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Rangers Announce 2019-20 Schedule

Blueshirts open season on October 3 against Winnipeg at MSG

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

The New York Rangers announced their 2019-20 regular season schedule today. The Blueshirts will begin their 93rd NHL season on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are beginning the regular season at home for the fourth consecutive season and for the 28th time in franchise history. The last time the Rangers began four or more consecutive seasons with a home game was a seven-season stretch from 1981-82 - 1987-88.

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The Rangers will play a total of 28 games against Metropolitan Division opponents this season, as they face each of the other seven teams in the Metropolitan Division (Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington) four times apiece. New York will play 24 games against teams in the Atlantic Division, facing each of its eight Atlantic Division opponents three times apiece. The Rangers will play two home games against four Atlantic Division opponents (Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, and Toronto) and two road games against four Atlantic Division opponents (Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay). The Blueshirts will play 30 games against Western Conference opponents, facing each of the 15 teams in the Western Conference twice in 2019-20.

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    Shesterkin, Kravtsov Shine in Rangers Development Camp Debut

    Former KHLers make long-awaited debut in New York sweaters

    by Jess Isner

    STAMFORD, Conn. - Five years ago, in June 2014, the New York Rangers selected Igor Shesterkin in the NHL Entry Draft. 

    On Monday, for the first time, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton got a glimpse of him in net stateside, wearing a Rangers sweater. 

    And it felt good. 

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    Kakko Takes First Steps as Rangers' Prospects Hit the Ice

    by Michael Obernauer

    STAMFORD, Conn. -- The past week has been life-changing for Kaapo Kakko, and he has spent that week under a spotlight that has never been so bright in his life. He arrived in Vancouver with most of the eyes and cameras trained on him and one other prospect. On Friday night he stepped onto the mantle, and into the Blueshirt, as the No. 2 pick in the NHL Draft. On Sunday he stepped foot in New York City for the very first time.

    Monday, then, was a chance for him to return to a place that has always been familiar, somewhere he knows he always belongs: Kakko was back on ice again, and for the first time wearing his new Rangers colors.

    He has won three major international tournaments in the past year; he has broken records in his home country's domestic league; he fulfilled his dream of being drafted into the NHL. Where does Kaapo Kakko go from here?

    "It's easy. My next goal is to play in the NHL next season," Kakko said on Monday. "So that's it."

    Kakko was speaking after the 2019 Rangers Prospect Development Camp kicked off on Monday morning at Chelsea Piers Connecticut. There are 37 players on the roster for the weeklong camp, seven of whom were drafted by the club on Saturday afternoon, and one other, Kakko, who was the Blueshirts' prize in Friday night's first round.

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    Everything You Need to Know About the Rangers' 7 Day 2 Draft Picks

    New York selects 3 defensemen, 4 forwards in Rounds 2-7 of the 2019 NHL Draft

    by Jess Isner

    VANCOUVER -- With the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Rangers knew they were assured of getting a great player. That much was a well-known commodity. 

    On Friday night in Vancouver, they acquired that player in Kaapo Kakko, who is intended to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. 

    But on Day 2 of this year's draft, they made seven additional selections, most of them a bit more under-the-radar than Kakko but many of whom could still become marquee players down the line. 

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    Rangers Make Eight Selections in 2019 NHL Entry Draft

    Blueshirts select five forwards and three defensemen

    by New York Rangers @NYRangers

    During the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, which was held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22, the Rangers selected eight players. With their eight picks in the Draft, the Blueshirts selected five forwards and three defensemen.

    The Rangers entered the 2019 NHL Entry Draft with the second overall pick. The Blueshirts selected second or higher in the Draft for only the third time since the NHL Amateur/Entry Draft's inception in 1963 and for the first time since 1966, when the team chose Brad Park with the second overall pick.

    On Friday, the Rangers used the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft to select forward Kaapo Kakko. Kakko, 18, skated in 45 games with TPS of Liiga (Finnish Elite League) this past season, registering 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points, along with a plus-one rating and 10 penalty minutes. Kakko's 22 goals in 2018-19 were the most any U18 player has registered in one season in the history of Finland's top league, breaking the record of 21 set by Aleksander Barkov in 2012-13. The 6-2, 194-pounder was named the Rookie of the Year in Liiga in 2018-19.

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    Rangers Select Kaapo Kakko 2nd Overall: 'Couldn't Be More Excited'

    Jeff Gorton, John Davidson call high-octane Finnish winger a potential cornerstone piece

    by Jess Isner

    VANCOUVER -- It has been exactly 73 days since New York won the lottery and drew the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. On Friday night in Vancouver, the Rangers finally got their guy. 

    On Friday, the Rangers selected Finnish forward Kaapo Kakko out of Liiga's TPS, and after 73 days of waiting, General Manager Jeff Gorton could finally let himself truly, honestly think about what a future with Kaapo Kakko looks like for his hockey club. 

    "We got a chance at a special player," Gorton said. "We all saw what he did over the course of the season. We saw that he's won a few championships and excelled at every one of them. It's an exciting day for us. To win the lottery almost seems like months ago, and here we are today to finally call the name. It's just an exciting day."

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    Photos: Kaapo Kakko's Draft Night

    by New York Rangers @NYRangers

    View photos from Kaapo Kakko's first night as a member of the Rangers organization after the Blueshirts selected him with the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

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    Rangers Select Kaapo Kakko

    Blueshirts select 6-2, 194-pound forward with the second overall pick of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft

    by New York Rangers @NYRangers

    With the second overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Rangers selected forward Kaapo Kakko.

    Kakko, 18, skated in 45 games with TPS of Liiga (Finnish Elite League) this past season, registering 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points, along with a plus-one rating and 10 penalty minutes. Kakko's 22 goals in 2018-19 were the most any U18 player has registered in one season in the history of Finland's top league, breaking the record of 21 set by Aleksander Barkov in 2012-13. In addition, Kakko's 38 points this past season were the third-most in one season by a U18 player in the history of Finland's top league, trailing only Barkov (48 in 2012-13) and Mikael Granlund (40 in 2009-10).

    The 6-2, 194-pounder was named the Rookie of the Year in Liiga in 2018-19. Kakko tied for sixth in Liiga (and led all rookies) in goals during the past season. He also tied for second in the league in game-winning goals (seven). Kakko led TPS in goals and game-winning goals, tied for second on the team in shot attempts (228), and tied for third in points this past season, and he also ranked second among team forwards in average ice time in 2018-19 (18:11). He ranked third among all Liiga rookies (and led Liiga rookie forwards) in average ice time during the past season. Kakko also skated in five games with TPS during the 2019 Playoffs, registering four goals and one assist for five points. His four goals during the 2019 Playoffs were tied for the second-most by a U18 player in one year in the history of Liiga (Patrik Laine holds the record - 10 during the 2016 Playoffs). Kakko tied for fourth among all players in Liiga - and led all rookies in the league - in goals during the playoffs this past year. Including the playoffs, he registered 20 points (14 goals, six assists) over his final 18 games of the season.

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    Jacob Trouba is No Stranger to Rangers Roster

    The newly acquired defenseman counts Brady Skjei among his childhood friends; played with Brendan Lemieux, Boo Nieves

    by Jess Isner

    It was just a normal Monday evening for Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei. He was at home in Lakeville, Minn., when, just before 7 PM, he received a FaceTime from longtime buddy Jacob Trouba. 

    "He just said, 'What's up, teammate?'" Skjei said of learning that his childhood friend had been traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the New York Rangers. "We were both really pumped on the call - a few yells of 'Let's go!' We were both thrilled."

    Skjei met Trouba - acquired on Monday in exchange for Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in Friday's NHL Draft - when they were sophomores in high school and were trying out for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. They played there together for two years (2010-2012) before setting off for college - Skjei to the University of Minnesota and Trouba to the University of Michigan. 

    At Michigan, Trouba played for one season with Rangers forward Boo Nieves. Then he signed with the Jets, where he played two of his six seasons with Ranger Brendan Lemieux, who was acquired from Winnipeg at the 2019 Trade Deadline. 

    So although New York presents quite a change of scenery from what Trouba has known for the last six years in Winnipeg, the Rangers dressing room will sort of feel just like home. 

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    Mika Zibanejad's Draft Diary: 'Cherish It & Don't Take it For Granted'

    Rangers center thinks back on the Combine, the bike test, his draft night & being traded to New York

    by Mika Zibanejad | @mikazibanejad

    The most stressful 10 minutes of my life weren't while I was waiting to be drafted. 

    They were actually after I had been traded. 

    The day I found out I had been traded from the Senators to the Rangers, I was Facetiming with my brother because I had just built a new house in Ottawa. I had been there for one week exactly. I was showing my brother around the house, and I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. So I didn't answer it. 

    Then, my phone died immediately.

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