THE BACKBONE OF THE TEAM:
CAPTAIN: Ryan McDonagh. #27. One of the few American Rangers. He got appointed captain after Callahan got traded, and he’s really matured into the role this season. He also plays on the USA National Team. He’s a defenseman. Played despite a broken foot this season in hopes of getting to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Nicknames: Mac, MacTruck.
GOALIE: Henrik Lundqvist. #30. He’s Swedish, and honestly we’re not sure how he’s actually a hockey player because looks like a model. He was out during the 2014-15 season for a while due to an injury. He’s in his mid 30s, so we really want the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup (”the Cup” for short) before he retires because he deserves to win it. Nicknames: Hank, King Henrik.
2014-15 BACK UP GOALIE: Cam Talbot. #33. Canadian. Did a fantastic job when Henrik was out with his injury. Best friends with Chris Kreider. Got traded to the Edmonton Oilers this season, to be a starting goalie, which he deserved, but still, Rangers fans were sad because he was fantastic and he left. Nickname: Cam.
2015-16 BACK UP GOALIE: Antti Raanta. From Finland. He used to be on the Blackhawks, so yes, he has won the Stanley Cup. NYR fans were actually really excited to have him as an addition to the team. He seems like a promising player! He is 26 years old.
Derick Brassard: #16. French-Canadian. Everyone’s favorite because he’s just a wonderful human being. His celly (hockey slang for “celebration”) after he scores are the best, so keep an eye out. He was a really valuable asset to the team this season. Used to be a Blue Jacket. Was drafted into the NHL (selected, basically) in 2006. Loves Nachos. Best friends with Mats Zucarello and Carl Hagelin (who got traded to the Anaheim Ducks this offseason.) He’s 27 years old. Nickname: Brass.
Derek Stepan: #21. American. Also on the US Hockey Team. Alternative captain. Really funny, and a great addition to the team. He did this segment for Blueshirts United (the Ranger’s youtube page) called ‘Stepan behind the mike’ and it’s really worth a watch. He’s 25 years old. Nicknames: Step, Steps. Alternate captain.
Dominic Moore: #28. Canadian. He went to Harvard. An amazing player who’s also overcome a personal tragedy, as his wife passed away due to cancer. He built a foundation in her honor after her passing, and is generally regarded as a really good guy. Nickname: Dom.
JT Miller: #10. American. He’s 22 years old. Miller flies a little under the radar, but he’s a really valuable player. Brassard and Miller are friends.
Mats Zuccarello: #36. Right winger. Norwegian. He is 27 years old, and he’s best friends with Brassard and Hagelin. He suffered a severe head injury this season, which resulted in him being out for quite a while. He lost the ability to speak for a few days as a result of the injury, so that made everyone nervous. A fantastic player, and everyone who has met him has said he’s a genuinely good person. He recently had the Zuccarello charity game in Norway. Nickname: Zucc, the hobbit.
Rick Nash: #61. Left winger. Another Canadian player. He was also previously on the Columbus Blue Jackets, like Brassard. Drafted in 2002. He did better in the regular season than he did in the playoffs this year, but he’s still a good player.
Chris Kreider: #20. Left winger. Boston College alumni. He’s American. Perhaps one of the most likable New York Rangers. He reads Hemingway in his spare time, and speaks like five languages. He did this cute thing called “Kreider Kisses” in which he’d kiss the helmet of his best friend Cam Talbot when he was goalie when Henrik was out. The tradition started when they were in a smaller hockey league, and just kind of carried through. Sometimes people call him “Goalie Killer Kreider” because he has a tendency to skate into goalies and knock them down, but people don’t realize it’s just because he’s like 6′3 and 200 pounds and physically can’t stop himself because he skates so fast. Nickname: Kreids. 24 years old.
Kevin Hayes: #13. Right Winger. American. Boston College alumni, too. He was drafted in 2010. He’s friends with Kreider. He played in the Zuccarello Charity Game. He’s a pretty good player, too. He’s 23 years old. His brother is also an NHL player, and for a while this season there were rumors that his brother could become a Ranger, but it didn’t work out! Darn!
Tanner Glass: 31 year old Canadian Left Winger. #15. Glass is a pretty valuable asset to the team.
Jesper Fast:Up and Coming Swedish right winger. #91.Lots of potential! Drafted in 2010.
DEFENSEMEN: Note that Ryan McDonagh would also fall under this placement.
Dan Boyle: 39 years old. Canadian. #22. He plays for the Canadian national team as well, and has formerly played for the San Jose Sharks (as well as the Lightening). He actually wasn’t drafted, which is more uncommon.
Dan Girardi: #5, and an alternate captain for the team. He’s Canadian, and was actually undrafted. He’s only ever played for the Rangers, and he’s a great asset to the team. He was signed as a free agent in 2006, and is 31 years old.
Marc Staal: Alternate captain. #18. Another Canadian player. He actually has multiple other brothers that play in the National Hockey League, which is so cool! He was drafted in the first round in 2005, 12th overall (which is really good, shows a lot of promise). He’s 28, and is a very strong player for the team.
Kevin Klein: #8, a Canadian player. He was drafted in 2003 by Nashville, and is now a Ranger. He Fun fact! He shares a birthday with Taylor Swift.
Keith Yandle: 28 year old American player. He was born in Mass. He is #93 on the team. Yes, his name sounds uncannily like ‘Candle’. Yandle’s had some great moments in the past season, and it’s really exciting to watch him mature as a player. In the gif, Yandle’s the one with the hat.
PLAYERS THAT LEFT BUT ARE STILL IMPORTANT:
Marty St. Louis: Formerly #26. A Canadian Hockey player who was undrafted into the NHL and scored over 1,000 points. He was extremely successful. Acquired in a traded with the Tampa Bay Lightening. I know people who have met him, and they all have said he’s a great guy. He retired this season, at age 40 to be a full-time dad to his children. Nickname: MSL.
Anthony Dunclair. No longer a NYR. Drafted in 2013, at age 19. He is now a player for the Coyotes.
Carl Hagelin: Formerly #62. With best friends Zucc and Brassard, the three guys starred in the “Boys in Blueshirts” web-series for Blueshirts United. Great player, great guy. Swedish. 26 years old. The reason he got traded to the Anaheim Ducks was due to cap salary, and the fact the Rangers couldn’t pay him what he believed he should have got, so they traded him. This was largely shocking to fans. Nickname: Hags. He is a fan favorite.
James Sheppard: #45. Another Canadian player. Acquired from the San Jose Sharks, but likely not going to be staying on for the 2015-16 season due to the fact the team can’t afford him. Nickname: Shep.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE TEAM:
One of the original six teams.
Founded in 1926.
Plays out of Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York, New York.
Last Stanley Cup Win: 1994.
Moral Enemies: The New York Islanders.
Stepan, Kreider, St. Louis, Brassard
The Boys in Blueshirts (Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard)
Miller & Brassard
THE BEST VIDEO EVER
Yearbook Photos, Part I
Yearbook Photos, Part II
Yearbook Photos Part III