The guys at Beyond the Blueshirts have the inside scoop on the rosters for the USA/Russia U-20 four-game series to be played in Lake Placid this year. The US roster has three Ranger prospects participating: Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Bourque. Kreider, the Rangers 1st round pick in 2009, and Stepan, the Rangers 2nd round pick in 2008, will both be participating in their first U-20 tryout. This will be Ryan Bourque’s (2009 3rd rounder) second go-round with the club.
It will be interesting to see how Kreider, who has never played against this level of competition before, fairs in this tryout. He is definitely skilled, but hasn’t had the chance to showcase it against all-world talent his age.
Notably left off the Russian team was OHL rookie of the year, and Rangers prospect-extraordinaire, Evgeny Grachev. This definitely wasn’t a slight to Grachev, and the logical reasoning is that the Rangers requested he be left off the roster for fear of injury, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone. I guess this means the club believes that Grachev may actually have a shot at making the big club next season. Personally, I think he goes to the OHL for another season, and then may actually spend a year in the AHL. No need to rush him.