Maybe Matt Puempel really will flourish now that he’s with the New York Rangers after struggling to accomplish much of anything with the Ottawa Senators.
He indicated as much upon his departure from Ottawa, and Thursday served as his creative peak; the 23-year-old generated his first hat trick as the Rangers beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-3.
Remarkably, all three of Puempel’s goals came on the power play. Here’s video of the trio:
In 13 games with the Senators this season, he couldn’t generated a point. Last night represented his 12th game with the Rangers, where things are going much better, especially lately. He has four goals and one assist in his last four games despite limited ice time.
(Speaking of that, 4:05 of his 12:20 in ice time came on the man advantage. Perhaps Alain Vigneault sees Puempel as a Sam Gagner-type specialist?)
It’s still unclear if Puempel will be able to make good on his potential as the 24th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, but the Rangers look pretty bright for giving him a chance.