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Per Danny Picard, the Rangers got their man, signing BC forward Kevin Hayes to a two-year entry-level contract. Hayes, Chicago’s first round pick in 2010, chose not to sign with Chicago by the August 15 deadline, making him a free agent. Hayes cited that he wanted a chance to play immediately, and it was something Chicago could not offer due to a stacked roster.
The sweepstakes was rumored to be down to five teams on Monday, with the Rangers are among the five finalists for Kevin Hayes, via Picard of WEEI and Mark Divver of The Providence Journal. The Avs, Bruins, Predators, and Panthers were the other rumored teams. After three long days, Hayes chose New York.
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Per Corey Pronman (subs. req’d), Pavel Buchnevich and Anthony Duclair sit atop the Rangers prospect list this year. Although the Rangers are ranked 28th in the league (by Pronman), it’s worth noting this nugget:
Following the graduation of several top prospects, dealing away top picks and the simply fine development of some of their early-round picks, the Rangers’ system is a little light at the moment.
The Rangers are at a point in their system where they’ve seen a lot of talent hit the NHL level, and they have a bit of a gap before the next crop hits. While they don’t have the top-end talent, they certainly have guys that can plug holes:
The Rangers may not have a strong system, but they do have potential plug-in options in case of injury to their veteran roster. Kristo, Lindberg, Fast, Haggerty, Dylan McIlrath and Allen could all reasonably find ways to get into the lineup, although all probably in depth roles.
I didn’t have Danny Kristo in my Top 25 Under 25, but Pronman had him in the top-three prospects. That’s the beauty of prospects.
Tops this year.
Last year, I made a valiant first attempt at creating a New York Rangers version of the Top 25 Under 25. Basically, the NYR blogging community was called out by Oilers’ bloggers for not having one, and I said, “challenge accepted.” It’s something I had fun writing, so I’m going to write it again, updating it for 2014.
The ground rules for this are simple: To qualify for this list, a player must be under 25 years old. It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered. This is my own personal opinion of these players, so if you disagree, feel free to let me know in the comments.
1. Derek Stepan (Last year: 2)
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At midnight last night, forward Kevin Hayes –Chicago’s first round pick (#24) in 2010– officially became a free agent. Hayes cited Chicago’s depth at forward as the reason why he chose free agency. He wants to play right away, and Chicago appears to be set at forward this year. The Rangers have been linked to Hayes, as they love targeting NCAA graduates without homes. Hayes would be a solid addition to a bottom-of-the-league prospect pool, injecting the Rangers with another high-end skill player who put up 27 goals and 65 points last season with BC.
The problem is that the Rangers are at 49 contracts (including John Moore, not including Ryan Graves). The max number of contracts is 50, and signing Hayes would severely limit the Rangers in trade flexibility during the year. Of course there are ways around this (trading a contract), but it’s easier said than done.
The one major concern I have with Hayes is that he shot 20% this year, his final year with BC, while on a line with Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau put up 36-44-80 (!) in just 40 games last year, and seemed to be the catalyst on that line. Hayes’ previous career high before this year was 7-21-28. There’s also this whole “pooping in the stairwell” thing, but he was a drunk college kid, kids do stupid things. It happens.
Hayes could land in New York, and since he’s on an ELC, he is affordable and can fit under the cap. Landing him would be awesome, but I don’t think he comes to New York.
Per Corey Pronman (subs. req’d), the Rangers are at the bottom of the NHL in prospect depth, ranking 28th out of 30 NHL clubs. The reason is that, based on Pronman’s criteria, both Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller are considered graduates and no longer count as prospects. The lack of first round picks and the slow development –due to injury– of Dylan McIlrath also factored into this ranking.
The low ranking shouldn’t be a surprise, as Pavel Buchnevich was the only prospect to crack Pronman’s Top-100 list earlier this week.
We here are happy to welcome Martin Burns (@mburnshockey) to the staff here at BSB. Martin is going to bring a much better statistical mind to the new stats that we are seeing, and will be doing a much better job at explaining everything than I can do. Martin and I are also going to be working on a season-long project this year, in which we will provide details closer to the start of the season (teaser trailer right there).
Welcome aboard Martin, glad to have you.
The Rangers have announced their 2014 Traverse City Tournament roster. The 23-man roster includes drafted players, undrafted UFAs signed last year, and undrafted invitees getting a look by the organization.
Nathan Burns, Anthony Duclair, Ryan Haggerty, Keegan Iverson, Michael Kantor, Nickolas Latta, Paxton Leroux, Chris McCarthy, Bryan Moore, Richard Nejezchleb, Logan Nelson, Josh Nicholls, Michael St. Croix, Adam Tambellini
Mat Bodie, Troy Donnay, Ryan Mantha, Sam Noreau, Dallas Valentine, Daniel Walcott, Petr Zamorsky
Brandon Halverson, MacKenzie Skapski
Well, he can do this.
If you’ve been coming here for a while, then you know we very rarely call out management decisions. It’s not our style. We question, we find positives, we find reasons, and while we may not agree with a transaction, we discuss and move on. This is one of those rare occurrences where I tried, but could not. But don’t take that the wrong way, there’s still plenty of discussion to be had over Tanner Glass.
Look, I understand why Alain Vigneault wanted him. I understand why Glen Sather wanted him. He’s a good skater, he’s fairly fast, he’s familiar with AV’s style, he kills penalties, and he wins fights (which doesn’t really mean anything in relation to wins). The Rangers had a big, big hole on the fourth line when they lost both Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett, and they wanted Glass for the aforementioned reasons. I get it.
But as we did with Lee Stempniak (a signing we love here), it’s time to take a look into the deeper numbers for Glass.
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The Rangers announced yesterday that they have extended their affiliation with the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors for another two seasons, through the 2015-2016 season. Greenville has been the Rangers ECHL affiliate since 2010, and serves as their “AA” squad, where Hartford would be their “AAA” squad. Notable Rangers that have made impacts in the NHL after playing in the ECHL are Cam Talbot and Dan Girardi, although Girardi played with the Charlotte Checkers when they were the Rangers’ ECHL affiliate.
Notable prospects that played for Greenville last year include Michael St. Croix, Josh Nicholls, Sam Noreau, Kyle Jean, Andrew Yogan, Jason Missiaen, and Jeff Malcolm.
The Rangers have agreed to terms with RFA forward Ryan Bourque. Bourque broke out last season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, notching his first 20-goal season as a pro (21-16-37). Previously a defensive forward, Bourque plays solid hockey in all three zones, and could be a dark horse to make the NHL club out of camp. Bob Crawford mentioned he made incredible strides offensively last season, to go along with his solid defensively play.