Anthony Duclair wants to make it hard for the New York Rangers.
The speedy 19-year-old sniper from the Quebec Remparts and the 80th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft is hoping to make the Rangers brain trust think long and hard about keeping him on the team’s roster instead of sending him back to his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team.
“I’m trying to make this team for sure,” Duclair told MSG Networks between periods of the Rangers 4-1 preseason win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago Friday’s night.”I’m not a kid looking to go back to junior.”
And if he scores more goals like the one he notched midway through the first period of Friday night’s game, Duclair could find himself skating on Broadway. It was his first NHL goal.
“I thought I was going to be nerveous, but I handled it pretty well with the help of the guys here, talking to me, telling me to relax,” Duclair told Blueshirts United after the game.
Duclair registered 50 goals and 49 assists in 59 games last season for Quebec. Though his 2013-14 stats were impressive, Rangers management entered training camp thinking that Duclair could benefit from another year of seasoning in the QMJHL.
But Duclair has other ideas.