Archive for MacKenzie Skapski
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 oranization: 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.
Its Thursday so time for another dose of around the league, with some Rangers thoughts scattered in for good measure. While we have some hockey back on tap (rejoice!) the dog days are clearly here.
In news that will surprise absolutely no one, the NHL ‘invited’ both Las Vegas and Quebec to participate in the second round of the expansion application process. Of course, given the non refundable bonds put up to begin the process this is really just a formality and both groups were always going to enter this round.
Skapski sighting: The Hockey News check out Rangers goaltending prospect McKenzie Skapski’s new mask. It’s pretty cool.
It’s truly unfortunate timing that Rangers goalie prospect McKenzie Skapski is going to be sidelined for almost half a year. Skapski had perhaps unexpectedly established himself as a legitimate NHL prospect this season. He did so by first making a solid, if not excellent start to life in the AHL with the Wolf Pack then built on that with an impressive cameo in the NHL while Henrik Lundqvist was shelved. Now, Skapski is injured.
Skapski is young and he’ll return. His injury may have cost him a regular back up gig at the NHL level this coming season but then again, wouldn’t he be best served with 40-50 starts at the AHL level? Indeed, Skapski’s injury shouldn’t in any way alter the Rangers plans to actively shop or ‘listen’ to offers for Cam Talbot. The free agent goaltending market this coming season will be awash with short term options for a backup, a position that would only cost the Rangers dollars and no assets. Talbot is replaceable (Sorry Cam).
Hartford Wolf Pack starting goaltender Mackenzie Skapski had successful arthroscopic hip surgery today, which repaired a torn labrum in his right hip. Skapski will be out 4-5 months, which puts his return in the October-November timeframe.
This further solidifies that Skapski will be in Hartford next season, despite allowing just one goal in two games –both against the Sabres– during his stint as the Rangers backup goalie.
Remember when there was all round angst about the lack of talent behind Henrik Lundqvist? Well as has been discussed countless times this season, it couldn’t be any more different right now. It’s a fair assumption to suggest that the Rangers goaltending situation – from top to bottom in the organisation – has never been better, even for an organisation founded in 1926.
The Rangers come at you with a future Hall of fame, Vezina winning goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, have a young NHL starting calibre goalie to back him up and have another young prospect already making serious waves in the pro ranks. With that said, let’s forget about the big boys in New York for a moment and have a quick look over the prospects below the NHL level.
We all know what Skapski did in his two NHL appearances. Yes, it was the Buffalo Sabres (ECHL edition) but Skapski came in and went 2-0-0, with a shutout and sported a .978 save percentage. He got better as he got more exposure and at 20, has a ton of time on his side. At the AHL level Skapski continues to play well. In 28 games played he is 15-8-3 with a .914 save percentage and three shutouts for a pretty young but solid WolfPack. What is perhaps most exciting however is how Skapski has taken the quick success at the pro level in his stride.
The New York Rangers have returned goaltender Mackenzie Skapski to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. Skapski was called up in February to be the backup to Cam Talbot while Henrik Lundqvist was injured. Skapski played two games, both against the Buffalo Sabres, allowing one goal and recording a shutout.
This means Lundqvist is ready to return.
Before we get started, I just wanted to take a minute to lament west coast games. Last night wasn’t even a proper 10:30pm west coast game, and I still hated it. It forced me to admit that I am an old man when I fall asleep half way through the third period and miss everything. It’s stupid. All games should be played based on Eastern Standard Time. Get off my lawn!
Ok, onto some actual Ranger-related thoughts after five Hank-less games…
- Wow, Kevin Hayes.
- Speaking of Hayes, I’m going to state the obvious and talk about how great that third line has looked. JT Miller needs to stay in the lineup.
- I think Chris Kreider has an unbelievable amount of talent. However, he seems to be developing into a seriously one dimensional player. He can use speed to the outside and fire off a slightly off-angle shot. If he doesn’t get to the front of the net, it’s a pretty exciting build up, but nothing usually comes of it.
- I’m going on record and saying Marty St. Louis is in a slump. Far from done. Although, that turn over on the Av’s second goal last night was borderline inexcusable.
- Cam Talbot has looked very good in Hank’s absence. He has good composure, positioning and is prone to the big save. The key will be how consistent he can be if Hank is out for more than 10 games or so. That is the real separator of starting-caliber goalies. Can they rely on him night in night out?
- Rick Nash is awesome. I love that I get to say that now almost every time I write one of these posts.
- Speaking of Hank, his injury is one that is rarely seen in hockey. I’ll be cautious whenever he returns and I don’t know how confident we can be that he will be fully healthy when the time comes.
- I need to starting seeing some losing out of NYI, PIT and WSH very soon. I’m getting sick of their crap.
- The fanbase seems to be very split on how intense this year’s trade deadline should get. As long as Tanner Glass gets a good seat in the press box to watch from, I’ll be good.
- We are officially in the grind portion of the season. Especially without Hank, it’s tough to get up for a run through Feb/March. It’s about collecting points and jockeying for the highest conference position possible. Still on pace to fight for the top if games in hand are won.
- It never ceases to amuse me how much my wife loves watching the dad’s up in stands during their visits.
- How about that Evander Kane trade? I’m not going to like seeing Buffalo on the schedule in a couple years.
- I’d love to see MacKenzie Skapski get some action. For one game, let’s see what the kid’s got.
Rangers are right back at it tomorrow against the lowly Coyotes before a big tilt (relatively speaking) against the Isles at the Coliseum.
In some “uh oh” news, Henrik Lundqvist is unavailable tonight, and is being checked out for something “throat related.” MacKenzie Skapski has been recalled to serve as the backup tonight against the Boston Bruins. Cam Talbot will get the start.
If you want to panic, feel free to in the comments.
Once upon a time mass panic would break out in Rangerland if Henrik Lundqvist was ever run into during a game. Who would take over? Rangers had nothing coming through the system. Well things appear to have changed. While Lundqvist is certainly in New York for quite some time to come, all of a sudden the Rangers appear well set at the goaltending position.
What started as a hot streak has turned into a solid NHL career. Cam Talbot has earned his new one year ($1.45m) extension thanks to backing up his great numbers from last season, this year. Talbot has proved to be a dependable backup and his performances have also flashed starter upside. At the very least, he’s shown that last year was no fluke even if his sample size remains relatively small (29 NHL games, 15 wins, an outrageous 6 shutouts in such a small timeframe).
While Talbot’s numbers this season are inflated as all his wins have come through shutouts, it’s hard not to be excited about a goaltender that, right now, is sporting a .938 save percentage at the NHL level. Talbot has absolutely solidified the Rangers goaltending position for the short to mid term and at worst, gives the Rangers an attractive trade asset.
What Talbot also gives the Rangers is a completely different look in net to Lundqvist. A strong puck handler with a big frame, Talbot is very different to Lundqvist in many ways which certainly forces opposing teams to change their thinking.
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.