New York Rangers star defenseman Ryan McDonagh is growing as a player and getting better and better every season, and will continue to for many years to come since he is only 24 years of age.
Not only do I think McDonagh will get better and better as the years go by, but I believe that he will take over as the Rangers’ best overall defenseman as early as this upcoming 2013-14 NHL regular season.
Last year, he recorded four goals and 15 assists in 47 games, and outside of what one would see in a box score, he was widely considered as one of the best as his job. So why wouldn’t he continue to get better at such a young age?
As of right now, many consider the best Rangers defenseman to be Marc Staal, and rightfully so. Staal has been arguably the best shut-down defensemen in the entire NHL since he entered into the league in the 2007-08 season.
However, with Staal’s recurring injury problems, whether it be concussions or his severely damaged right eye (which he intends to play with for the rest of his career despite the fact that it won’t ever be 100 percent again), it is reasonable to assume that Staal’s best hockey is now behind him.
Not only is it extremely hard for players to regain their top form after a concussion, but an injured eye that will never fully heal is just more of a reason to assume that Staal will never be the same.
Now don’t get me wrong, he might still be a top shut-down defender in this league, but I feel he will never be the best at his job again, and the man who I think will take over his title is McDonagh — barring injuries, of course.
What do you think?