Archive for Prospects
Both goalies selected in the 2014 NHL draft over the summer put up solid performances for their respective teams during last night’s 2015 World Junior Championships preliminary round games. Brandon Halverson (USA) made 14 saves as Team USA defeated Germany 6-0. Igor Shesterkin made 32 saves as Russia dominated Switzerland 7-0. High touted Pavel Buchnevich notched a goal and two assists in that contest.
The win game Team USA their second win (first came in overtime against Finland). They trail Anthony Duclair and Canada by a point in Group A’s standings, since OT wins net two points and regulation wins are three points. Russia, who beat Denmark in OT for their first win, trails Sweden by a point as well.
All three clubs with Rangers prospects are in action today. USA takes on Slovakia today at 4pm. Russia takes on Sweden in a game that will likely decide the winner of Group B at 5pm. Canada takes on Finland at 8pm.
Anthony Duclair notched a goal and an assist in Canada’s 8-0 dismantling of Slovakia yesterday in their 2015 World Junior Championship opener. Duclair’s goal was pretty sweet, and the video is below. USA (with Brandon Halverson) and Russia (with Pavel Buchnevich and Igor Shesterkin) also won their openers.
Anthony Duclair (Canada) and Pavel Buchnevich (Russia) headline the four New York Rangers prospects participating in the 2015 World Junior Championships in Montreal. Duclair and Buchnevich, both taken in the third round of the 2013 draft, are the top two prospects in the system. Both are high-end scoring wingers, and both will hopefully make significant impacts on the Rangers roster in the near future.
A little over a month ago, the Hartford Wolf Pack s signed defenseman Henrik Tallinder to a PTO, as the Rangers were looking to fill holes on the blue line. The Tomas Kaberle experiment failed, and now the organization is moving on from Tallinder as well. The club released Tallinder from his PTO yesterday, and the Rangers will not offer him a contract.
Stop me if this sounds familiar: a heralded first-round pick impressed immediately in his first professional season, but struggled as a sophomore and spent much of that season in the American Hockey League. In his third year, the prospect looked like a lock for a full-time job out of training camp, but was sent back to Hartford after just a few games. But about a month later, the player was back in New York and the light bulb had finally clicked on – he was a major contributor from then on.
Indeed, Chris Kreider amazed us with five playoff goals in his first NHL action out of college, then spent much of 2012-2013 with the Wolf Pack. He spent six more games in Hartford at the start of last season before reaching Broadway for good.
J.T. Miller’s path has been very similar. The 2011 first-round pick began his pro career at a much younger age than Kreider, but he, too, impressed in 26 games with the Blueshirts in 2012-2013, then left fans a bit disappointed last year by failing to break out and split the season between the Rangers and Wolf Pack. Miller looked like the best forward at training camp in September, but was quickly demoted to Hartford after just three games in October. Miller returned to the Rangers on November 29th, and he’s posted three points in four games since then while playing primarily with Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast before a stint in the top-six alongside Derek Stepan and Marty St. Louis on Monday.
Brandon Halverson (USA), Igor Shesterkin (RUS) and Pavel Buchnevich (RUS) were all invited to their respective 2015 World Junior Championships camps. Halverson, the Rangers 2nd round pick in 2014, will likely compete for a backup goalie role. Shesterkin (4th, 2014) will also (likely) be competing for the same spot for Russia. Buchnevich (3rd, 2013) is all but a lock to make the team.
With the Tomas Kaberle experiment over with, the Hartford Wolf Pack have brought in defenseman Henrik Tallinder on a PTO, per Bob McKenzie. Kaberle skated with the Rangers before being sent to Hartford to play in some games, and it looks like the Rangers are skipping that first part with Tallinder. Tallinder played in the NHL last season, putting up 2-6-8 with the Sabres (keep in mind, it was Buffalo).
His possession numbers are up and down, so it’s hard to see where he’d be an improvement at the NHL level.
Just a quick note: 2012 1st round pick Brady Skjei, currently on the top defense pairing at Minnesota, is week-to-week following a lower body injury. Skjei had put up 1-2-3 in 6 games with the top-ranked Golden Gophers prior to the injury.
Skeji is likely to turn pro following this season with Minnesota.
When the Rangers get healthy in a couple of weeks their line-up will be set – barring a fresh injury or a dramatic loss of form. The Rangers will be dressing a veteran heavy line-up even though several regulars are still in the young category.
Meanwhile down in the AHL, the Hartford WolfPack has started the season strongly (7-2-1 as of Wednesday) and are being led offensively by a handful of prospects. Among others, Oscar Lindberg, Ryan Haggerty, Danny Kristo, J.T. Miller, Mat Bodie and Jesper Fast are all having productive seasons offensively. Including Haggerty (in his rookie pro season but still with six points in ten games) all of the above are playing consistent hockey and are close to a point per game.
This kind of collective form offers an organisation exactly the kind of problems they want. On the one hand the Rangers don’t have any space for prospects in New York – certainly not in positions where enough ice time is available – but on the other hand they want a steady stream of players knocking on the door putting pressure on the established core. However, a problem starting to develop in the Rangers organization is that several prospects may see their paths blocked in both the short and long term.
The Hartford Wolf Pack made two roster moves today, recalling goalie MacKenzie Skapski from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warrios, and assigning
defenseman forward Chris McCarthy to the ECHL. Skapski, a first year pro out of the WHL, played one game with Greenville, posting a .906 SV% and 3.17 GAA. McCarthy , also a first year pro out of UVM, did not play in any of the first four games for the Pack.
Update: Hartford has released forward Richard Nejezchleb from his PTO. He will rejoin the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL for his over-age season.