The Rangers added a unique blend of size and skill when they drafted forward Tim Gettinger in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, and the winger did not disappoint last season.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Gettinger posted career-highs across the board with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League last season. He finished with 31 goals and 23 assists for 54 points in 62 games, helping the Greyhounds win their division and finish second in the OHL's Western Conference.
"I'm a big body," Gettinger told NYRangers.com in March when he signed his entry-level contract with the Rangers. "Just being a big body all around in the corner, winning those puck battles. Being first on pucks and using my size in front of the net, but still being able to make plays. Using my feet because once I get going making plays with the puck, but just all year using my body more."
Adam Graves said Gettinger's mix of speed and size makes him "hard to contain" on the ice.
"When you have a player that has the puck skills that Tim does and be able to use his body in a skilled way and be able to use it as leverage to knock people off the puck and using it to screen goalies - that's the side of his game that's really starting to develop."
Rangers Assistant General Manager Chris Drury praised Gettinger's versatility in being able to play both the wing and center. Last season, the Rangers played the 19-year-old at center at the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, and Drury said it's "still to be determined" where the Rangers would like to see him play.
While the increased goal production is certainly a positive, Gettinger is quick to state his focus is on the defensive side of the puck. After being a minus-4 during his draft season, Gettinger was a plus-26 for the Sault last season.
"I'm a 200-foot player," Gettinger stated. "I love playing with the puck in the offensive zone and working down low and playing there, but … I'm going to put defense first. I'm going to block shots, be in the right position at all times."
Steve Greeley, the Rangers' assistant director of player personnel, said he saw Gettinger's game mature this season, which added to his increased production.
"He started getting goals from different areas," Greeley said. "It wasn't just tip ins or power play goals. He was able to score from 10 feet [or more] away from the net.
"His game matured," Greeley added, "and I think he's going to take another big step [next year]."
While he's signed his entry-level contract, because Gettinger is not 20 years old yet, he'd either have to play in New York or would be sent back to junior next season.