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Prospect Watch

It has been a busy (and mainly) productive week for many Rangers prospects. Since we last wrote about the future Blueshirts one player in particular has gotten ‘back on track’. We said all along that what Ryan Bourque needed to do was stay healthy and then, he could be productive. Well it seems that’s what the undersized forward has done. In the last 3 games since returning from an injury Bourque has caught fire offensively scoring 7 points in the 3 games, going 2+5. Last Sunday in particular was a highlight game for Bourque as he paced his Quebec side with 1+2 and a +1 rating. It will be interesting to see if Bourque can keep up the pace when the Remparts play 2 games this weekend.

Another player (still) on fire is Czech center Roman Horak. 5th rounder Horak had a 3 assist night as he was named first star of the game as his Chilliwack Bruins beat the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, 6-3. Horak now has a great stat line of 6+10 in just 9 games. Elsewhere, he might not have scored a goal (shock horror) for two games but another player keeping his offensive game going is winger Christian Thomas of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. Thomas recently had a 2 assist game as his side managed to grab a losers point in the shootout against Ottawa 67’s. Oshawa were 3-0 down before losing 4-3 in the SO. Thomas now has a nice line of 10+7 in 10 games.

Perhaps the most important Ranger prospect to his current team is Ethan Werek. The 2nd round pick is front and center of the Kingston offense and is co-leader in points with Nathan Moon despite playing 2 games less. Both players have 15 points (both with 8+7). Werek was particularly clutch this past weekend as he led his side to a come-from-behind win scoring the game tying and game winning goals, to lead the Frontenacs to a 3-2 win over Sault Marie. Werek, like Horak and Thomas, has produced all season long and the Rangers thanks to these 3 players in particular look well set in terms of offensive prospects coming out of junior. All 3 players are also looking like great draft steals with none of them being drafted higher than the 2nd round.

Not every prospect has enjoyed a great start to their seasons however. A source of frustration is the continuing funk Chris Kreider finds himself in. 4 games into his season the Boston College winger still finds himself pointless. Given his rapid rise and almost dream season last year it’s surely only a minor blip for Kreider however it will be interesting to see how he rebounds from what is likely his first taste of adversity.

Another player who has had a little less success this week is goalie Scott Stajcer. The young goalie finally experienced his first loss but still boasts a record of 8 wins in 9 games, a .921 save percentage and a more than reasonable 2.52GAA. Stajcer was never going to go through the entire year undefeated so his first defeat is no great cause for concern.

Key prospect stats (correct at 5pm eastern Tuesday):

Chris Kreider 4GP 0G 0A -1 4PIMS

Carl Hagelin 6GP 2G 4A +3 19PIMS

Dylan Mcilrath 12GP 1G 2A -8 27PIMS

Roman Horak 9GP 6G 10A E+/- 8PIMS

Ryan Bourque 7GP 4G 7A +4 5PIMS

Ethan Werek 9GP 8G 7A +2 15PIMS

Jesper Fasth (stats from Swedish Junior) 6GP 3G 7A +8 4PIMS

Mikhail Pashnin 11GP 0G 0A -5 6PIMS

Max Campbell 6GP 3G 3A -2 0PIMS

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