Rangers prospect Q&A with Hartford’s Bob CrawfordAugust 6, 2014, by
Over the course of the summer, we have received a lot of questions about the prospects in Hartford. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to watch/cover the Wolf Pack the way others can. So, I reached out to Bob Crawford (@HawkCrawford), and he was kind enough to answer a few questions that had been raised.
Q: Which prospects made the most progress in Hartford last season?
A: Dylan McIlrath certainly made huge progress—really rounded out his game. Ryan Bourque also took a quantum leap, in my opinion, went from being almost purely an energy guy to being a pretty good offensive player. Conor Allen also made a nice adjustment to the pros, as an undrafted college free agent.
Q: Are there any kids you think are ready for the next level?
A: I think J.T. Miller is just about ready to make the jump. To me, his best game is more than good enough for the NHL, he just has to make sure he brings that game every night. Jesper Fast also strikes me as a well-rounded player who could be a very useful piece for the Rangers.
Q: Which kids really need to show improvement this year so that they don’t lose too much ground on the new kids arriving?
A: I think there’s pressure on all the prospects to ramp up their development curve. It’s a pretty short window these days to grab a shot at the NHL, and nobody can afford to stall out, even for a short time. I think the guys I already mentioned, plus the likes of Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Marek Hrivik and Tommy Hughes, have to look at themselves as being real close to latching on to NHL jobs, and make every second of training camp, and of any time they spend in the AHL, really count.
Thank you very much Bob for the time to answer these questions. Also, thank you to the Hartford Wolf Pack for being so kind as to direct us to Bob for answers.