Archive for Anthony Duclair
The trade deadline came and went on Monday this season with a flurry of activity and some very big moves. Since I usually will write my articles for Friday, I haven’t really had a chance to weigh in at this point. I know that there has been a couple games in the interim, but since the Rangers don’t play again until Sunday, I’m just going to share my post deadline thoughts anyway…
Perhaps the biggest concern with the deal for Keith Yandle is that the Rangers gave up Anthony Duclair to land Yandle. There was plenty of outrage over dealing Duclair, and it’s tough to really blame people for the outrage. Duclair isn’t even 20 yet, cracked the roster out of camp, and was showing significant promise as a potential impact player.
Despite what he showed in camp, Duclair was still a prospect, and thus a relative unknown. He may turn into a 30-goal scorer, he may not. We may look at this as the Anthony Duclair trade in five years, we may not. The Rangers needed to give something of value to get Yandle at half his cap hit, and Duclair was the guy they selected to give up.
Looking into the roster construction, it’s fairly easy to see why they sent Duclair to Arizona.
This trade has massive implications for both the short and long term folks. Sit tight and hope for a cup this summer.
Glen Sather certainly isn’t gun shy. In a stunning move Sunday afternoon the Rangers have acquired Arizona Coyotes offensive defenseman Keith Yandle and in return have sent arguably the best prospect in the system, Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore and a 2016 1st round pick back to the Coyotes. As part of the deal and to make it cap workable, the Coyotes have retained 50% of the Yandle contract while the Rangers also receive Chris Summers (2006 first round pick and defenseman) in the trade.
Much has been made of the Rangers’ salary cap woes with the likes of Mats Zuccarello, Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin set to be free agents and the ceiling unlikely to increase much in the offseason. However, the emergence of several top prospects has made biting the bullet of letting a key player or two go much easier.
Obviously every franchise wants to retain as much talent as possible, but of course there is only so much money and so many positions to go around. The good news is that the team is well prepared to weather a significant loss.
Anthony Duclair and Pavel Buchnevich are potential replacements for Zuccarello, St. Louis and Hagelin; Brady Skjei will take the Matt Hunwick/John Moore job; and now it looks like even Oscar Lindberg could be useful should the team need to deal Dominic Moore in a penny-saving move.
ESPN runs their top prospects lists a few times per year, and this time around they rectified something that was perceived as a slap in the face to Ranger fans. The rankings –written by Corey Pronman, who is one of the best prospect evaluators around, so no lazy ESPN comments please– ranked Pavel Buchnevich at #25 and left Anthony Duclair off the list (honorable mention).
This time around (Insider only), following Duclair’s fantasatic preseason and promising first stint in the NHL bumped him all the way to #12 on the list. Buchnevich, who is having an outstanding year in the KHL, moved to #15 in the list. Duclair is expected to compete for a roster spot next year. Buchnevich’s contract with his KHL club is up this year, and he’s expected to join the Rangers organization and push for a roster spot out of camp.
That’s why these lists are always worth a read, it can show you progress relative to other prospects around the world. With one preseason and a handful of regular season games, Duclair jumped 88 spots to #12 on the top prospects list. Buchnevich jumped 10 spots. It’s also fun to read the “experts” dissection of Pronman’s rankings (Insider only).
In their latest team prospect rankings, Corey Pronman and Hockey’s Future each had the Rangers 28th, while The Hockey News put the Blueshirts dead last. Granted, each of those outlets has its own set of criteria, but the general consensus among the so-called experts was that the Rangers didn’t have much talent on the way.
Many that followed the baby Blueshirts more closely knew the future was actually very bright, and a few months later the rest of the hockey world has taken notice as well.
2013 third-round picks Pavel Buchnevich and Anthony Duclair just finished lighting up the World Junior Championships, while the pair of goalies selected in the 2014 draft, Brandon Halverson and Igor Shesterkin also impressed in the top prospect tournament. That duo, along with 2013 sixth-round pick Mackenzie Skapski have turned what was considered a major organizational weakness into one of the best young groups in the league.
Buchnevich and Duclair continue to look like stars in the making, as does 2010 first-round pick Kevin Hayes, whom the club poached from Chicago in August.
Meanwhile it appears the light bulb may have finally clicked on for J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast has become an NHL regular, 2013 third-rounder Adam Tambellini ranks seventh in the WHL in goal scoring, 2011 third-rounder Steven Fogarty is captaining Notre Dame, 2012 first-rounder Brady Skjei has established himself as one of the best college players in the country, and 2013 fourth-rounder Ryan Graves was just named one of the QMJHL’s three stars of the month.
Indeed, things are looking quite rosy for the Rangers’ prospect pipeline.
Tampa Bay has been generally considered to have the best future core of any team in the league after the Lightning integrated a slew of impact rookies into it’s lineup last year, but are the Rangers really that far behind? Here are each team’s players of note 25 years old or younger:
Rangers: Ryan McDonagh (25), Derek Stepan (24), Chris Kreider (23), Kevin Hayes (22), J.T. Miller (21), Jesper Fast (23), Brady Skjei (20), Anthony Duclair (19), Pavel Buchnevich (19), Ryan Graves (19), Igor Shesterkin (19), Brandon Halverson (18)
Lightning: Alex Killorn (25), Tyler Johnson (24), Victor Hedman (24), Radko Gudas (24), Ondrej Palat (23), Brett Connolly (22), Vladislav Namestnikov (22), Kristers Gudļevskis (22), Nikita Kucherov (21), Cedric Paquette (21), Andrei Vasilevskiy (20), Slater Koekkoek (20), Jonathan Drouin (19), Adam Erne (19), Anthony DeAngelo (19)
Of course, 24-year-old Steve Stamkos is Tampa’s trump card, but considering the Rangers have been choosing near the end of the first round for years as opposed to the top of it, that’s not too shabby.
Of course, player development is a tricky business and even the guys that appear to be well on their way can and will hit stumbling blocks, but for now it’s safe to say there is much more in the cupboard than many prospect gurus believed.
Original Post: The New York Rangers face a key decision in the next few days: What are they going to do with rookie winger Anthony Duclair? Duclair has bounced between the press box and the lineup, dressing in just 18 of the Rangers 36 games this year. Now, some of those missed games are due to his participation in the 2015 World Juniors (he hasn’t played in December), but he was still a healthy scratch for stretches at a time.
Over those 18 games, Duclair put up a line of 1-6-7, not overly impressive but definitely not bad. The bigger issue was that Duclair didn’t register a goal and had just two assists in November. He bounced around the lineup a bit, but spent most of his time with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes.
His #fancystats aren’t bad either. He’s on the positive side of relative CF% at 0.4% (51.3% CF). Those numbers should be taken lightly, as Duclair received heavily sheltered minutes (60% OZ starts, fairly easy quality of competition faced). The chart below shows how he ranks compared to other Rangers forwards:
The issue with Duclair is where he would play in the lineup. He needs to play top-nine minutes according to Alain Vigneault, and it’s tough to really argue with that. Assuming the top-six are Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, Chris Kreider, Derrick Brassard, and Mats Zuccarello; then Duclair is competing with Kevin Hayes, Lee Stempniak, Carl Hagelin, and J.T. Miller for a spot on the third line.
Hayes and Hagelin are staying on the third line for now, so this turns into a competition between Duclair, Stempniak, and Miller. Assuming Tanner Glass remains a healthy scratch, AV has shown little hesitance in putting Miller on the fourth line with Jesper Fast and Dominic Moore. I have no real complaints with that. I’ve been clamoring for that lineup composition for a while now.
Has Duclair done enough at the NHL level –or at the World Juniors– to show that he deserves to be in the lineup over Stempniak? Stempniak has better numbers, both traditional and #fancystats, than Duclair (5-7-12, 52.6% CF, 3.7% CF rel, tougher competition, fewer OZ starts). We are victims of small sample size here, but it’s tough to argue that Duclair has been the overall better player than Stempniak.
That’s not a slight against the winger, who has shown great improvement in his game with his stint in the NHL. We’ve seen it in his play at the WJC. If he hasn’t taken the spot from Stempniak, and Miller has been lights out, then who does he replace in the lineup?
The biggest problem is that if the Rangers send Duclair back to Quebec in the QMJHL, they lose him for good. Quebec hosts the Memorial Cup this year, so the Rangers wouldn’t be able to recall him until May. One injury means Glass is back in the lineup, and then the forward depth is questionable at best.
No matter which way you look at it, the Rangers have a tough call to make. Can a Stanley Cup contending team deal with another rookie in the lineup? Are they better off with the known entity in Stempniak? There’s no wrong choice to make here. In all honesty, it’s a good problem to have.
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.
Per Steve Zipay, the New York Rangers have loaned winger Anthony Duclair to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championships. This was expected, as Duclair had been a healthy scratch for a few games in a row now, and it looked like he had lost his spot in the top-nine. Duclair will be with Team Canada for the next month or so. After that, the Rangers will need to make a decision to keep him on the NHL roster or return him to the QMJHL.
In 18 games this year, Duke has put up 1-6-7, while driving puck possession (51.27% CF) in sheltered minutes (60% OZ starts).
Update: Tanner Glass is out for the optional skate, which means he will likely be a healthy scratch, per Steve Zipay. The original title for this post is relatively useless, so I’m going to change it now.
Original Post: In case you missed it yesterday, Tanner Glass returned to practice and skated on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast. With that, J.T. Miller will be a healthy scratch, sitting alongside Anthony Duclair in the press box. If you’re on Twitter, and you’re following me, Martin, Becky, Chris, or Kevin, then you know how absolutely thrilled we are to see two younger and better skaters sitting for Glass.
I’m not going to beat a dead horse and explain why Glass isn’t even remotely close to being the best option on the ice. Been there, done that. By all accounts, Glass is a fantastic person, but on the ice, he’s just not the answer. Let’s just compare him to the two kids sitting in favor of Glass, and it’s pretty clear.