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Rangers’ Prospect Update

I (mostly) cover Yankees’ prospects over at RAB, so talking about minor leaguers is familiar territory for me. I thought it would be cool to bring some of that flavor here since the Rangers still have one more off day before they meet up with the Caps in DC.

The Wolfpack are currently 16-14-4, tied for third in the AHL’s Atlantic Division with 36 points. They’re on a bit of a hot streak, going 6-3-1 in their last ten contests. Here’s how some notable prospects are doing down in Hartford:

Artem Anisimov, C: 34 GP, 14 G, 19 A, 33 PTS, +3, 38 PIM, 85 shots – he leads the team in points and is 13th in the AHL overall
Dane Byers, LW: 9 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS, -2, 18 PIM, 15 shots – he’s done for the year with a knee injury
Vladimir Denisov, D: 34 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 PTS, +3, 81 PIMS, 36 shots
Brodie Dupont, LW: 33 GP, 6 G, 8 A, 14 PTS, -6, 33 PIM, 64 shots
Greg Moore, C: 34 GP, 10 G, 11 A, 21 PTS, -8, 20 PIM, 89 shots
Tommy Pyatt, C: 32 GP, 7 G, 9 A, 16 PTS, +1, 8 PIM, 53 shots
Bobby Sanguinetti, D: 34 GP, 3 G, 17 A, 20 PTS, -8, 20 PIM, 62 shots – he’s still working on the defensive aspect of his game, so don’t worry about the eyesore of a +/- … the kid can hit though
Michael Sauer, D: 21 GP, 7 G, 5 A, 6 PTS, -4, 13 PIM, 37 shots
Dale Weise, RW: 33 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 PTS, 0, 24 PIM, 39 shots – the team’s fourth round choice last year has been a bit of a disappointment coming off a 29 G season (in 53 games) with Swift Current of the WHL
Miika Wiikman, G: 25 GP, 11-11-3, 2.75 GAA, .902 SV% – coming off a sterling 21-8-3, 2.30 GAA, .919 SV% campaign
Matt Zaba, G: 12 G, 5-4-0, 3.20 GAA, .881 SV%

Here’s how some of the non-AHL guys are doing:

Michael Del Zotto, D: 30 GP, 6 G, 24 A, 30 PTS, -10, 44 PIM – ditto Sanguinetti’s comment, plus you gotta love the point-a-game pace … he’s with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL … you can see his 2008 Draft profile video here
Evgeny Grachev, C: 30 GP, 19 G, 16 A, 35 PTS, +11, 35 PIM – he’s with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL
Derek Stepan, C: 20 GP, 3 G, 10 A, 13 PTS, -5, 4 PIM, 49 shots – he’s a freshman at the University of Wisconsin

Alexei Cherepanov’s passing left the Rangers’ lacking an elite, bonafide number one type prospect. Sanguinetti & Del Zotto are currently the two crown jewels of the system, but still a notch below Cherepanov’s level. Anisimov is a solid third wheel that could see action with the big boys this season. Moore got a six game cup of coffee last season, and could get another look-see this year.

Hockey’s future rated the Rangers’ farm system 24th in the league, noting their glut of power/checking forwards.

Mike Axisa writes for River Ave. Blues and can be reached here.

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