The Young GunsJanuary 12, 2009, by
It’s time to get a mid season review of the Rangers present and future. Not the prospects, but the current Rangers that are considered by most to be the future of the team.
Ryan Callahan: 44 GP, 12 G, 4 A, 16 Pts, -2, 24 PIM, 127 SOG. Tied for 2nd on the team in goals (with Drury and Zherdev), trailing only Naslund (14 G). This kid takes a ton of shots (2nd on the team), and has really been playing well. As we all have noticed, he is a hustler and a grinder with a scoring touch. He may actually have a shot at 20 G this year.
Nigel Dawes:34 GP, 7 G, 8 A, 15 Pts, +5, 15 PIM, 57 SOG. Dawes had a terrible start, and even saw some time in the press box this year, something that none of us expected. His play has turned around though, and he is really clicking on a line with Drury and Prucha. He is also tied for 2nd on the team in +/-, and one of 3 Rangers on the plus side of that stat.
Brandon Dubinsky: 44 GP, 6 G, 17 A, 23 Pts, -2, 49 PIM, 110 SOG. After a hot start, Dubinsky has fallen back to earth, and hard. His goal on Saturday was his first in 19 games, and his second since October 24. He is still on a 10 G, 30 A pace, which is about on par with his performance last year while playing with Jagr. His future is probably on the wing once Anisimov arrives.
Dan Girardi: 44 GP, 3 G, 13 A, 16 Pts, -3, 15 PIM, 75 SOG. Girardi is another youngin that got off to a torrid start (well torrid for a defensemen who went undrafted), and has gracefully fallen back to earth. He is on pace to set career highs (in all of his two seasons) in assists and points. Girardi has been tagged by most as one of the three reliable defensemen on this team. He has been very solid, and that -3 is only really due to the fact that the Rangers team forgot how to play defense in December.
Lauri Korpikoski 32 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pts, -3, 6 PIM, 27 SOG. Korpikoski has some great potential that was being wasted on the fourth line with the offensively challenged Betts and Orr. After his demotion, and then call up, in November, he has played well, and finally broke his scoring drought with a rip from the circle on Saturday. This kid is going to be good, he just needs some playing time.
Marc Staal: 44 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 Pts, +6, 30 PIM, 78 SOG. What else can be said about Staal? The best Staal not named Eric (and some day might be better than Eric), he has proven to be everything and then more than we expected. His defensive play is the best on the team by far, and his offensive skills are starting to show. Staal has been seen making crisp first passes, carrying the puck himself, and even planting himself in front of the net. The Rangers better lock him up long term. I’m not alone in looking forward to a defensive core of Staal, Del Zotto, Sanguinetti and Girardi.
Graduating from the youngster group: Petr Prucha (4th season).
Side note: I was going to include Nik Zherdev in this group, but he’s in his 5th year. But don’t discount the fact that Zherdev is the future 40 G/100 Pt player on this team. The kid is 24 and keeps getting better.