What Vladislav Namestnikov Means To The Rangers

USA Today

After having some time to digest after a crazy trade deadline for the Blueshirts, Vladislav Namestnikov has stepped in and shown his worth to the team.After being the only NHL-ready player acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the massive deadline deal, Namestnikov seems to fit in quite nicely.

Through three games with the Blueshirts, Namestnikov has tallied two points, with both of those coming in his first game as a Blueshirt in Vancouver. Aside from putting points on the score sheet, Namestnikov brings a different look to the Rangers. The center has brought speed and skill up the middle to a team that desperately needed it. Through his first few games, he has found himself centering Mats Zuccarello and Jimmy Vesey. Whether that combination will stick together or not, the immediate impact he brings to this team is certainly noticeable as he has helped jolt the team to three consecutive victories.

The 25-year-old Russian has blown past his career highs in goals and assists this season, although playing on the same line as Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov certainly helps. He currently has 21 goals and 25 assists between the two squads.

Namestnikov is on the last year of his contract, however, and there is some talk on what the Rangers should do with him. The price tag shouldn’t be too inflated on the Russian, as his last contract saw him earning a shade under $2 million. Of course, a raise seems to be in order, but the center/wing brings too much to this Rangers team for them to let him walk; especially after being one of the few NHL-ready players they have acquired since this rebuild started to take place. A major part of whether or not Jeff Gorton and the rest of the organization decides to re-sign Namestnikov is based on the current crop of prospects coming up for the Rangers. Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, Boo Nieves, and Brett Howden are all centermen who are on the rise to the NHL. Many expect Andersson and Chytil to be up in the big leagues next year, which makes the decision more difficult with Namestnikov.

The Rangers have a strong prospect pool and a surplus of draft picks in the upcoming draft, and the rebuild that is in session has been extremely promising thus far. It also helps to see guys like Namestnikov, and/or Spooner, producing so quickly for this Rangers team. Where the organization decides to go with Namestnikov is up in the air, but in my opinion, what he brings to the ice every single night is too valuable.



  • I like Namestmikov and think he’s definitely an upgrade over JT. He skates so easily and looks like he’s got good hands. He just seems like a more natural talent then JT. I personally would rather see them try and make a trade with Hayes. With what I’ve heard Gorton saying about the character of the players and needing to be a tougher group I don’t see Hayes fitting that so much. I don’t mean to just pick on Hayes all the time but it’s his last year on his contract so they gotta do something one way or the other. I’m liking what I’m hearing about a few of the D men prospects we got. I think it’s imporant that they’re looking at more then just numbers. The team hasn’t had a true leader in a long time and I’m glad the front office seems to recognize these issues. Now it’s a matter of getting the right guys to fit their plan

  • Gotta resign him. Keep centers of Mika, Hayes, Chytil and a 4th. You can run Andersson and/or Namestnikov on the wing and have a really talented young and fast top 3 lines.

  • To me Vlad will fit best with Buch & Kreider. They can speak Russian and A.V. will have no idea what they plan to do on the ice.

  • Lmao David K!! I agree I think he belongs on the first line and send Zib as much as I like him should be sent elsewhere for a good winger or veteran Dman to man the back end for a season or 2 until these kids grow a bit more!! And since Lias and Chytil will be up next season id also send Hayes packing as well!! and start getting our kids their chance to be the leadership up the middle. Hayes is just as bad or at least was as bad as JT was IMO!! Neither one shown their actual talent in NY and Hayes was just a waste to even spend their time and money on when id rather have seen Nieves up than him at least he hustled and played the puck Hayes just stares at the puck like a fat kid looking at cake lol. I like Vlad even if he becomes a winger hes got a ton of speed and great hands and would be an helping hand with Kreider and his insane speed and skill!! With those 2 on the wing on one line it would be quite deadly and interesting to see what they can do together!

  • Come on guys stop! The guy has played 3 games. He looks good but lets just Take It Easy with looking to trade Z. Lets at least see what he does for the rest of the season and move on from there. I am loving this whole rebuild which I have wanted my whole life! Now I can only hope we get a top 3 pick, which doesn’t look good right now. As a long time Ranger fan since 1962 I have longed for the days of building through the draft. Not many fans realize we have never had a #1 pick over all. BOY would I be happy.

  • You all know how much I wanted this rebuild, but we got screwed once again by Stevey Y. We gave up a top 4 D-Man & captain and a 50-60 point winger for Tampa’s 5th- 7th top prospects? Sorry but we didn’t get enough for what we gave up. I for one hated to see Miller go. I would have given up Zucc, who’s 30 rather then a 24 year old. I sure hope I’m wrong but I don’t see any of those prospects being what Miller was. Namestnikov is almost 2 years older then Miller, (I thought we were looking to get younger?) and his higest year point total was only in the upper 30’s except for this year because he played with Kuchurov and Stamkos. Look at Tampa’s prospect projections and you’ll see I’m right. When will Gorton learn to stay clear of Stevey Y he robs us all the time.

    • First of all Namestnikov is only 4 months older then JT and second they weren’t looking to resign JT anyway. He’s scored 1 goal in 40 playoff games and is as good as he was gonna get. He’s good at times but then disappears and has made some terrible mental mistakes. As for Namestmikov it would great if we could let him at least finish the season before we start trading our top center and making him number one. What’s with fans these days making judgement calls on players after a few games.

  • Need to know what the freak you guys are drinking get rid of Z come on guys get rid of haze give me a break

  • I am in complete agreement with jp on this issue. Although Miller has indeed shown that there is potential in his game, recently there seems to be an obvious change in his mental game. The same can be said for McD . While we all knew that the brain trust were going to jettison Grabber, Holden and Nash , the McD Miller move is indicative of ,I believe, the presence of opposing camps developing in the locker room and beyond. With t h e return of Krieder a new paradigm shift has formed. Right or wrong it’s now Hanks team. With that being said there is no place for Hayes on this new team. If the play of McD , Miller ,Holden , and the rest was suspect then Hayes ,who is over latent with horrible on ice judgment and constant questionable play, has to go. If he is resigned ,it will be another Marc Staal contact. Stuck with a mediocre sub par player that will only be costly to get rid of. If the powers that be are dumping actual talent for future prospects then it is essential to get whatever the market will bring for Hayes . Now do nth start firing recent stats my way. As a whole over the last three years Hayes is ,by quantum leaps, a much larger “bust” then Holden Grabber Nash or Miller . I see him on those endless ECHL bus rides Hartford surly doesn’t need him. Well that should do it . OK. LMHI

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