VANCOUVER — With almost 30 games in the books this season, the Rangers trade of goalie Cam Talbot at last June’s draft has turned sour for the Edmonton Oilers, who host the Rangers on Friday.
Talbot, 28, who was swapped for three draft picks and was expected to be the No. 1 netminder for Edmonton, is 3-8-1 with a 3.17 GAA and .889 save percentage. He has surrendered his job to Anders Nilsson, the 6-5 former Islander. Nilsson, 25, who was 9-9-2 in 2011-12 and 2013-14 in New York, is 8-7-1 with a 2.49 GAA and .922 save percentage.
According to reports, Talbot likely won’t play Friday, but it’s possible that he starts at Madison Square Garden next Tuesday. That will be the second game of a back-to-back; the Oilers play Monday in Boston.
The downturn has been dramatic for Talbot, whose value rose when he was 21-9-4 with a 2.21 GAA and .926 save percentage and five shutouts as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup last season. Meanwhile, backup Antti Raanta, who was signed as a free agent, is expected to face either Edmonton or Calgary this weekend. Raanta is 4-2 with a 1.48 GAA and .945 save percentage.
The three 18-year-olds that the Rangers selected with the 62nd, 79th and 184th picks are faring well. Right wing Robin Kovacs has 11 goals and 17 points in 22 games for AIK in Sweden’s Allsvenskan league. Defenseman Sergey Zborovskiy is 4-7-11 in 27 games with the WHL Regina Pats and goaltender Adam Huska of the Green Bay Gamblers leads the USHL in GAA (1.88) and save percentage (.936) and has nine wins.
Summers to get summoned?
The Rangers may call up a spare defenseman from Hartford to meet them in Edmonton for the back-to-back set. With Raphael Diaz injured, Chris Summers, 27, who arrived from Arizona in the trade for Keith Yandle and has played in 67 NHL games, could be the choice.