The New York Rangers didn’t turn heads when they claimed forward Jake Leschyshyn off waivers, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have use for the youngster.
Leschyshyn was a second-round pick in 2017 for Vegas but was recently waived by the team after not scoring a point in 22 games this season. He hasn’t had a penchant for scoring since being called up to the NHL, but he still is a player the Rangers could use as they continue to fight for control in a tight Metro division.
“I’ve seen him one or two years. He’s a character kid. he works hard. He did really well in the minors last year.” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said before Thursday’s contest.
The son of Curtis Michael Leschyshyn played in 137 AHL games in the Knights’ organization and posted 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points. He notched AHL career-highs last season with Henderson when he tallied 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points in 34 games. In 63 NHL games with Vegas, Leschyshyn has totaled two goals and four assists.
When discussing his role, Gallant did not mention expectations the team had for the 23-year-old but understood what the North Carolina native brings to the table.
“He’s a role player that kills penalties, works hard, and plays that defensive game.”
While Gallant did acknowledge that Leschyshyn would not play in Thursday night’s contest against the Stars, the extra depth won’t hurt New York as they look to find plausible solutions to replace Chris Kreider’s production both offensively and defensively.
Kreider will not play in Thursday’s bout with Dallas but isn’t expected to be out for long with an upper-body injury.
For more New York Rangers news, turn to AMNY.com