Posts tagged: Evgeny Grachev

Dowzak, Kelowna, Drop Second Straight

As per BSB regular Rick in Boston:

Kelowna drops their second straight, 6-1. Dowzak doesn’t get on the scoresheet and is -1 for the game.

Kelowna is still up 3-2 in the series, but has been dominated in the past two games by the Calgary Hitmen. The Rockets have no momentum, and will need to stop the bleeding in Game 6 if they hope to make it to the Memorial Cup.

As for Evgeny Grachev and his Brampton Batallion, they are fighting for their lives tonight in Game 5, down 3-1 to Windsor. Obviously, it’s do or die for them.

The winners of the major Canadian junior leagues (OHL, WHL, QMJHL) square off for the Memorial Cup.

Brampton Loses Without Grachev

Rangers prospect Evgeny Grachev sat out Game 4 of the OHL Finals, with what The Prospect Park has said to be flu-like symptoms. Without Grachev, the Battalion dropped Game 4, and are now down 3-1 to Windsor.

As for Tysen Dowzak and his Kelowna Rockets, they couldn’t close out the WHL Finals last night, losing to Calgary 6-2. Dowzak had an assist and was even for the game. Kelowna is still up 3-1, with Game 5 tonight.

Brampton Gets One Away From Home, Kelowna One Away From Memorial Cup

Well, Evgeny Grachev’s Brampton Battalion have at least avoided a sweep, and Grachev avoided going pointless in the series, picking up an assist and +2 last night. That leaves him 0-1-1 and -2 so far for the series. Brampton, down 2-1, will try to even the series Wednesday. Although Grachev is struggling in this series, he is still 11-14-25 and +8 in 19 playoff games this year.

Tysen Dowzak’s Kelowna Rockets won again last night, and Dowzak, wearing an ‘A’, was a +1 in the game. That leaves him 0-2-2 and +3 so far in the series. In 19 playoff games, Dowzak is 0-3-3 and a whopping +10. I think he might be of some service next year if he continues to be that solid on the defensive side. Kelowna, up 3-0, goes for the series sweep, the WHL championship, and a trip to the Memorial Cup playoffs Wednesday.

Juniors Playoff Update

Game 2 of the OHL Finals saw more of the same from Rangers’ prospect Evgeny Grachev: no points, -2, and a loss. That leaves Grachev, the Rangers’ 3rd round pick from 2008, at no points and a -4 so far in this series, which his Battalion now trail 2-0.

As for Tysen Dowzak and the WHL Finals, Dowzak had an assist and was +1 in the Rockets 5-2 victory in Game 1.

Both teams play their next games tonight.

Canadian Juniors Playoff Update

As per BSBer Rick in Boston:

Evgeny Grachev’s Battalion were shelled 10-1 by the Windsor Spitfires in Game 1 of the OHL Finals. Grachev was a -2 on the night according to the OHL’s scoresheet.

Game 2 will be Friday. According to the Battalion’s website, Grachev started the game skating on Cody Hodgson’s line – Hodgson is one of Vancouver’s top prospects and the #10 overall selection in the 2008 draft.

Looks like it wasn’t just Grachev who had a rough night. Losing 10-1 in the Finals is embarrassing. Let’s hope he answers back in Game 2.

As for Tysen Dowzak, Game 1 in the WHL Finals is tomorrow.

So, What’s Left to Watch?

So, with the Rangers’ season over, and the Wolfpack’s season over, what else is left to watch? Well, aside from the rest of the NHL playoffs (if you can stand Versus coverage), which is setting up to have some spectacular matchups, and some Yankee baseball, you can follow two Ranger prospects compete for the Memorial Cup (Canadian Juniors Championship).

H/T to BSBer Rick in Boston for pointing this out to us. Top prospect Evgeny Grachev is leading his Brampton Battalion with 24 points (11 goals) and a +10. Game 1 of the OHL Finals is tonight. The winner heads to the Memorial Cup. Unfortunately, top defense prospect Michael Del Zotto and his London Knights were eliminated last round in the OHL Semis.

Also, Rangers free agent overage signee Tysen Dowzak with the Kelowna Rockets will be playing in the WHL finals. Again per Rick in Boston, Dowzak’s a stay-at-home type guy, with just two points in 16 playoff games, but a nice +7.

We won’t be shutting down shop, and will be attempting to get at least a post a day in during the offseason. So keep checking back.

Grachev Named Top Rookie

Today, the OHL announced that Ranger prospect Evgeny Grachev has been awarded the Emms Family Trophy as the OHL’s top rookie.

Grachev, 19, finished his rookie campaign with 40 goals and 40 assists in 60 games, finishing with an astounding +48. This award is just one of many awards won by Grachev, who was named the Rookie of the Month in November and December.

Grachev has a bright future ahead of him, and could wind up making an impact on the Rangers sooner than initially expected.

Profile: Evgeny Grachev

Grachev, currently with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL, was the Rangers 3rd round pick, #75 overall, in the 2008 NHL draft. His stock is quickly growing, due to his outstanding play with the Battalion (39 GP, 27 G, 26 A, 53 Pts, OHL rookie of the month in November), and he currently sits in the top 5 Rangers prospects (as per HockeysFuture). Grachev, just 18 years old, and is listed at 6’2, 202 lbs (though probably more like 6’4 and 215), so he, unlike Artem Anisimov, has already filled out his big frame.

Grachev uses his size to his advantage, and this is where he differs from Anisimov. While Anisimov has not yet filled out his frame to be a dominating physical force, Grachev has, and he has demonstrated this during his time on the Russian U18 team last year. He excels at driving to the net and banging home rebounds, something that this current Rangers team could learn a lot from. For a big guy, Grachev is still a strong skater with an above average shot and decent puck handling skills.

The biggest concern around Grachev is his quickness. Last year, while playing for the Russian U18 team, his slower feet and decision making skills were exploited by the Canadian team. The young Russian will need to work on getting faster and quicker if he wants to have a long and successful career in the NHL. He is also developing a presence in the face-off circle, but has a long way to go.

The potential for Grachev is right up there with Anisimov, as the two are being talked about as one in the same. If he develops his foot speed and his face off prowess, then you could be looking at a #1 center in the best case scenario, and a top-six forward for those who are going with the conservative take.

The center position looks very strong down the road for the Rangers, and they may soon have the tough decision of who to shift to wing. Currently they have Gomez, Drury, Dubinsky and Betts lining up at center, with Anisimov knocking on the door and Grachev right behind him. Things are looking good down the middle.

Rangers’ Prospect Update

I (mostly) cover Yankees’ prospects over at RAB, so talking about minor leaguers is familiar territory for me. I thought it would be cool to bring some of that flavor here since the Rangers still have one more off day before they meet up with the Caps in DC.

The Wolfpack are currently 16-14-4, tied for third in the AHL’s Atlantic Division with 36 points. They’re on a bit of a hot streak, going 6-3-1 in their last ten contests. Here’s how some notable prospects are doing down in Hartford:

Artem Anisimov, C: 34 GP, 14 G, 19 A, 33 PTS, +3, 38 PIM, 85 shots – he leads the team in points and is 13th in the AHL overall
Dane Byers, LW: 9 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS, -2, 18 PIM, 15 shots – he’s done for the year with a knee injury
Vladimir Denisov, D: 34 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 PTS, +3, 81 PIMS, 36 shots
Brodie Dupont, LW: 33 GP, 6 G, 8 A, 14 PTS, -6, 33 PIM, 64 shots
Greg Moore, C: 34 GP, 10 G, 11 A, 21 PTS, -8, 20 PIM, 89 shots
Tommy Pyatt, C: 32 GP, 7 G, 9 A, 16 PTS, +1, 8 PIM, 53 shots
Bobby Sanguinetti, D: 34 GP, 3 G, 17 A, 20 PTS, -8, 20 PIM, 62 shots – he’s still working on the defensive aspect of his game, so don’t worry about the eyesore of a +/- … the kid can hit though
Michael Sauer, D: 21 GP, 7 G, 5 A, 6 PTS, -4, 13 PIM, 37 shots
Dale Weise, RW: 33 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 PTS, 0, 24 PIM, 39 shots – the team’s fourth round choice last year has been a bit of a disappointment coming off a 29 G season (in 53 games) with Swift Current of the WHL
Miika Wiikman, G: 25 GP, 11-11-3, 2.75 GAA, .902 SV% – coming off a sterling 21-8-3, 2.30 GAA, .919 SV% campaign
Matt Zaba, G: 12 G, 5-4-0, 3.20 GAA, .881 SV%

Here’s how some of the non-AHL guys are doing:

Michael Del Zotto, D: 30 GP, 6 G, 24 A, 30 PTS, -10, 44 PIM – ditto Sanguinetti’s comment, plus you gotta love the point-a-game pace … he’s with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL … you can see his 2008 Draft profile video here
Evgeny Grachev, C: 30 GP, 19 G, 16 A, 35 PTS, +11, 35 PIM – he’s with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL
Derek Stepan, C: 20 GP, 3 G, 10 A, 13 PTS, -5, 4 PIM, 49 shots – he’s a freshman at the University of Wisconsin

Alexei Cherepanov’s passing left the Rangers’ lacking an elite, bonafide number one type prospect. Sanguinetti & Del Zotto are currently the two crown jewels of the system, but still a notch below Cherepanov’s level. Anisimov is a solid third wheel that could see action with the big boys this season. Moore got a six game cup of coffee last season, and could get another look-see this year.

Hockey’s future rated the Rangers’ farm system 24th in the league, noting their glut of power/checking forwards.

Mike Axisa writes for River Ave. Blues and can be reached here.