Haggerty Hopeful For Opportunity With Rangers

8477811The past seven months or so have been an interesting time in the life of 21-year-old Rangers forward Ryan Haggerty.  A highly sought after undrafted free agent, the skilled winger signed with the Blueshirts in mid-March, but didn’t manage to get into a game anywhere in their organization.

The easy thing to say would be that he hasn’t played in a meaningful game since his last game with RPI — which topped of a year in which he posted an impressive 28-15-43 line in 35 games — but that’s to suggest that his preseason action isn’t meaningful.

Head coach Alain Vigneault suggested that three roster spots are open — one of them certainly the battle for the seventh defenseman’s role between Mike Kostka, Matt Hunwick and Steve Kampfer — and Haggerty’s name remains in the mix to crack the roster of 13 forwards the Rangers will likely break camp with.

“I just need to keep on coming out and competing,” he said.  “It’s a job opportunity, but it’s also a privilege to play in the NHL.  When you’re in a great opportunity like myself and a few other guys, the best thing you can do is show up every day, play your best hockey and compete.”

Haggerty, who is expected to play in the Rangers preseason finale against the Devils at the Prudential Center tonight, says that although he didn’t get to actually play for the organization at any point last season, the experience of just being around a veteran group did wonders for him heading into this year.

“That was big,” he said.  “Just seeing the daily routine of a lot of the guys, there are really a lot of leaders on the team.  Being able to see what it was like and being able to prepare myself coming into camp this year was big…being able to hold yourself accountable like the other guys coming in and knowing where you need to be was probably one of the biggest things from being in the organization.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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