By Bruce Berlet
It was hardly surprising that the New York Rangers called up rookie defenseman Tim Erixon from the Connecticut Whale on Wednesday.
Erixon’s role with the AHL’s Northeast Division leaders has expanded, and his play has steadily improved since he was assigned to the Whale on Oct. 29. The 20-year-old had been on the Whale’s No. 1 power-play unit and become among the team’s top penalty killers as he put together a three-game assist streak with four assists. He also moved to first among defensemen and tied for sixth overall in team scoring with 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in only 13 games.
“He’s got a lot of patience and a lot of poise and makes some real nice plays along the blueline and on the power play offensively,” Whale veteran defenseman Wade Redden said after a 3-0 victory over the Providence Bruins on Saturday night. “And he can find guys in front. We’ve seen a few times this year where he’s made good shots to the net that led to tips; he finds those stic...