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Rangers GM, Chris Drury addresses Lundkvist absence, expectations for critical 2022 season

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Rangers trade Nils Lundkvist

New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury made several moves in the offseason in the hopes that the 2022-23 squad will be better than the year prior. 

After falling in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, New York enters a new season as a true contender in the Eastern Conference. 

For general manager Chris Drury, those heightened expectations should be expected. 

“Like any team, our goal is to make the playoffs and be ready. If and when we’re lucky enough to be in the playoffs, we’ll try to build on and expand on what we did last year.” Drury said after Thursday’s practice to Vince Z. Mercogliano of USA Today

With new acquisitions like Vincent Trocheck and Ryan Carpenter now in toe, the goal will be to try and mold the current roster into a winning team. 

Even if there are players currently missing. 

Drury speaks on Lundkvist, other bubble players

Nils Lundkvist turned heads weeks ago when the young defenseman’s agent announced that the Swedish-born player would not be coming to training camp in lieu of facilitating a trade out of New York. 

Lundkvist’s camp cited the logjam of defensive prospects that are competing for the lone starting spot opposite of Braden Schneider as the reason for a search for a new team. 

While there reportedly has not been an update from Lundkvist’s camp, Drury remained steadfast that he was still a member of the New York Rangers. 

“I don’t really have any update on it. Obviously, we think he’s a real good player. We drafted him. We’ve worked with him for the last number of years… We certainly hope he’s here next week.” Drury said according to Mollie Walker of the New York Post. 

With Lundkvist expected to be a no-show at camp next week, there are a few young prospects that have taken the opening as a challenge to show out and improve at the big league level. 

Zac Jones has been at rookie camp for the last couple of days and has made the notice that he wanted to be at rookie camp to send the message that he was ready to take on the role. Vitali Kravtsov is another young player that appears ready to make a name for himself. 

“I think he’s (Kravtsov) on a great track. He chose voluntarily to come here very early in the summer… So that was obviously a great sign.” Drury added according to Mollie Walker. 

Kravtsov had reportedly asked for a trade due to his frustration over playing time and Rangers and signed a one-year, $875,000 contract for the 2022–23 season on 12 June 2022.

There are many questions and concerns that center around the Rangers’ young core of prospects looking to make a name for themselves. While training camp hasn’t started yet, Chris Drury is already prepared to demand heightened expectations from his young team. 

For more Chris Drury and New York Rangers news, turn to AMNY.com