Ethan Werek – The Prospect Dark Horse?

June 21, 2010, by

Everyone talks about Grachev, Kreider, Stepan, McDonagh and Sanguinetti and rightly so –they’re all important prospects but given the Rangers (lengthy) list of needs one of the prospects that may help the Rangers the most is Canadian Junior, Ethan Werek. Considered first round worthy in his draft year the Rangers were fortunate to have him slip to 47th overall in the ‘09 draft where they gratefully accepted this talented pivot. At 6’2 and 200lbs Werek is a physically sound center that can play both center and wing. Not afraid to use his body Werek could help the Rangers down the middle with his size, style of play and scoring ability.

With a knack for scoring (30 and 32 goals in two years in the OHL, on a young side too) Werek has proven he can fill the net. Better still, Werek has shown development; the left shooting Kingston Frontenac’s player has gone from -5 as a rookie to +14.Werek only didn’t top his career best 64 points because of injury however he reached the same total in 9 fewer games this year. His first playoff exposure on an inexperienced Frontenac’s team this spring saw Werek score 5 points in 6 games playing good 2 way hockey along the way. All good signs.

What may be best for Werek’s development right now is his head coach. Ex Leafs legend Dougie Gilmour left the AHL Marlies to take over in Kingston and since then the team has shown improvement and Werek himself has certainly improved. Not afraid to go to the net or try a fancy move Werek appears to be equally comfortable looking for a rebound or with the puck on his blade. He accepts responsibility on the ice and that trait will serve him well if when he gets to NY.

Some people have been touting Werek to have an inside chance at cracking the roster this summer. With Derek Stepan signed and experience sought, that may be unlikely but not beyond possibility. Werek’s intention is to come to camp and have a good crack. With his size and ability making the team isn’t out of the question and the Rangers should take a long look at him and give him every chance to succeed. Depending on how the 2010 draft goes Werek could find a spot in the line up. With Tortorella’s preference for Dubinsky on the wing, Prospal being equally adept wide and with Drury also being given time on the flank should Werek leave a positive impression one has to feel a roster spot is there for the taking. A lot of variables to contend with but it’s not beyond him.

At this stage of his career Werek is already looking like a good pick, at worst, helping the Rangers depth for the future. Less touted than those mentioned above, he may well leave his mark quicker than expected. Prospect dark horse? Why not?

Categories : Prospects


  1. Dave says:

    Unless Werek has a MDZ type camp, he will be back with Kingston next year. I think he’s at least two years away from being an NHL player, but I would love to see him on the team earlier than that. The kid has some high end talent. He could be a consistent 60-point guy.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      Exactly that. He’s a great draft pick thus far. i remember Zipay touting him as the Rangers 1st pick last year and then we got him 47th overall. I was happy then, happier now.

      People like Jess at PP have been saying this kid has a chance at camp. Will be intriguing to see. I like his package… not sure we have many with his size that can play and play physical. I hope he’s considered untouchable.

      • Dave says:

        He has a chance, but I don’t see him making the roster. I would prefer he dominate at Jr before coming up.

        • brian says:

          could he be used as a tool to get Weiss? Could we trade him, Sangs, and a draft pick, thus adding Weiss while keeping Dubi? We would also be keeping our top prospects such as Grachev, Kreider, Stepan

          • Jurgenno88 says:

            ironically after saying i’d like him to be deemed untouchable i wouldnt be averse to him being moved for Weiss; a proven center with a very nice contract. What is it; 3.1m per for 3 years?

  2. Dave says:

    If the cost were Werek and Sangs for Weiss, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      it says alot about sangs standing in the depth chart when u say that, though i agree.

      • Dave says:

        I think he has upside, but the fact is the Rangers don’t need him anymore when they have a top four of Staal/Girardi/MDZ/McDonagh in a few years. His function now is being utilized to fill a hole.

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