Former first-round pick returns to Rangers roster from AHL stint

The Rangers recalled winger Brennan Othmann, one of their top forward prospects, from AHL Hartford on Thursday, per a team announcement. With an open roster spot and sufficient salary cap space, no corresponding transaction is necessary.

It’s likely not a permanent promotion for the 21-year-old, who played in his first three NHL games earlier this season. He comes up for precautionary reasons, with Artemi Panarin and Jimmy Vesey listed as day-to-day with lower-body injuries. If neither can play against the Devils Thursday, Othmann and minor-league veteran Alex Belzile will enter the lineup.

Othmann has had some defensive growing pains in his first pro season, but his offensive production suggests he’s on track to meet the expectations assigned to him when the Rangers picked him 16th overall in 2021. With 14 goals, 22 assists and 36 points in 44 games, he’s second on Hartford in scoring behind Belzile, although his -14 rating is the worst on the team.

The Scarborough, Ontario, native averaged 9:05 in his trio of NHL showings in January and recorded six shots on goal. He’s still looking for his first NHL point.

The 6-foot, 175-lb winger signed his entry-level contract over two and a half years ago, but after spending the prior two campaigns on loan to the OHL, an entry-level slide activated twice and pushed the beginning of his deal to this season. As such, signing bonuses paid out during the slide reduced his cap hit slightly to $863.3K from its initial $925K, and he’ll be a restricted free agent without arbitration rights in 2026.

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