Archive for Aleksi Saarela

Halverson

Halverson

The New York Rangers will have four prospects playing in this year’s World Junior Championships, held this year in Helsinki, Finland.

Saarela is definitely the most talented prospect the Rangers have going, with a line of 10-15-25 in just 27 games in the Finnish Liiga. Zborovsky, whom many thought was a bit of a reach in the third round, has been showing why the Rangers drafted him this high. He’s improved this season, and this will be our first real look at him on a big stage.

As for the goalies, Halverson played for the USA last year, but his use was limited. He will be fighting for the starting gig this year. Huska has been having a stellar year in the USHL, and it shows why Gordie Clarke was so happy to get him in the seventh round. It will be interesting to get a look at him against the next level of competition.

Worth noting that both Pavel Buchnevich and Igor Shesterkin are playing for CSKA in the KHL, they will not be playing in the WJC this year.

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Igor Shesterkin has played with for SKA's 2nd team thus far.

Igor Shesterkin has played with for SKA’s 2nd team thus far.

While the Rangers have gotten off to a fast start, several of the Rangers European based prospects have been seeing significant action at the same time. Let’s take a quick look at the kids playing in Europe.

Buchnevich playing well

While the KHL’s leading point scorers feature faces from Rangers past (Wojtek Wolski and Nigel Dawes are both in the league’s top ten and each averaging around a point per game) Rangers top forward prospect Pavel Buchnevich is off to a respectable start this season with 13 points in 18 games. Buchnevich has six goals of which three have already been game winners and five have come at even strength.  Buchnevich’s 3 game winners rank second in the league.

Buchnevich’s Severstal club are one of the league’s worst midway through October but Buchnevich leads the team in points and is third amongst forwards in ice time (17 minutes per game) so Buchnevich is getting significant opportunity to develop his game before he becomes an option for the Rangers.

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Categories : Prospects
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igor shesterkin

Shesterkin

The NHL season is finally only a few weeks away, and with Traverse City starting in a few days we will be getting substantial hockey news sooner rather than later. While pretty much all of the prospects playing in North America will be taking place in Traverse City, Pavel Buchnevich, Igor Shesterkin (Shestyorkin), Robin Kovacs, Aleksi Saarela and Daniel Bernhardt have gotten some games in their leagues overseas, while Cristoval “Boo” Nieves, Tyler Nanne, and Steven Fogarty will be playing in the NCAA this season.

Pavel Buchnevich- In my personal opinion, he is the New York Rangers’ best prospect and frankly I considered him a better prospect than Anthony Duclair. After a great season last year, many wanted Buch to sign an NHL contract and compete for a spot this season. While that would’ve been ideal, especially with the recent news about Slava Fetisov possibly restricting Russians from coming over to America, I am not worried that Buchnevich will be a legitimate offensive threat for the Rangers.

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Categories : Prospects
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ryan bourque

Bourque

Over the past two seasons, I’ve gone through the Rangers organization and ranked the top 25 players under the age of 25 years old (2013, 2014). The ground rules for this list 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.

First, let’s go through the players from last year’s list that no longer qualify and honorable mentions who missed the cut:

Aged out: Derek Stepan, Mat Bodie
No longer with the organization: Anthony Duclair, John Moore, Conor Allen, Ryan Haggerty
Honorable mentions: Adam Huska, Sergey Zborovskiy, Tyler Nanne, Ryan Mantha, Keegan Iverson, Marek Hrivik

Now let’s go through the top-25 players under the age of 25, starting with #25. I will group some of these players together, as some are so close in skill set that it was tough to rank one higher than the other.

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Categories : Prospects
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ryan gropp

Gropp (Photo: Seattle Thunderbids)

Well, the day I have been looking forward to since the Rangers got eliminated is officially over. I will be brutally honest here, this wasn’t a great draft for the Rangers in my personal opinion, but it was still nice and I am more happy about this one than last year’s. My ideal plan for the draft was to go for whichever player had the most skill, something teams like Toronto and Philly did. Even though the Rangers didn’t necessarily do that, I have faith in Gordie Clark and am pretty happy with guys we took today.

Ryan Gropp- Gropp was a player that I wasn’t expecting to be available by the time the Rangers picked, but he is a nice player. My only gripe about him is that the Rangers didn’t draft the more skilled player in Sprong instead. That said, Gropp is a very solid pick and has a pretty nice chance to make the NHL. He has good size at 6’2, 183 lbs, but he brings more to the table. Gropp is a really swift skater and has a wonderful shot for a kid his age.

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Categories : Draft
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2015 nhl draft

Really getting solid mileage from this image.

Day One of the 2015 NHL Draft came and went last night, with the Rangers staying largely silent. There were rumblings of an eventual deal for Cam Talbot, but that was the only action we saw for the Rangers. It was a relatively boring night.

Day Two, however, was the complete opposite. The day opened with more Talbot rumors. But before the eventual Talbot deal could be made, the Rangers shocked their fan base by sending Carl Hagelin to the Anaheim Ducks for Emerson Etem. The trade also involved the Rangers moving up in the draft from #59 to #41, giving Anaheim the 59th and 179th picks. The Rangers grabbed forward Ryan Gropp with the 41st pick.

Minutes after making their selection, the Rangers then sent Talbot to the Edmonton Oilers for three draft picks. The Rangers got the 57th, 79th, and 184th picks. The Oilers also got the 209th pick in the deal.

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Categories : Draft, Trades
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Jun
27

2015 NHL Draft Open Thread: Day Two

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2015 nhl draft

Getting a lot of mileage out of this image.

Well, the second day of the draft is upon us, and the Rangers actually have picks to use today. Even though the Rangers didn’t pick last night, there was a little bit of disappointment that they didn’t, since Cam Talbot was supposed to be traded for a first round pick. The general feeling was disappointment when they did not trade him last night.

That said, Talbot should be dealt today, likely early, so that the Rangers can get more picks in the second round. Right now, the Rangers have the following picks:

  • 2nd round – 59th overall
  • 3rd round – 89th
  • 4th round – 119th
  • 6th round – 179th
  • 7th round – 209th

The Rangers traded their 5th round pick to the Canucks last year for Raphael Diaz.

As per usual, we will be live blogging the draft. Be sure to join us. I’ll be bolding the Rangers picks and moves. I won’t be updating every trade up/down. Just the ones that affect the Rangers.

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Categories : Draft
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2015 nhl draft

If you missed the previous posts on round 2 and round 3 targets, be sure to read up on those. As we start getting deeper into the draft, it becomes slightly more difficult to predict when a certain player will be drafted, so some of these kids listed may go as early as the third round, or even later in the draft.

Brad Morrison- To begin my round 4 draft targets will be left handed center Brad Morrison. Players like Morrison can separate the good teams from the bad teams. Finding nice depth players in the middle and late rounds consistently is what has made Tampa, Detroit, and even the Rangers competitors. Morrison won’t be a first line center that will lead the league in points, but he will surely be an important member of a competitive team should he continue to develop.

Morrison really reminds me of Brad Marchand (3rd rounder) and Brendan Gallagher (5th rounder). Morrison is 6’0, 154 lbs and is still growing. He plays a very sneaky, intelligent game but without much flare. This will likely make him an underrated prospect until he shocks people at camp when he is older. He is a nice skater and uses that to his advantage to get open in the OZ, but is most effective on the rush because he can cause that much desired separation from the defenseman. He has quick hands in tight which helps him get some points. His skating is nice and smooth but he can still work on his shot but I feel he will be a player that will have most of his offense come from around the crease.

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Categories : Draft
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