There’s an old saying amongst athletes that it’s not enough to wear the jersey. You have to have some seminal moment that truly makes you a member of your team.
“I think it takes a period of time,” said Micheletti. “For me, it took a long time.”
With several new faces on the Rangers roster — headlined by a pair of 2017 first-round draft picks (Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil) — there are several players on the team in search of that all-important moment.
So I ask, has Lias Andersson truly become a Ranger?
“I think it takes a certain number of games,” said Lias. “Right now, I’m just trying to learn and improve every day I’m here.”
“I finally felt like I belonged when I had played about 20 games,” said Micheletti. “After 20 games is when I felt that I could play with these guys.”
Andersson hasn’t played 20 games, nor will he reach that mark this season. But he’s already had a pretty significant moment.
In his NHL debut — Monday, March 26, 2018 — Andersson did something every player dreams of. He scored his first career goal — in front of his family, no less.
However, Lias has mixed feelings about that moment.
“I was happy to score my first goal,” said Andersson. “But it came with us down 4-0. More than scoring goals, I want to win games and win games in the playoffs.”
That goal not only put Lias in the record book, but it also upped the already high expectations on his shoulders.
As the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, there’s a lot of pressure on Andersson to perform; immediately.
“It’s all part of the game,” he said. “The pressure and stuff. It’s always going to be there, but I just have to go out and play my game.”
“It’s been a roller coaster year,” continued Lias. “I was in training camp here. Then I went to Frolunda (Sweden), then Hartford and now I’m back here. And I’m happy to be back here.”
With all his hard work, Andersson has certainly earned his way to the NHL. But is still lacking that seminal moment.
Hopefully, Lias can earn his Blueshirts sweater in short order.
After all, he’s being looked at as one of the future cornerstones and leaders for the next great era in Rangers history.