2. The young players
The New York Rangers have not gotten enough from their young players.
“The Kid Line” got a lot of praise in 2022-23 for some reason. The truth is, however, that the New York Rangers have not developed young players well, at least up front.
Most notably, Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko have not turned into the players that we thought they were going to be.
Lafreniere and Kakko, a first and second overall pick respectively, have both become NHL players but not stars as they were expected to.
If these two were amazing alongside some of the veterans that the New York Rangers have, they would be a team with a much better chance of winning. That just hasn’t happened.
There is still time for them to become stars but the early returns are not promising. As long as they are middle-six forwards, the Rangers won’t advance far.