The 2011 first-rounder purge is now complete, with news that Matt Puempel had been claimed by the New York Rangers off waivers. Puempel likely would have been assigned to the Binghmaton Senators had a he cleared, a team he scored 30 points with in 34 games last year. Instead, he will likely be given a chance to play right away as a replacement forward after reports emerging that Mika Zibanejad will be out 6-8 weeks with a broken fibula.
Likely not too many Sens fans will be disappointed to see Puempel gone. He never really cemented his place as NHL player, despite getting a number of shots thanks to his draft pedigree. His zero points in 13 games this season was partly due to mostly playing on the fourth line, but he also mostly played on the fourth line because he never demonstrated he deserved more. It’s not too important anyway, because the Sens will likely have a chance to re-claim him in about 6-8 weeks.
Update: Pierre Dorion told TSN 1200 that he “expected” Puempel to be claimed. Looks like the Sens were trying to give him a chance to succeed somewhere else since his time in Ottawa was pretty much over.