Archive for Prospects

filip chytil

One of the big stories this season is going to be the development of the youth the Rangers have invested so much time in. Players like Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson are expected to take on middle-six (or higher) roles with the club at the start of the season. Dark horses like Brett Howden, Ty Ronning, Ryan Lindgren, and Libor Hajek may also see extended time in New York.

NHL time is always a critical step in a prospect’s development. In order to see what a kid has, he should be doing it at the NHL level. However that isn’t always the case, at least not right away. The dark horses are almost assuredly starting in the AHL, but the expectations of Chytil and Andersson shouldn’t cloud the most important thing: They need to develop properly, and there is no rush to do so.

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ville meskanen

If there is one thing we can take away from the Traverse City Tournament, aside from the fact that the kids can score and are very talented, it’s that Ville Meskanen may have gone from relatively unknown to dark horse to make the Rangers out of camp.

Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Finland, Meskanen had a breakout season last year, putting up a line of 24-20-44 in 48 games in SM-Liiga. The Rangers have a history of signing undrafted free agents to try to fill the ranks, and for every Mats Zuccarello, there are 14 others that never seem to make it. Meskanen wasn’t necessarily overlooked, but cause for excitement wasn’t there.

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After the defensive train wreck that was the first game on Friday, the Rangers tightened things up against Minnesota, allowing just a pair of goals in their 4-2 win. It was Jeremy Brodeur in net for this one, stopping 24 of 26 shots. Four Rangers scored in this one:

This was a nice rebound win after the loss in the first game. It’s also nice to see that this club has some offensive talent to it. We had a feeling that the defense might be an issue, so let’s hope the first game was an anomaly, not the norm.

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Not the best opening to the Traverse City Tournament last night. The Baby Rangers allowed four goals in the third to Dallas, eventually losing 7-5. On the bright side, five different Rangers scored in the game:

That’s multi-point nights from Howden, Andersson, Stukel and Lindqvist, plus a pair of powerplay goals. Looks like these Baby Rangers have the same defending issue the adult Rangers have too. Hopefully they clamp down in the next games.

Andersson, Ryan Lindgren, and Gabriel Fontaine wore the ‘A’s.

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Three things to look for at Traverse City

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Ty Ronning

The Traverse City Tournament kicks off today, with the Baby Rangers taking on the Baby Stars tonight at 7pm. The team will play four games between now and Tuesday, just in time for training camp to open. This year’s tournament has a different feel, as more eyes are on the prospects with the Rangers expected to be bottom-feeders. There are a few things to focus on, if you’re new to following this tournament.

1. The Top Prospects

Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson are going to garner a significant amount of attention, and rightfully so. The two first rounders from 2017 are expected to make the Rangers roster this year and be the faces of the rebuild.

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Initial lines for Traverse City

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Per Matt Calamia, these were the first lines at practice for the Rangers at Traverse City:

Gabriel Fontaine-Filip Chytil-Ville Meskanen
Michael Lindqvist-Lias Andersson-Jakob Stuckel (invite)
Tim Gettinger-Brett  Howden-Tyler Ronning

Libor Hajek-Brandon Crawley
Ryan Lindgren-Joey Keane
Sean Day-Nicholas Gross

That third line has me a little giddy. I’m intrigued by Lindgren-Keane as well, since it has the feel of a prototypical stay-at-home/offensive defenseman to it.

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lias andersson

It’s September. We are less than one month away from the NHL season getting underway. But there will still be Rangers hockey this week. The kids playing in the Traverse City Tournament kick things off on Friday, with games all weekend and into early next week.

The roster has been released, with just one free agent invitee (Brodeur’s kid). I gave some initial thoughts on the roster as well. The Rangers will have games on Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday:

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Quick hits on the Traverse City roster

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lias andersson filip chytil

The Rangers released the Traverse City roster yesterday, and with that comes the unofficial start of hockey season. The Traverse City Tournament is the first bit of hockey we get, but unfortunately it isn’t televised (update: this will be streamed on the FOX Sports Go app). The tournament precedes the preseason, so it’s our first look at some of the kids that may compete for a roster spot. Some thoughts:

1. The roster this year is light years ahead of last year’s. There is significantly more talent up front and on the blue line. That should lead to a potential stronger showing this year. However the guys in goal (Chris Nell, Jeremy Brodeur) aren’t Alex Georgiev.

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The Rangers have announced their Traverse City Tournament roster. The roster has the guys you’d expect, including the 2017 first rounders and most of the kids acquired at the 2018 trade deadline.

Notably absent are the 2018 draftees, most likely because they are committed elsewhere (KHL, SHL, etc). Funny that Martin Brodeur’s son got an invite. That should be interesting.

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Pronman: Rangers have #11 prospect system

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brett howden

Corey Pronman is in the process of releasing his 2018 NHL organization prospect rankings, and the Rangers came in at #11 on his list (sub req’d). The Rangers moved up from #29 last year, so an 18 spot jump shows how much last year’s trade deadline and draft stocked the cupboards.

While the Rangers do lack a larger number of elite level prospects, the by product of four straight years without a first round pick, Pronman did note that the Rangers have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league.

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