Winger Kaapo Kakko skated with the Rangers on Thursday for the first time since he was added to the COVID-19 log list on February 20.
« He’s still everyday so he definitely is nearby, « said head coach David Quinn before the Rangers took on the Devils at the Prudential Center on Thursday night. “Nice to have him out there again. He had no real chance – this was his first time on the ice.
« We’ll definitely get him into the game at the right time for a variety of reasons. »
It was Kakko’s second stint on the COVID log list . The first kept him away from just one game (February 1st) due to a false positive. But the 20-year-old Finn has missed the last six games.
After Kakko was removed from the list of coronavirus protocols, Quinn said he had to go through the return-to-play protocol before returning to the line-up Kakko started to find a home in the second row of Rangers next to Ryan Strome and Alexis Lafreniere before landing on the list. He’s had two goals and an assist in 14 games.
Defenders Jacob Trouba (broken thumb) and Anthony Bitetto (lower body injury) also took part in the morning skate and were soon back.
« It does [everyone on the move] « Quinn said of the players’ return. “If you bring the guys closer to the line-up, you naturally create more depth. You have a better chance of winning hockey games.
« So I’m sure some people were excited, some nervous. These guys are good players and will join the line-up when they’re ready to go. But overall it feels good that guys are excited. «
Igor Shesterkin started Thursday for the second year in a row, which would be his fifth in the last eight games.
Braden Schneider, the Rangers’ 19th overall 2020 draft winner, signed a three-year deal on Wednesday for entry-level customers that should start between 2021 and 22.
The deal has a cap hit of $ 925,000 and an average annual value of $ 1,325,000. The 19-year-old defender is expected to attend next season’s NHL training camp. If he doesn’t attend the opening night, he’ll be sent to AHL Hartford.
Defense attorney Mason Geertson signed a two-way deal Wednesday and was put on waivers to give the Rangers more options for their taxi squad.
After Geertson agreed to an AHL contract with the wolf pack on September 29, 2019, he played 64 games in Hartford. In four games this year, the 25-year-old had an assist and 11 penalty minutes.
With 109 penalty minutes in 2019-20, Geertson led all AHL defenders in this category. The Avalanche’s fourth round election in 2013 ran in 281 AHL career games over seven seasons.
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