Rangers trim roster, Skjei stands out against Bruins

Following their third exhibition game, the Rangers made five more cuts. Brett Bellemore, Marek Hrivik, Tommy Hughes, Jeff Malcolm and Adam Tambellini were assigned to Hartford.

That trims the training camp roster down to 34. Nineteen forwards, twelve defensemen and three goalies remain. Here is the breakdown:

FORWARDS: Luke Adam, Ryan Bourque, Derick Brassard, Emerson Etem, Jesper Fast, Brian Gibbons, Tanner Glass, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Matt Lindblad, Jayson Megna, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, Rick Nash, Viktor Stalberg, Derek Stepan, Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello

DEFENSEMEN: Mat Bodie, Dan Boyle, Raphael Diaz, Dan Girardi, Ryan Graves, Kevin Klein, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Chris Summers, Keith Yandle

GOALIES: Magnus Hellberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta

Eventually, they’ll get down to 22 or 23. Zuccarello made his preseason debut Thursday night scoring a power play goal while playing with Brassard and Nash. The trio had great chemistry last season. Gotta figure they’ll be together again barring something unforeseen.

Lundqvist also debuted allowing just a goal on 22 shots before Malcolm replaced him. The Bruins came back from a 3-1 deficit posting a 4-3 win in a shootout. Overtime again was 3-on-3 but with a wrinkle due to penalties. Both teams had 4-on-3 power plays. Neither scored. Malcolm made a big save in the waning seconds and got help from a diving Bourque.

The skill competition was entertaining. After a save from Malcolm, Boyle forced extras with a forehand tuck. But Brad Marchand scored the winner for the B’s.

Among the standouts was Skjei. He scored a goal and assisted on another. The 21-year old defenseman has been noticeable throughout camp. It would be nice to see him make the roster. But with the top six set and Diaz signed as the extra, he’s probably better served starting the season with the Wolf Pack where he can develop properly.

What about McIlrath? Is there a place for him on the roster? He doesn’t have much more to prove at Hartford and can be claimed on waivers. We’ll have to wait and see.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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