During his second development camp with the Rangers last year, Brennan Othmann recalls being asked what else he had to accomplish in the OHL after the dynamic left wing scored the second-most goals (50) in the entire league and recorded the seventh-most points (97).
Win a championship.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Othmann handily achieved his goal this past season when he helped the Peterborough Petes defeat the London Knights in six games to hoist Ontario’s top junior hockey prize, the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
With eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 23 playoff games, Othmann did a little more than just help.
“I proved that I’m able to score goals, I proved that I’m able to battle and compete and hit, now, I think I’ve proven to be a winner,” Othmann told The Post off to the side of the MSG Training Center rink on the first day of his third development camp.
“I’ve won the World Juniors twice, and was able to win an OHL championship. I’m very thankful and honored for that. So there’s a lot of emotions going on.”
It all came on the heels of an eventful season for Othmann, who was traded in the middle of the year from the team he had called home for three seasons, the Flint Firebirds, to Peterborough.
The 20-year-old acknowledged that it was a quick transition, noting that he was traded Nov. 12 and was in the Petes’ lineup the next day.
Going through the machinations of the trade, adjusting to a new system and acclimating to new surroundings, however, should benefit him in the long run, Jed Ortmeyer, the Rangers’ director of development, believes.
“He had a great year,” Ortmeyer said. “The adversity of changing teams and going through the process I think is going to make him a better pro going forward. Went into Peterborough, had a great run there and then winning a championship is great.
“Getting to play on the biggest stage in the Memorial Cup and World Juniors, so he played a lot of hockey this year. We’re excited about what he was able to accomplish and really proud of him.”
Depending on how training camp unfolds, Othmann is expected to start the 2023-24 season with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Othmann could have a similar road map to the one Will Cuylle had last season.
The Rangers’ 2020 second-round pick played serious AHL minutes and was rewarded with a four-game NHL cameo at the end of January and into early February.
Cuylle was a player Othmann, the club’s first-round pick in 2021, pointed to when asked what his approach would be if he did start the season in Hartford.
“Going into camp, I think my expectations are high on myself,” Othmann said. “That’s just the type of person I am. I haven’t spoken to [the Rangers] about the expectations. I think they’re more worried about their offseason right now and getting their players they need to get. That’s respectable for them, they want to get the best available players that they need.
“I’m going to worry about myself and when the time comes, the time comes.”
The time is nearing soon for Othmann.
That is for certain.
A résumé that includes an OHL Cup championship, an OHL title, two World Junior gold medals and another gold at the 2021 World Under-18 Hockey Championship is quite impressive to be taking into the AHL.
But the Rangers have been burned by rushing their top prospects before, so they’ll want to nurture Othmann for as long as he needs.
Plus, the left side of the NHL lineup is already log-jammed.
“I didn’t go [back to the OHL] and say I was going to score 50 goals again. I wanted to go there and develop a 200-foot game,” Othmann said. “I worked with the skating coach … a lot during the season. Little stuff like that goes a long way and helps me.
“I hope to make the team this year as much as I can, but I know you don’t make the team in July, so it’s going to be a fun two months.”
There’s nothing left for Othmann in the OHL.
On to the next.
Blueshirts sign Hollowell
The Rangers signed right-handed defenseman Mac Hollowell to a one-year, two-way deal on Sunday. At the NHL level, Hollowell would make $775,000, according to CapFriendly.