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NHL New York Rangers

Top 5 Most Important Players On The New York Rangers Current Roster

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Most Important Players On The New York Rangers Current Roster

Most Important Players On The New York Rangers Current Roster
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the New York Rangers failed to achieve their ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup this season and were ousted in five games by the Boston Bruins in the second round, there is still plenty of players on the current Rangers roster that are important for the team's present and future successes, which hopefully can lead to a Stanley Cup championship soon... hopefully.

Overall, the Rangers have a fairly young team. As a matter of fact there is only one Ranger on this list who is over 30 years of age. However, I will not tell you who this player is, even though all of you who are reading this probably have a good idea who I am talking about, because you will have to click next on this slideshow to see who.

With the Rangers organization deciding to choose a different path for next season and as a result letting go John Tortorella of his coaching duties with the team, the Rangers have hired Alain Vigneault to be their new head coach for the next five years, which should have a direct result and positive impact on all of the players on this list. Vigneault's coaching strategies and style of play should especially benefit all of the forwards you will see on this slideshow.

So, without further to do, I would like to welcome all of you viewers to my slideshow of the "Top 5 Most Important Players On The New York Rangers Current Roster."

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5. Rick Nash

Rick Nash
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Nash starts off this list at No. 5 because he is without a doubt the Rangers biggest offensive weapon, at least on paper. But under Tortorella, Nash was a dud at times, especially in the postseason where he recorded only one goal and four assists in 12 games. With a brand new head coach in Vigneault at the helm, who is more offensively minded than Torts, Nash should have a bounce back year and his goal numbers should increase dramatically this upcoming season. It is so key for Nash to get off to a good start when the season begins in October so he can get back to his 30-40 goal per year form.

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4. Ryan McDonagh

Ryan McDonagh
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan McDonagh checks in at No. 4 on this list because he is arguably either the best or second-best defenseman on this team. McDonagh was in charge of defending Alexander Ovechkin, All Star player of the Washington Capitals, in the opening round of the playoffs this year, which is not an easy task at all to say the least. And McDonagh held Ovechkin in a series that went the full seven games to only one goal and one assist. McDonagh is what one would call a shut down defender and man did he show why in that series and his overall play since his career started with the Rangers back in 2010. Well deserving and worthy of being on this list.

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3. Derek Stepan

Derek Stepan
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Stepan, who was rumored to be traded last offseason in the Nash deal, not only had a better season than Nash in the 2012-13 campaign, but led the entire Rangers team in points. Stepan became a big time player this year, and with 44 points in a strike-shortened 48-game season, on an offensively-challenged team, is very good. One can only hope and expect Stepan to keep getting better, being only 23 years old, and maybe one day can be recognized as a top center not only on the Rangers, but in the league. Huge upside with Stepan puts him at No. 3 on this list.

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2. Marc Staal

Marc Staal
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Staal, in my opinion, is easily No. 2 on this list. The reason why I say this is because of the big drop-off in the Rangers overall defensive play after he was injured this year. Staal suffered a brutal puck to the eye which impaired his vision this year, which led him to only play in 21 of the 48 games and appeared in one playoff game before getting injured again. When he did play, however, Staal registered 11 points and was at the top of his game as the Rangers No. 1 shutdown defender right before his eye injury. Bad news is that Staal said in late May that the vision in his damaged eye will probably never heal 100 percent completely. It really will be a shame if Staal is to never get back to his top level of defensive play or even worse, never play hockey again. All we can do is hope and pray because without any doubt in my mind, Staal is the second most important Rangers player on their current roster.

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1. Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

I think it's safe to say that this choice was unanimous. Henrik Lundqvist is by far the most important Ranger player on their current roster. Ever since Lundqvist has been in the league, which is now going on his ninth season, he has been near the top or No. 1 in every goaltending category, and in the previous year in the 2011-12 season, he captured the Vezina Trophy, which of course is awarded to the best goaltender in the league that particular season. With Lundqvist’s contract expiring after next season and he and Rangers GM Glen Sather supposedly setting up meetings to negotiate a long-term contract extension, us Rangers fans can only hope that an agreement is reached and a deal gets done quickly because without Lundqvist, who knows where this Rangers team would be. An easy choice for No. 1.