Apr 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber (6) and New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) during the game at the First Niagara Center. Rangers beat the Sabres 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3 From 30: New York Rangers' Rising Stars

The New York Rangers have been the dominate New York team for as long as I can remember. They have been strong with not only their offense, but their goaltending, too. Nicknamed “King Hank,” Henrik Lundqvist has proven to be a great goaltender year after year. I would put him in the top 5 goaltenders in the league. With that being said, here are my three choices for rising stars in the Rangers jersey.

Rick Nash was one of the biggest names in the NHL before the lockout occurred. He, being the captain of the terrible Columbus Blue Jackets, was traded to the Rangers for a massive amount of players. Many believed it wasn’t worth it, because he was associated with Columbus. No one really knew how good he really was. This season as a Ranger, he nailed down 42 points in 44 games. He showed everyone that he wasn’t playing around. His +16 rating was phenomenal, and he has the potential this upcoming season to be amazing. I think he can nail down around the 100-point mark.

May 8, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto (4) and Washington Capitals right wing Eric Fehr (16) battle for the puck during the first period in game four of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Del Zotto is tied for my favorite Rangers player (tied with Marc Staal), and has a great skill on the ice. Not only is he a very good defenseman, he can score points, too. He recorded 21 points in his 46-games run last season. These are very good numbers, and he will be able to keep it up this year. I can see him hitting 60-70 points from the blue line, and I can see a big +/- rating for the Rangers. Del Zotto isn’t the only defenseman to watch out for this year.

May 6, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson (90) and New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) battle for the puck in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan McDonagh was just below Del Zotto last season. The Montreal draftee in 2007 managed 19 points in 45 games. In the playoffs, he produced 4 points in 12 games. This is a player who could be great this season. If this happens the way I think, the Rangers will be hard to beat. I think if these players step up the way I think, and Lundqvist keeps up his play, this team can possibly take the Stanley Cup.

These players are good, and they can be contributing factors to the Rangers making the playoffs this year. I’m not one to predict anything before the season begins, but I would put my money on the Rangers making it to at least the Conference Finals this season. If I’m wrong, they will be pretty close. Let me know what you think. Tweet us @TMMotS and myself @NardoneDylan.

Tags: FanSided New York Rangers NHL

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