Top 5 American-Born New York Rangers
New York Rangers: Top 5 American-Born Players
The United States of America is the land of the free and the home of the brave; it is also the home of one of the most popular and historic hockey franchises, the New York Rangers.
Yes, I know it is almost a week after July 4, but I believe it is never too late to celebrate being proud to be an American. And what better way to celebrate than listing the top five Rangers on their current roster.
Now, all of us are fully aware that the best hockey players in the National Hockey League are, of course, the Canadians and the Europeans, but there are a good number of underrated American born players, with a handful of them currently on the Rangers' roster.
Most of you can probably guess who these five Rangers are, but can you guess the correct order in which I decided to place them in this slideshow? I’m sure some debates will spark because of that, but I don’t think anyone can argue the five names on this particular list. All five of these players are not only American born, obviously, but are extremely vital to the Rangers' present and future successes, as these are some of the best players on the team.
So, without any further to do, I would like to present to you, Rangers fans and all hockey fans alike, the top five American-born Rangers on their current roster. So just sit back, relax, barbecue something and let’s celebrate America’s independence one week late by enjoying this list.
5. John Moore
John Moore starts this list off at No. 5 and rightfully so. Yes, he has only been on the Rangers since this last season’s trade deadline, but he has already proven to be a key asset in the Rangers present and future plans. Some even compare his play to Ryan McDonagh’s, even though I believe he is not quite there yet.
With the little playing time Moore received on the power play last year, he proved that he can possibly be the Rangers' power play quarterback who they have been lacking for a number of years now. I would think this upcoming season you will see Moore having a lot of ice time on the power play and as a result, will hopefully see a dramatic increase in the Rangers’ power play production.
4. Chris Kreider
Chris Kreider suffered a setback last season in his play, but that was mostly due to him not being in the starting lineup for most of the games. The upcoming 2013-14 season, however, should show Kreider on one of the Rangers' top scoring lines, and I would expect him to return to his 2011-12 playoff form.
Kreider is a very young raw talent who has the potential of being a 30-goal scorer in this league, and now with a new head coach, I’d expect Kreider to have a real breakout regular season -- the Rangers will need him to. His potential is what makes him No. 4 on this list.
3. Derek Stepan
Last season, Derek Stepan over as the Rangers' No. 1 center, and with that new responsibility, he responded well by leading the Rangers in points. Stepan’s stock is rising, and with him being a restricted free agent this year, hopefully the Rangers and him can reach a deal quickly. Stepan proved last year that he can score timely goals and be a great assist man.
With Rangers new head coach Alain Vigneault wanting to play a more up-tempo offense, I would only imagine Stepan’s numbers to increase, as he will put up more goals and more assists under Vigneault. Definitely a player to watch out for and why he is No. 3.
2. Ryan McDonagh
McDonagh, who recently was a restricted free agent for the Rangers, signed a six-year contract worth $4.7 million per season. Definitely a bargain for what he brings every day and night to the ice.
McDonagh is not only a shutdown defenseman, but he also has the potential offense to make him one of the top defensemen in the entire league. His stock is on the rise, and it is only a matter of time before he cements his name as the Rangers' No. 1 defenseman on the team. I can’t wait to see what kind of numbers he puts up in a more offensive system. McDonagh at No. 2 for sure.
1. Ryan Callahan
The New York Rangers' captain, the heart and soul of the team not named Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, is the No. 1 American-born player on the Rangers.
Before I continue, I would just like to sincerely apologize for not putting Callahan in the top five for most important Rangers on a previous slideshow of mine. I should have definitely put him over Rick Nash.
Yes, Callahan may not be the most skilled player in the world or put up impressive offensive numbers, but he does the little things every night that doesn't show up in a box score. He leads by example every night by doing the dirty work in the corners, not being afraid to get hit, and going after and checking bigger guys, as Callahan isn’t exactly the tallest player on the ice. This is what makes him an important player on the team and this is why he is the No. 1 American-born Ranger on their current roster.