New York Rangers second line center job up for grabs

Brett Howden, New York Rangers. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Brett Howden, New York Rangers. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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New York Rangers
Filip Chytil, New York Rangers. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Filip Chytil

Good sized and talented, Filip Chytil has the tools to become a very good NHL player. The soon to be 20-year-old Czech has two major areas to improve on before that happens and if he gets one of them done, the other should shortly follow. First of all, he can be very inconsistent, which is more than likely a product of his second area of opportunity, maturity.

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In short, he needs to grow up a little bit before he can be successful. Just like the Lit song the young forward is his own worst enemy. Last year Quinn tried several different ways to get Chytil producing consistently.

He was shifted across all four lines and played both center and leftwing. Additionally, Chytil was even benched at times. Hopefully, he learned from last season and is ready to take the next step.

Lias Andersson

Boy would the New York Rangers coaching staff jump for joy if the seventh overall selection in the 2017 draft would win and hold the second line center slot. Last year Lias Andersson split the season between New York and Hartford. While with the big club, he played in 42 contests scoring only six points.

He’ll have to do much better this season and it has to start in training camp. Andersson was outplayed by Howden in 2018 and it cost him an opening night roster spot. Considering the Swede is a few months shy of his 21st birthday he still has time to show the attributes which made him a high draft pick. He skates well, isn’t afraid to use his body, and was known for his high energy. The latter of those traits is a fantastic place for him to start putting his NHL career in gear.

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Regardless of who gets the job, the winner has to improve his faceoff skills. Only Howden won over 48 percent of his draws last year. A team can’t score if it doesn’t get the puck.