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Posts tagged: Shane McColgan

McColgan, Noreau, Ceresnak have until June 1 to sign

Although our attention is rightfully on Game Five today, there is one small item that will require Glen Sather’s attention this week. A trio of 2011 draft picks have until June 1 to sign, or else they will become UFAs and free to sign elsewhere. Shane McColgan (4th), Sam Noreau (6th), and Peter Ceresnak (7th) are the three prospects that await word of an offered entry-level contract this week.

McColgan and Noreau are, in my opinion, likely to sign ELCs. The Rangers are thin on prospect depth at the AHL level, and both have proved that they can play well in the CHL. Ceresnak, on the other hand, had a poor year and was actually a healthy scratch for his OHL club for a few games this season.

By this time next week, we will know where the organization stands on these three prospects. My gut feeling is that even if one or all are not tendered ELCs, they will pick up somewhere else.

Who could be trade bait?

(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)

(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)

Acting GM Jeff Gorton is on record as saying the Rangers plan to be aggressive on the trade market to try to improve the club by the April 3rd trade deadline.  Marian Gaborik is obviously the biggest name being floated in rumors, but it’s difficult to find a good fit and it’s probably more likely than not that Gabby finishes the season with the Blueshirts.  That said, it’s common knowledge that New York would like to add a top-four defenseman and a top-nine forward to help replenish the depth that was lost during the offseason and has crippled the team all season.

With so many teams still in playoff contention in this lockout-shortened season, trade prices appear to be sky high, even for rentals.  So who could New York offer in trade packages over the coming weeks outside of Gaborik?

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Where the forward prospects stand

Before Friday’s draft it’s a good idea to take stock of what the Rangers already have in the system.  If New York follows suit, then the Blueshirts will pick the best player available regardless of position.  However, it’s worth evaluating where the team’s strengths lie, starting with a status update for the organization’s forwards.

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

J.A.M. burst onto the scene in 2011-2012 with a surprisingly strong showing at the Traverse City Tournament in September and he was only just getting started.  Ryan Bourque’s old teammate with the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts earned a one-year contract with the Whale and made the most of the opportunity.  He battled for the team points lead all season and finished with 64 (24 goals, 40 assists), tied for the team lead and good for third among AHL rookies.  Audy-Marchessault still faces an uphill climb to the NHL thanks to his (listed) 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame, but he is much closer to achieving his dream than he was a year ago.  The bad news is that J.A.M. may not even be Rangers’ property come July; the 21-year-old is an unrestricted free agent and may prefer to sign with a club that could better use his services.  It’s hard to see exactly where Audy-Marchessault fits in the prospect depth chart and he’d likely garner several other offers following his banner year.  GM Glen Sather will surely offer J.A.M. a contract, but the rest is up to him.

Ryan Bourque

Bourque was one of the last cuts at training camp but disappeared for the first chunk of the season with Connecticut after suffering a concussion in his third game.  He drew little attention the rest of the way because of his irrelevant offensive production (six goals and eight assists in 69 games), but suddenly Bourque was in the spotlight again as the Whale began its playoff run.  Bourque was one player that noticeably raised his game in the postseason and even contributed a bit more offensively with two goals and an assist in nine postseason games.  It’s tough to imagine Bourque being much of a scorer at the NHL level, but he has a very well-rounded game, is a terrific skater and is a major pest on the forecheck, qualities that could endear him to the Rangers’ coaching staff sooner than some of the organization’s more touted prospects.  Bourque’s confidence is surely higher after a strong late season push and since he was one of the last cuts last year, it stands to reason that he could push very hard for a bottom-six role in New York next year.

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McColgan, Noreau released from ATO’s

In addition to bringing in Dylan McIlrath on an ATO yesterday, the Connecticut Whale announced two additional roster moves for the Whale’s playoff push. Defenseman Sam Noreau (5th – 2011) and forward Shane McColgan (5th – 2011) were released from their respective ATO’s to make room for McIlrath.

McColgan joined the Whale on April 3rd, and played in five regular season games with the club. He finished with no points and a -2 rating. McColgan did not dress for any playoff games.

Noreau joiend the Whale on April 19th, and did not dress for any games with the club.

The press release for these moves is after the jump.

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Thomas and McColgan look to make impact

Amid the hullabaloo of the President’s trophy race and the playoff shake down was the fact two Rangers draft picks played their first pro games this past weekend for the CT Whale. Christian Thomas, fresh from the Oshawa Generals, and Shane McColgan from the Kelowna Rockets both debuted in the 3-0 loss to Wilkes-Barre and will likely play out the AHL season dressed as members of the Whale.

While both players should benefit from the experience it (the end of this season, playoffs inclusive) could become a pivotal period for Christian Thomas. McColgan, drafted in 2011 has more time on his side. Thomas however, will have seen guys like Carl Hagelin establish themselves quickly in New York and won’t have missed the way the Rangers have pursued Chris Kreider for his contract signature.

Thomas who was drafted in 2010, a year earlier than McColgan, needs to make an impact sooner rather than later to avoid possibly being the forgotten prospect. Many believe Thomas was a victim of the rulebook and that his year spent in the OHL last season slowed up his development. Due to league rules Thomas wasn’t able to go to Connecticut as hoped.

Thomas was considered ready for the AHL last year and the momentum he would have carried from his 50 goal junior season back then has surely gone. While he produced a solid year (just gone) for a middling Oshawa side he didn’t nearly have the same kind of success or impact.

Thomas could still be a quality player and a success for the Rangers. His main issue may be those prospects around him making the Rangers before him and reducing his chance to land in New York, making him expendable. It may already have happened. His perhaps tenuous position in the franchise is more likely a result of quality depth among prospects than it is about him personally.

Thomas has been held scoreless and registered one shot in his first two games as a Whale member. McColgan was -1 and hasn’t registered a shot and both players have another three regular season games to try and make an immediate impact for the Whale. It will be interesting to monitor the kids in the minors even when the big club is trying to make playoff noise themselves.

Shane McColgan to join Connecticut

Shane McColgan (2011 – 5th) looks to be headed to the Connecitcut Whale. With his Kelowna Rockets eliminated from the WHL playoffs earlier this week, McColgan tweeted that he is off to Connecticut. It’s safe to assume McColgan will join the team on an ATO, much like Peter Ceresnak earlier this year. McColgan finished the WHL season with a line of 18-46-64 in 70 games. He also finished with a -18 rating and 85 PIMs. In four playoff games, McColgan notched two assists.

The “other” player in the Tim Erixon deal: Shane McColgan

When the Rangers sent Roman Horak and two second round picks to Calgary for Tim Erixon, the fifth round pick that came back with Erixon was a mere after thought for most. After all, the Rangers had just traded a bottom-six prospect and two second rounders for someone who would have gone in the top ten in the 2011 draft. The fifth round pick doesn’t matter much when acquiring a player of that potential.

But, the Rangers used that pick on Shane McColgan of the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL. McColgan may have gone in the fifth round, but he slid very far in the draft. He was initially touted as a second round pick, but questions about his size and work ethic made him slip to the fifth round, where the Rangers were more than happy to gobble him up.

Two years ago, as a 17 year old, McColgan was already lighting up the WHL as a point per game player. Now at 19 years old, McColgan is still that point per game player, but is making strides in his game and is becoming a leader for the Rockets.

McColgan’s size may always be a question, but for all intents and purposes, he has been an after thought in this deal because he has been overshadowed by Erixon. Perhaps all this works in his favor. He doesn’t have the pressure of being a high draft pick, so he can just relax and play his game.

It’s interesting to note that when the Rangers drafted Bobby Sanguinetti in the first round in 2006, he would turn into so many promising players for the Rangers:

  • Rangers draft Bobby Sanguinetti in the first round in 2006.
  • Rangers trade Bobby Sanguinetti to the Hurricanes for a sixth round pick in 2010 (Jesper Fasth) and a second round pick in 2011.
  • Rangers trade Roman Horak, their second round pick, and Carolina’s second round pick (originally WSH) to Calgary for Tim Erixon and a fifth round pick in 2011 (Shane McColgan).

Essentially, the Rangers first round pick in 2006 amounted to Tim Erixon, Jesper Fasth, and Shane McColgan. Not bad at all.

Prospect Watch: Point Producing Juniors

The Rangers can watch their prospects in Canadian juniors with great satisfaction right now. Around a month in to the season and several prospects are scoring at an excellent rate headlined by Shane McColgan who has an impressive 17 points in 14 games for the struggling Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. With his side sitting second from bottom in their division with a 5-9-1 record, McColgan’s -6 rating is the only blot on his personal stat line this season.

A couple of other players are having great starts in junior. JT Miller continues to impress for Plymouth in the OHL and with 17 points in 15 games he’s showing an impressive offensive side. Leading his team offensively Miller has been at the forefront of Plymouth’s improved form as they have gone 5-3-2 in their past 10.

The third prospect scoring at a fast rate in juniors is Mike St Croix. St Croix has 15 points in 16 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings and is doing it on the power play as well as at even strength.  Of his 5 goals so far this season, 3 have been with the man advantage. The Kings, like the Whalers in the O, have been a team on the rise and have 6 wins in their past 10 to move 4 points behind Kootenay and Medicine Hat in their division.

All three prospects discussed above have something in common; they seem to be offensive go-to guys for their clubs. Scoring at impressive rates, all three seem to be impact players and that is something that bodes well for their professional futures. A few years ago it would have been difficult to find this many Rangers prospects making positive impressions at the same time. The prospect pipeline is certainly in a healthy state right now.

Quick hit time:

  • Chris Kreider continued his impressive season this past weekend. BC moved to a 6-1 record last weekend as first beat UMass 4-2 on Friday (Kreider was scoreless) and then thumped the same club 6-3 whereby Kreider was all over the scoreboard. Grabbing 2 goals and an assist, Kreider had 6 shots and went +2 as he had the game winner as well as a PP goal too. Kreider has 11 points in 8 games this season.
  • Scott Stajcer continues to improve as the season goes on. The rust seems to be gone as the goalie has improved to a 2-2-2 record but has a strong .920 save percentage and a much healthier 2.62 GAA. Stajcer stopped 39 of 40 shots on Sunday as Owen Sound beat Windsor 4-1.
  • Christian Thomas is sporting an ugly -8 rating in just 13 games as his Oshawa Generals continue to play mediocre hockey with a 7-8-0-2 record this season.
  • Sam Noreau is off to a nice start for Baie-Comeau in the QMJHL, going 1+7 in 11 games as well as sporting a strong +8 rating.
  • Despite being pointless in his last 2 games Jesper Fasth still has 14 points in 16 games for HV71 in the SEL.
  • Blueliner Mikhail Pashnin has 2 goals for CSKA in the KHL (in 19 games).

Christian Thomas is currently sitting through a ten game suspension in the OHL for high sticking. The ban began on 24th October. With high draft picks Boone Jenner and Niklas Jensen in the line-up, Oshawa should have – at least offensively – been able to cope without Thomas but they’ve been whipped 5-2 and 6-2 in their past two games. Neither player has managed to score in the defeats so Oshawa will want to get Thomas back as quickly as possible.

Prospect Watch – Crazy over Kreider

It’s the start of hockey season so it’s time to keep our regular check on the next wave of Rangers.

Chris Kreider has been guilty of slow starts in seasons past. Not this year. In the first two games of Boston College’s season, Kreider came up with big goals (and an assist) to help his side open the season in impressive fashion. Throw in a healthy +3 to boot and you have yourself, statistically a nice start to an important year.

Many expected/wanted Kreider to go pro and when he didn’t it raised eyebrows but Kreider needs to dominate and he appears to be heading towards that level of hockey. With his now well known speed still causing havoc, by all accounts Kreider appears a more rounded hockey player so far which only bodes well. Showing that he will be a core piece for BC this season, Kreider captured the MVP title in the ‘Ice Breaker’ tournament thanks to his offensive showing. If Kreider can have a dominating year, he’ll be a huge candidate to go straight to New York next season. Patience for now though.

A player that in part due to injury may have become slightly forgotten is Swedish draftee Jesper Fasth. After an impressive WJC last year, Fasth has made huge offensive strides in the SEL this season. With 10 points, 4 goals and a mighty +8 to begin the year with HV71 Fasth is showing he could become a great pick-up and add to the Rangers growing Swedish core. With a big season under his belt Fasth could pressure the likes of Thomas, Kreider and co. as the next wave of Rangers offense matures towards NYC.

Two players most Rangers fans are counting on are indeed Thomas, back in the OHL and joining him in Ontario, JT Miller. With an NHL contract under his belt and a new league to conquer, at least offensively Miller has started well with 5 points in 6 games. It will be interesting to see how Miller handles a much longer season – it will certainly stand him in good stead for professional play when the time comes. Thomas on the other hand has had a relatively muted start to his year when compared to his brilliant season, last time around. With 3 goals in 7 games Thomas is off to a decent but not hot start. Numbers aren’t the most critical part for Thomas this year – he needs to develop physically and get ready for his likely introduction to the pro ranks next season.

  • With a group of offensive kids like Kreider, Miller, Thomas and Fasth there is still a ton of skill on its way to New York. There may be plenty of players in New York looking over their shoulders if they have sub-par seasons this year thanks to the stream of prospects making their way through the system.

Selected Prospect Quick Hits:

  • Oscar Lindberg has started his SEL campaign going 1+2 in 9 games for AIK
  • Shane McColgan was goalless in 4 games but did have 5 helpers to open his season in the WHL
  • In the BCHL Steve Fogarty had 2+4 in 7 games for Penticton.
  • Scott Stajcer is still with Owen Sound after being returned to the OHL by the Rangers
  • Mikhail Pashnin was pointless in his first 10 for CSKA in the KHL

Each week we’ll focus on a few of the core prospects and provide some updates on other Rangers prospects doing good or bad as their year’s progress. Keep checking in. 

Draft Rounds 2-7 Recap

The Rangers entered today with three picks, but wound up making five, as they made two trades to acquire additional picks in this draft. The first trade saw Evgeny Grachev pack his bags for St. Louis in exchange for a third round pick (#72). The second trade was a swap of sixth round picks with Nashville, as the Rangers sent their 2012 sixth rounder for Nashville’s 2011 sixth rounder (#172). Let’s go round by round:

Third round (#72) – Steven Fogarty (C, Edina High School)

This is the pick that is going to get a lot of scrutiny because the Rangers traded Evgeny Grachev to acquire this pick. So in evaluating just Fogarty (go to the Grachev post for commentary on the trade), the Rangers got themselves a skilled center who, according to Kirk Luedeke, is a bit underrated. but has some serious long term potential. Fogarty is definitely a project pick, but the work ethic is second to none. This kid lives to play the game, and will do everything in his power to make it professionally. He competed in the USHL this year after finishing high school, where he was a little over matched against kids much bigger and more mature than him. Standing at 6’1″, 195 lbs, Fogarty is no small kid, but needs time to mature and develop. Although he appears to be a project pick, he has some high potential.

Fourth Round (#106) – Michael St. Croix (C, Edmonton Oil Kings – WHL)

St. Croix is another guy who is a great skater with terrific hands. He has a great release on his shot as well, making him a great offensive threat. The knock on St. Croix is that he sometimes lacks concentration and desire in the defensive end, which caused him to slide in the eyes of scouts. St. Croix is very small (5’11”. 163 lbs), but that didn’t scare people away. There were initially rumblings of him potentially sneaking into the first round, so this may be a potential steal of a pick for the Rangers. That is, if St. Croix continues to show he actually cares about playing in all three zones.

Fifth Round (#134) – Shane McColgan (RW, Kelowna Rockets – WHL)

This is a great pick by the Rangers. McColgan is like lightning on ice, and has hands that can keep up with his speed. The kid was initially thought to be a potential top-ten pick, but a slow start and worries about his size (5’8″, 168 lbs) saw his stock drop drastically. He didn’t really increase his production in the WHL form his rookie season (where he scored 25 goals), which is a trait you like to see from kids playing Canadian Juniors. McColgan is a pick with serious potential and serious offensive flair. He reminds me of a smaller Scott Glennie.

Fifth Round (#136) – Samuel Noreau (D, Baie-Comeau Drakkar – QMJHL)

This kid is big and tough. Standing at 6’5″ and 215 lbs, Noreau is just plain old mean. The kid doesn’t have much, if any, offensive skill, but he is big, tough, nasty, and could be a potential bottom pairing defensive defenseman if he works on his skating. Skating is generally an issue with big defensemen, so that isn’t as much of a surprise or a detriment as some might think.

Sixth Round (#172) – Peter Ceresnak (D, Dukla Trencin – Slovakia)

Another big, stay at home type defenseman, Ceresnak is a bit more tame than Noreau, but equally as physical. Ceresnak plays his game “like a freight train”, lining up players for hits all over the ice. Like most big guys (6’2″, 200 lbs), he needs to work on his skating. Also, like most physical guys, he gets caught out of position looking for the big hit.