Not all positive, Traverse City providing important insight

September 7, 2013, by
The Rangers prospects need more seasoning

The Rangers prospects need more seasoning

Oscar Lindberg and Danny Kristo are clearly ready for more demanding challenges. With four goals in two games, Lindberg has continued his offensive production from Sweden and at this stage is well beyond the average prospect considering his experience in the SEL. Kristo too – being older, physically ready and with a senior world championship under his belt – is clearly a hot candidate to make the Rangers while key players such as Ryan Callahan continue their injury recoveries.

However, Traverse City is also useful to point out deficiencies in the prospect pipeline and while not as exciting to fans it’s just as important. The Rangers have shipped ten goals in two games. They were clearly outdueled in net against the Hurricanes and the defense has come up short in both games.

Of course, it has only been two prospect games and the full complement of prospects are not available (college commitments etc.) but these games can provide some insight. At this stage it appears the Rangers next wave of forwards are a lot more pro ready than the rest of their prospects.

Defensively the Rangers are counting more and more on at least one of Brady Skjei or Dylan McIlrath emerging as an NHL regular. Beyond the two first round Ranger draft picks, Conor Allen and Calle Andersson are likely the next best defensive prospects within the system but neither can be considered sure fire pro calibre just yet. Allen in particular faces an important season in his career. He will need to evidence a strong learning curve at the AHL level to be a legitimate NHL option in the near future.

At this stage, the Rangers must also be increasingly concerned about the depth in goal, especially with the Lundqvist contract situation still in need of resolving.  The organisation has no sure fire prospect on his way to the NHL and indeed, the stable of goaltenders at the AHL level including players such as Jeff Malcolm (who was awful positionally against the Sabres) is full of question marks, at best.

No doubt that the Rangers organisation (and the teams fans) can be encouraged that Traverse City has already shown players such as Danny Kristo and Oscar Lindberg are ready for greater things but as an organisational measuring stick, the struggles so far in Traverse City are far more telling. That’s not a bad thing.

Categories : Prospects


  1. KennyJ says:

    Thanks for the update and commentary. Oscar and Danny show much promise and hopefully can step in to fill our early gap.
    Hard to contemplate life without Lundqvist, but some day, hopefully way down the line, (how long did Marty excel?) we need to deal with that. Hope someone rises to the task.

  2. Walt says:

    Watching the high lights of the game, the Lindberg kid is impressive, and should be a wonderful find for us. The PP looked good on film, now let’s see if the parent club can’t relicate it!!

  3. Frank Cerbone says:

    Kristo & Kreider BOTH lack backchecking skills and Traverse City has shown that Kristo still has problems in his own end.

    Plus Kristo is more than 5 years older than Duclair who he is playing with. Where do you think Duclair will be skillset wise 5 years from now?

    I kinda suspect both Krider and Kristo will both be out of here by the end of next season.

    Would love for Rangers to get young, talented, right handed shot, Buffalo center Hodgson.

    Rangers have the pieces to put together such a trade.

    • Chris says:

      Kristo played almost exclusively with Fast and Lindberg not Duclair.

      Hodgson is not the answer for the Rangers. He’s struggling to establish himself elsewhere.

      Kreider will be a full time Ranger by year’s end.

    • WilliamW says:

      Kristo and Lindberg are both among the older players there and are rightfully dominating

      Any insight on how Lindberg did on the D end? Curious as how he held up vs. Grigorenko

      They have a could young and talented righties in Stepan and Kristo. An RD is a bigger need

      Any analysis on Allen and Noreau? Murphy from CAR looked great in the highlights. Kid has some serious wheels

  4. Al says:

    Can we get something on Paxton Leroux and Klarc Wilson