a nice core of young forwards waiting in the wings.
Rangers have players suffer injuries
The scrimmage was unfortunately not all positive though. Shortly in the second half, goaltender Olof Lindbom suffered what appeared to be an injury and left the ice after a small collision with Will Cuylle.
“I think it’s just better to be safe than sorry in July. Talk to the doctors but I think he should be fine.” Ortmeyer said.
Lindbom has had issues with injuries in the past and recently signed a two year deal with the club.
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