Let’s have a look at some of the Rangers draft picks and future hopes and how they’ve been doing recently. It’s been a while since we checked in around the junior circuits.
Michael St Croix is a plus 30 for the season. Yes, you read that right. It’s because he’s flat out scoring for fun. A mid round pick of the Rangers in 2011, its unlikely many people saw this level of scoring from St Croix. The skilled center has grabbed 77 points in just 48 games in the WHL this season, which given the stingier nature of the WHL (as opposed to other junior leagues) is an exceptional return.
You want progress? St Croix’s offensive return is the two points better than his total points from last season in 20 games less. Clearly, the Rangers have another talented center on their hands. Oh and he’s now been crowned player of the week twice. One to keep your eyes on folks.
Back in Scoring Mode
The Rangers seem to have offensive potential springing up everywhere right now. Joining St Croix in quality offensive production is JT Miller who has recently got back to his scoring ways and now boasts 43 points in 39 games for the Whalers of the OHL.
Miller has learnt a lot this season. From his time with the Rangers to the world Juniors, Miller has been exposed to a variety of levels of hockey this season as well as the exposure to more hockey than he’s been used to. Miller’s another player that looks a great draft pick so far.
Best of the Rest
Honourable mentions in the offensive stakes have to go to Shane McColgan, Andrew Yogan, Christian Thomas and Steven Fogarty who are all close to or above the point per game threshold in their respective leagues. Naturally, each player has a different level of expectancy placed on their shoulders and is in different stages of their development but so long as each one can continue to produce as their respective leagues head to the critical time in their seasons, it bodes well for their immediate futures. With Christian Thomas turning 20 in May, he’s almost certainly one that’s headed for pro hockey next season.
In need of a change of scenery all season has been Scott Stajcer. The Owen Sound goalie has put up solid numbers when called upon but has split the crease with Jordan Binnington. Wins aside, Stajcer has put up the far superior numbers (924% to .890, 2.53 GAA to JB’s 3.38) but it has to be a concern that as an over-ager Stajcer hasn’t had anywhere near the playing time his development needs.
Given the still murky goalie situation behind Lundqvist and Biron, Stajcer still has a shot with the organisation as no goalie with the Whale has shown to have full time NHL potential this season. Stajcer’s destination next season will be an interesting development over the coming months.