Anthony Duclair didn’t just play himself onto the New York Rangers roster — he played Steve Kampfer right out of town.
Perhaps that’s overstating things a bit, but still: On Monday, the Rangers traded Kampfer and Andrew Yogan to Florida in exchange for Joey Crabb and in doing so, cleared a spot for Duclair to be on the opening night roster.
(By trading two contracts for one, the Rangers got to 49 total, one below the max 50.)
Duclair, 19, was the breakout star of New York’s exhibition campaign, finishing with three goals and five points in five games while averaging over 15 minutes per night. The Blueshirts’ third-round pick (80th overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Duclair — who racked up a ton of points playing under Patrick Roy with QMJHL Quebec — worked his way onto the big-league roster by impressing Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault with his speed and vision.
With the move, the Rangers will open the season with a number of youngsters at forward: Duclair, J.T. Miller (21), Jesper Fast (22), Kevin Hayes (22) and Chris Kreider (23).
On defense, the Kampfer move means Matt Hunwick will open as the No. 7 guy behind Ryan McDonagh, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein, John Moore and Marc Staal.