I think we're trying to assess a team with a lot of unanswered questions.
Yes, we know that we have very few graduating players. What is graduating will deplete a lot of our defensive depth. That's true. You can't complete unless you replace DiPerna and Hora. Even if you wanted to look at this in the aggregate - that Hall and Vallati replace Hora and DiPerna and you're really just replacing what you got from Vallati and Hall this year, it's still a task. Fair enough. You don't know who's going to report. If someone like Tyler Inamoto shows up, that changes things.
You don't know what you're going to get at 11th Overall this year. That's going to be a pretty good player. How much impact they'll have depends on a number of factors. Similarly, you don't know what you're going to get if you trade the rights to Merrick Rippon or trade to clear up a congested goaltending pipeline. We used five goaltenders this year, four of them are eligible to return. You've got to move one of them. Opie has the best track record and, therefore the most trade value. But also represents the team's best ability to contend. Luke Richardson and Chris McGonigle both looked solid for stretches this season and could foreseeably shoulder the load next season in tandem. But you're betting on the unproven there.
Where it seems we're unlikely to have problems - barring injuries - is scoring. We're returning two forwards with 40 goal potential (Mascherin and Bunnaman), one with 30 goal potential (Garreffa) and some solid young depth behind them in Meireles, McHugh and Damiani. We also have open questions in Guest and Yantsis. Should Lias Andersson report - a matter which will be entirely up to the NHL team that drafts him (and they'll have AHL and Swedish options) - we won't hurt for scoring depth.
And this is where I don't understand Rangers fans right now. Based on what we know right now, this isn't a bad team. Is it better than Owen Sound going into next year? No. But I don't think it's as far off as others think. You add Lias Andersson, Tyler Inamoto and an asset or two acquired in trades - particularly on defence - and this is a highly competitive team.
The big question mark, as it is for all teams, is injury. That's an important one to consider. We got 32 games out of Blaisdell and Hall combined this year. We lost 15 from Frank Hora. Opie probably missed 20 starts at the start of the season. That's considerable missed time from guys you rely on to keep the puck out of your net.
Our New GM has some assets to work with. You don't know what internal improvement you're going to see. Keep the faith Rangers Nation!