Archive for Prospects
With all the focus on the World Cup of Hockey and Team USA’s dismal performance, it’s easy to forget that the Traverse City Tournament is underway. The Rangers have played twice, losing to Carolina in OT (4-3) and then beating Dallas in a shootout (5-4). As expected, the team is very efficient offensively, but is struggling to keep the puck out of their own net.
Against Carolina, goals were scored by Jimmy Vesey, Robin Kovacs, and Dylan Di Perna. Malte Stromall and Sergey Zborovskiy tallied assists. Brandon Halverson made 38 saves while managing a point. The Rangers were outshot 42-32 in this game.
The Rangers tweeted the lines for the first game of the Traverse City Tournament against Carolina:
The top two lines are certainly intriguing, looking forward to seeing they in action. As for the defense, well that leaves some room for improvement to say the least. John Gilmour and Calle Andersson make an intriguing top pair, but that’s about it for me. Surprised that Sean Day is a scratch as well.
Game time is 4pm, and will be streaming on the Detroit Red Wings site.
Following up with the great news yesterday that the Detroit Red Wings will be streaming all games for the tournament, be sure to check the schedule for the tournament to ensure you know when the Rangers will be playing. The Rangers have three games, starting tomorrow:
- Friday, 4pm versus Carolina
- Saturday, 3:30pm versus Dallas
- Monday, 3pm versus Minnesota
- Tuesday, game TBD
The Saturday game runs right up against Team USA’s opener against Europe, so there will be a lot of dual screens. The Rangers have a deep forward group, but are a little shaky on defense. It will be fun to watch the likes of Pavel Buchnevich, Sean Day, Robin Kovacs, Jimmy Vesey, and others though.
The Detroit Red Wings are coming through in the clutch for all those that want to watch the Traverse City Tournament. The Wings website (http://redwings.nhl.com/) will stream every single Traverse City Tournament game, regardless of team, for free. There are no geographical restrictions either. So if you want to watch, make sure you head on over there.
With all the World Cup of Hockey talk, the Traverse City Tournament has flown under the radar. The WCOH is the main culprit for this, but it’s also because before this year, there was no way to watch the games. The Red Wings are giving us all a treat. Well done, Detroit.
The New York Rangers recently announced their Traverse City roster and invites, and while the names don’t include players from my previous post there are some interesting names. There are three non-organizational forwards invited to the camp; Reid Duke, Nick Betz, and Zack Zborosky. On defense we have Colton Bobyk, Zachary Malatesta, Turner Ottenbreit, and Dylan Di Perna as the non-roster invites. Let’s look at these invitees.
Reid Duke – The versatile right handed center and winger is the only center the Rangers invited this fall and he provides this team with some intriguing depth. He plays an all around two way game focused on speed and being responsible in his own end. The teams he has been on use him in a defensive role for this very reason, yet he does show some flashes of skill. The issue with Duke is that his offense isn’t exactly consistent nor is it impressive as a 20 year old in the WHL. Duke was lost in the numbers as he went unsigned by the Minnesota Wild, but in any case should provide some forward and penalty kill depth to the roster as he tries to get his name on a possible AHL contract.
The Rangers have officially announced the roster for the Traverse City Tournament:
The Wolf Pack have added some depth to their lineup, signing forward Philip McRae to a contract. McRae’s name may sound familiar, as he’s the son of Minnesota North Stars and “The Mighty Ducks” star Basil McRae. Oh how Basil must have loved lining up next to Mike Modano for that movie.
McRae is on an AHL deal, so he won’t be at Rangers camp or be a Ranger at all, nor does he count against the 50 contract limit. He’s veteran depth for a very young Hartford team.
Hockey season is right around the corner. But before pre-season, we will get to see prospects duke it out in the Traverse City Tournament. While the tournament is always fun, the Rangers haven’t been overly competitive the past few years. The issue has been the lack of prospects, and while there is some sweet talent coming in –Kovacs, Stromwall, Buchnevich, Gilmour, to name a few– I am certainly more excited this time around than last year.
While certainly not a big deal, I love when the club invites players non-roster players. You don’t need all of them to succeed, but if you’re scouting staff is good maybe you find someone that can become an NHL player. Last season, the Rangers had 11 invites, a major step up from 2014 (5) and 2013 (7).
One thing that remained constant with these invites is that the team did not have a single NCAA invite. I assume that is because technically, NCAA players cannot participate with any pro type game outside of a prospect camp (without paying their own way), so this list will not include any players who will be returning to the NCAA this upcoming season.
Last week, I went through the bottom half of the New York Rangers 2016 Top 25 Under 25. The bottom half had a lot of turnover, as the 2016 draft was an early success for the Rangers that warranted some shifting in the rankings. Couple that with four players who were ranked last year that are no longer with the organization, and you have a refreshed system that is something to get excited about.
Let’s remember that there are a good number of players on the NHL roster that are under 25 years old, so the top half of this list is mostly populated with them. There was a shift in the rankings for some of these kids though, as we’ve learned what each one is capable of in the lineup.
After weeks of relative silence, the rumor mill will begin churning again this week as August 15 approaches. That’s the day Jimmy Vesey officially becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The heralded Harvard alum is essentially this year’s version of Kevin Hayes and will draw league-wide interest after spurning first Nashville, then Buffalo after the Sabres traded for his rights prior to the draft.
By most accounts, Vesey is an NHL-ready prospect that could instantly step into an NHL lineup and has legitimate top-six potential.