Once feted for his finish as a goal-scoring prospect, Matt Puempel’s Senators career is finished.
After being placed on waivers yesterday by the club, the New York Rangers claimed Matt Puempel.
Under normal circumstances, I don’t know why the New York Rangers would have that much interest in Puempel beyond his pedigree as a 2011 first round pick.
Sure, he scored 30 goals in his rookie AHL season, but since then, he has struggled to fulfill any of the projected potential that was placed on him as a blue chip prospect.
The truth is, the Rangers most likely put in the claim after after learning that former Senator Mika Zibanejad would miss the next six to eight weeks with a broken fibula and that Pavel Buchnevich would miss the next two to three weeks with a back injury.
In their situation, there’s nothing to really lose by throwing in a claim and hoping that there’s something salvageable left in Puempel.
Considering how he’s essentially a player whose skating and struggles away from the puck dwarf his best skill — shooting the puck — I’m skeptical that he’ll ever become the player Ottawa envisioned back in 2011.
Even though the departure of Puempel will never really be felt, his departure is disappointing because he’s just another asset that depreciated to the point where he had no inherent trade value. And of course, it doesn’t help that the Senators, because of their limited financial resources, desperately need to hit on as many young prospects as possible.
That said, if there is a silver lining, it’s that his absence hopefully means that a more deserving prospect will get the next opportunity to be promoted to the parent club.