27-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Michael Sauer Contract Information:
Signed a new contract with the Rangers in July of 2011.
Sauer remains out indefinitely with concussion symptoms and is not even in camp this week, according to the New York Daily News.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Michael Sauer.
The 25-year-old Sauer played 19 games for the Rangers last season and tallied three points; he's primarily a defensive player. He'll likely split time between the Rangers and the AHL Connecticut Whale this year, so value is limited.
Between injuries and a number of high-profile defensive prospects coming into system, Sauer appeared to be falling off the depth chart ahead of the 2010-11 season. However, he stood out in a training camp that had heated competition for defensemen spots, made the team, and went on to post a plus-20 rating in 76 games. More importantly for a stay-at-home defensemen, who generally gets talked about only when they've made a mistake, rarely had his name called all year. Expect his ice time and responsibilities to increase this season.
Sauer is a smooth skater with superb hockey smarts, but various injuries have plagued his development and kept him away from the NHL. However, the younger brother of Coyotes defenseman Kurt Sauer is still one of the Rangers' top blue line prospects. With that in mind, don't expect Sauer to arrive in the NHL just yet.
Sauer got a look from the Rangers last year, but didn't do much to endear himself to the coaching staff with a number of mistakes that coaches hate. He'll likely bounce back and forth between New York and Harford with the balance of his time being spent in the AHL.
His brother Kurt is also an NHL player, so the bloodlines are there. If Sauer can remain healthy, he can be a top four defenseman, but is still at least a year or two away.
In 2006-07, Sauer appeared in 65 games with the Portland Winter Hawks and the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL), registering five goals and 18 assists for 23 points, along with 75 penalty minutes.
Sauer was the Rangers' second choice, 40th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 59 games with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season, Sauer registered eight goals and 23 assists for 31 points, along with 68 penalty minutes.
Sauer is an athletic and poised defenseman, who does an excellent job in his own end while also showing some offensive talent. He'll start the season with his junior team, Portland of the WHL, where he will continue his development.
Sauer has hockey in his blood -- he's the baby brother of Kurt Sauer. He's extremely athletic and poised, and doesn't try to overdo things. He has good offensive upside but a serious hip injury resulted in two surgeries, and he'll need to re-assert himself on the top pairing this fall. Mr. Reliable should make it to the NHL in a few years.