Archive for Prospects
About a year ago, thanks to some sleuthing, I found out the that the Rangers have signed a prospect I had my eyes on, Michael Joly, to an AHL contract. At the time, I was extremely excited about this. Joly was always a super talented player in the QMJHL, but was plagued with injuries despite a point-per-game pace. There were some other warning signs too. Joly was only 5’11, and although he produced a lot, the QMJHL is seen as an easier league to score in. With that said, Joly is a smart guy, he knew that while his offensive skill is there he would need to improve defensively and over his last season he did that enough to get the AHL deal.
Joly’s season didn’t start off too well and ended up in the ECHL to start the year. In between call ups to Hartford, Joly scored 40 points in 29 games for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. With the Wolf Pack faltering and in desperate need of offense, they called up Joly as he had nothing left to prove in the ECHL. One of the biggest problems for Hartford this season is the structure of the lines, as they do not distribute talented vets in the lineup. The kids end up faltering as a result. But during this 2nd call up, a desperate Hartford gave Joly a chance with AHL star Taylor Beck and the two meshed very well.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Springfield Thunderbirds 3
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, April 7, 2017 – Nicklas Jensen’s goal with 2:21 remaining in the third period lifted the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-3 win over the Springfield Thunderbirds Friday night at the XL Center.
Rookie goaltender Chris Nell made 27 saves to post his first professional win for the Wolf Pack, and Marek Hrivik had a goal and an assist. Chris Brown and Matt Carey also scored for Hartford. Ed Wittchow, Tim Bozon and Chase Balisy had the Springfield goals.
At 5:19 of the first period, the Thunderbirds took the early lead when Wittchow took a pass from Anthony Greco and fired a shot from the left point over the right shoulder of Nell to make the score 1-0.
Providence Bruins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
Providence, RI, April 2, 2017 – Malte Stromwall’s late third-period goal for the Hartford Wolf Pack prevented a Zane McIntyre shutout Sunday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence, but that was the only one of 24 Wolf Pack shots to get by the Providence Bruin goaltender in a 4-1 Providence victory.
Alex Grant had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, and Jake DeBrusk, Peter Mueller and Jordan Szwarz also scored. Austin Czarnik had two assists. Chris Nell made 36 saves in the Wolf Pack net.
Albany Devils 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Albany, NY, April 1, 2017 – Nicklas Jensen had a goal and an assist for the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday at the Times Union Center, but Blake Pietila scored two power-play goals, including the third-period game-winner, for the Albany Devils in a 4-3 Albany victory.
Max Novak added a goal and an assist for the Devils, and Jacob MacDonald had three assists. Marek Hrivik chipped in two assists for the Wolf Pack.
The two teams traded goals in the first period, the Devils scoring early and the Wolf Pack replying late.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Hershey Bears 0
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, March 31, 2017 – Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves Friday night at the XL Center in the Hartford Wolf Pack’s first shutout of the season, a 3-0 win over the Hershey Bears.
Joly would net the only goal the Wolf Pack would need just 3:55 into the game. Jensen sent Joly streaking down the left side of the ice to create a one-on-one opportunity. Joly continued his hot streak, scoring his fourth goal in the last three games, just past the right pad of Hershey goaltender Pheonix Copley (24 saves).
Providence Bruins 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 2
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, March 26, 2017 – Taylor Beck and Michael Joly scored for the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday at the XL Center, and Magnus Hellberg made 34 saves, but three second period goals by the Providence Bruins proved to be too much for Hartford to handle in a 5-2 loss.
The Wolf Pack struck first at 2:43 of the opening period. Steven Fogarty played the puck toward the front of the net, and it eventually made its way through Ty Ronning and on goal. Bruin goaltender Zane McIntyre (21 saves) made the stop, but Taylor Beck was there to rap in the rebound.
Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, March 25, 2017 – Michael Joly scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist for the Hartford Wolf Pack Saturday night at the XL Center, in a 4-3 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Marek Hrivik added three assist for the Wolf Pack, who snapped an 0-8-1-0 drought.
After a scoreless first period, Joly got the Wolf Pack on the board with his first of the game at 8:49 of the second. Hrivik passed the puck out of the right-wing corner to Joly in the slot, and Joly fired a shot over Sound Tiger goalie Eamon McAdam’s shoulder.
Providence Bruins 3, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
By Chris Kohler
Hartford, CT, March 24, 2017 – Taylor Beck scored the lone goal for the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night at the XL Center, and Magnus Hellberg finished with a team season-high 46 saves, but the Providence Bruins’ three goals proved to be too much to overcome.
The first half of the first period between the Pack and Bruins was a defensive battle, as both teams combined for a total of eight shots.
Hartford had a quality chance early, as Michael Joly collected a loose puck behind Providence’s goal and dished it to a streaking Adam Chapie. Bruin goaltender Zane McIntyre, however, was up to the challenge and denied Chapie to keep the game scoreless.
Earlier this week I looked at a pair of NCAA free agents that the Rangers would be smart to target. Today, let’s take a look at five more.
Mike Vecchione – The first player on the list is Vecchione. Vecchione would be a really interesting add for the Rangers/Wolf Pack. The captain of Union College has been one of the more dynamic centers in the NCAA. Considering the Rangers center depth is certainly lacking at the AHL level, the Hobey Baker finalist can help that out a lot.
Tyler Sheehy – If the Rangers do not sign Vecchione, which is possible seeing how much the Flyers love him, the Rangers should and hopefully will target Tyler Sheehy. Similar to Vecchione, Sheehy is smallish but a dynamic center that has lit the NCAA up while with Minnesota. His 53 points in 31 games are speaking for themselves. At 21 years old, there are rumblings he would like to turn pro. Getting him on an ELC would be a great low-risk move.
Ty Ronning, the Rangers’ 7th round pick in 2016, will be joining the Hartford Wolf Pack on an ATO for the rest of the season. Ronning wrapped up his fourth season in the WHL, finishing with a line of 25-28-53 in 68 games. That’s six goals off his totals from the prior year.
The 5’9″, 170 lb winger is Cliff Ronning’s son, and has been one of the more intriguing picks by the Rangers over the past years. Clearly skilled and fast, Ronning has the tools to make it to the NHL. The only issue is going to be his size, however that seems to be less of a barrier lately.
The Pack desperately needs an injection of youth, and it wouldn’t shock me to see Ronning sign an ELC this summer and join the Pack full time next year.