With injuries to forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider, the Rangers have recalled Cristoval “Boo” Nieves from Hartford. He’ll fill in as the 12th forward for tomorrow night’s game at Vancouver.
The 22-year old Baldwinsville, New York native was selected in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft 59th overall. Nieves spent all four years learning under Red Berenson at Michigan. After finishing with a college best 10 goals and 31 points his senior year in The Big 10, he debuted with Hartford last Spring where he tallied two goals and three assists in eight contests.
Listed at 6-3, 200 pounds, Nieves has the size and skating that coach Alain Vigneault prefers. When he got into preseason games, he impressed the coach enough to consider bringing him back if necessary. Instead, Nieves spent the first month with the Wolf Pack tallying a goal and five helpers in 13 games.
He gets the call over Marek Hrivik, who leads Hartford in scoring with 12 points (6-6-12). The Pack have struggled so far with a 3-8-2 record for last in the Atlantic Division. A bit concerning but it’s early. Hopefully, they improve and continue to develop under coach Ken Gernander.
With Nieves up, Vigneault can comprise four lines instead of mixing and matching like he did in the 3-1 win over Edmonton Sunday night. It also means extra defenseman Adam Clendening won’t dress for no reason. He didn’t get one shift. Vigneault only wanted to use him exclusively on the power play. The Rangers drew none.
For now, he’s satisfied with his top six which have played well. Clendening will continue to spell Dan Girardi when needed. I don’t necessarily agree with what he’s doing to Clendening. But it’s not my call. Dylan McIlrath must be so glad he’s no longer here. He hasn’t gotten into a game yet for the Panthers but is the extra. The Panthers visit MSG this Sunday, Nov. 20.