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Friedman: Rangers looking at OHL free agent Colin Suellentrop

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers are showing interest in OHL defenseman Colin Suellentrop. The 6’1, 190-lb. right-handed defenseman was drafted by the Flyers in 2011, but was not signed by the June, 2013 deadline, making him a free agent. Suellentrop also went unsigned this past summer.

Friedman notes that Suellentrop may be a classic late bloomer, as his skating was a cause for concern. It’s actually why the Flyers (and the other 29 NHL teams) passed on signing the former fourth rounder this past summer. Positioning was also a concern.

The guys at In Lou We Trust have a great bio on him, although it is very old. He was a defensive defenseman on a bad Oshawa Generals team when he was drafted, which made his numbers especially atrocious. The Flyers website also has a profile on him (it’s a bit homer-ific), noting that they liked his size, physical play, and his ability to make a smart first pass.

It’s worth noting that skating and positioning are sometimes a concern with big, young defensemen. It’s why Zdeno Chara was dealt so quickly by the Islanders way back when. They didn’t think his skating would improve enough to be a successful professional hockey player.

While Suellentrop’s sizeĀ is certainly nowhere near Chara, the comparison remains (admittedly is a bit of a stretch) because of the areas where the 20-year-old is struggling. Habs Eyes On The Prize has a more recent evaluation, albeit a very brief one from a day of prospect camp:

Colin Suellentrop: Won the first two heats of his speed test, but faded in the last four. showed some flashes of good offensive instinct. One of the better invitees.

With skating noted as a previous issue, it’s good to see the big guy winning speed tests, even if he did fade (fatigue probably). His YouTube search brings up a ton of fights as well.

To sum it all up: In Suellentrop you have a defensive defenseman who can make a smart first pass and show some offensive instincts, a guy that can drop the gloves, and a guy who has made very big strides to work on his skating. I can’t find much on his positioning improvements, but the Rangers have done fairly well with the undrafted free agents lately (Connor Allen, Marek Hrivik). If the Rangers are in on him –and Friedman is no rumor mongerer– then there is something they like about him.

14 Responses to “Friedman: Rangers looking at OHL free agent Colin Suellentrop”

  1. Mikeyyy says:

    Sign him. Send him to barb underhill for a summer and see if he blooms.

  2. Centerman21 says:

    Back to trade specs now. It was reported last night that Yakapovs’ agent Igor Larianov was along for a damage assessment from the Oilers. He’s not happy with Yakapovs playing time. Oh boy. Here we go again.

  3. Chet says:

    At 6’1″ 190 why he is being compared to Zdeno Chara who is 6’9″ 255?? I don’t see any comparison at all. Is anyone that has skating issues compared to Chara? This is beyond “admittedly” a stretch.

  4. Walt says:

    If there is any chance that this kid could help the organization, and we are indeed looking at him, maybe there is something our scouts like. Now the organization could sign him for the remainder of this season, and send him to the ECHL for development. Hay, what is there to loose? Does anyone else remember a guy named Girardi being signed as an undrafted free agent???

  5. RangerMom says:

    Right-handed, defensive defenseman. Young, good size, improving, maybe some snarl. Sign him.

  6. SalMerc says:

    If you put a few of these posts together, you can make the case that MDZ goes for Yakapov and Suellentrop gets groomed in the minors for a mid-year call up if we sign him now.

    • Chris F says:

      Mid-year call up from the OHL level sounds doubtful. Kid probably has a long way to go in terms of development.

  7. Chet says:

    I still don’t understand the Chara comparison…

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      No one compared him to Chara. The reference begins and ends with the shortcomings they both are facing/faced early in their careers, i.e. lack of skating ability exposing players to a fast game resulting in positionally unsound hockey.

      No one said Suellentrop’s playing style, potential, tendencies, stature, etc. in any way is comparable to Chara. Simply put Suellentrop is struggling with a part of his game that Chara struggled with in the past. He can’t skate all that good. That’s what people said about Chara back in the day.

  8. The Suit says:

    Right handed defensemen with some snarl. Could be the organization’s way of putting some competitive pressure on McIlrath.

  9. Kevin says:

    Sign him, banish McIlrath to Edmonton for Yakupov.