Puempel, 24, was claimed off waivers from Ottawa last season and fared reasonably well for the Rangers, scoring six goals and nine points in 27 games. With this new deal, he’ll either compete for a bottom-six forward gig in New York next season — or be headed to Vegas.
Today’s contract was a requirement for the Rangers, who needed another forward under contract to expose at the upcoming expansion draft. While it’s unclear if Golden Knights GM George McPhee would be interested in Puempel, the former first-round pick does check some boxes.
Puempel is still reasonably young, has pedigree (24th overall in his draft class), and has shown well in the American League. He was a consistent scoring threat with Binghamton, which included 30 points in 34 games during the ’15-16 campaign.