When the Rangers lost Ryan Callahan to injury in December, there were many questions about how the Rangers were going to cope with the injury. Callahan was the prime example of the Rangers new mentality of grind it out. He hits, he forechecks, he scores, and he plays great defense. He also does it all against the oppositions top lines. It is very tough to replace all of that. Luckily for the Rangers, they got Brandon Prust from Calgary along with someone else, forgot his name, in exchange for Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik. Prust has taken over where Callahan left off (minus the offense).
Prust has been one of the best finds in recent memory for the Rangers. He may not score as much as Callahan, but he does everything else just as much, and replaces the missing offense with a good record in fights. He has been someone the Rangers have looked to to invigorate a team decimated by injuries. He is nothing short of a warrior (as line mate Brian Boyle called him), and he does it all with more injuries than some NHL teams. He has been playing stellar hockey with a sore shoulder, a bruised ankle, and a sore hand. One of those is enough to most players out of the lineup.
When the Rangers need a spark, Prust drops the gloves, despite the shoulder and hand. When the Rangers need a good shift, it’s Prust out there to pressure the opposition. When the Rangers need solid defense, it’s Prust out there against the opposition’s top lines. He went from a borderline fourth line player last season to an integral piece of the Rangers core. And he did it in less than one season. The Rangers would be a completely different team without Prust. What a find he is turning out to be.