A day after giving up seven goals in a loss to the Blue Jackets, the Rangers called up defenseman Ryan Lindgren from AHL Hartford on Monday.
Lindgren, 20, was perhaps the biggest piece — along with a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft — that the Rangers got back from the Boston Bruins in the Rick Nash deal last February.
In 35 games for Hartford this season, Lindgren has five assists, a plus-7 defensive rating and 41 penalty minutes.
“I try to be a competitive guy, be a leader, [be] good in my own zone, [make a] good first pass,’’ Lindgren said in describing his game at the Rangers’ Prospect Development Camp in June.
“I just try to be a guy that brings it every day, be hard to play against, be in the face of the opponents and be a guy who can shut down other teams’ top lines and just be a guy that can be relied on, and be a good steady defenseman and chip in offensively when he can.’’
Freddie Claesson’s shoulder injury opened the door for the Rangers to call up one of their highly regarded prospects, Lindgren or Libor Hajek, from Hartford. Claesson, who was injured in Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Islanders when he was hit by Matt Martin, was scheduled to have an MRI on the shoulder Monday, and Lindgren’s call-up signals that Claesson is headed for injured reserve.
The Rangers have a full roster of 23 — including eight defensemen — and could not call anyone up without sending someone down or placing someone on IR.
Lindgren was a second-round pick by the Bruins in the 2016 draft, and he was the prospect the Rangers demanded when they traded Nash to Boston.
According to Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark, the Rangers loved Lindgren, Hajek and Brett Howden in that draft but did not have a first- or second-round pick that summer. So when they announced their rebuild last February, those three were sought by the Rangers.
Lindgren played two seasons for the University of Minnesota. He left college after last season and signed with the Rangers.
The Rangers traded Hartford forward Cole Schneider to Nashville for forward Connor Brickley, who had been playing for the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
Schneider, 28, had 13 goals and 12 assists in 36 games for Hartford. He was called up to the Rangers on Dec. 8 but was scratched from the lineup for two games before being returned to Hartford.
Brickley, 26, had seven goals and four assists in 39 games for Milwaukee. He will report to Hartford.