Archive for Traverse City
OPPONENT: St. Louis Blues
TOP PROSPECTS (SKATER): Jamie Oleksiak (1st round, 2011), Scott Glennie (1st round, 2009)
TOP PROSPECT (GOALIE): Jack Campbell (1st round, 2010)
RANGERS LINES (Per Steve Zipay):
CRAZY THOUGHT: Parlett gets two goals.
OPPONENT’S BLOG: Defending Big D
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Stars 3
The tournament is being televised this year on MSG. Game time is 6pm.
I’m a little late with this, but I had to watch the game on DVR this morning. The Rangers prospects dominated the St. Louis Blues prospects, and won 5-2 despite a good effort in net by their top prospect Jake Allen.
Prospects that impressed me:
- Tim Erixon – man this kid can play. Everything he did was so smooth, you can tell he’s a step above his competition here. He’s going to be a great two way defender in the NHL.
- Dylan McIlrath – his skating surprised me a bit. I expected him to be a little slower and a bit more of a lumbering defenseman, but he was right in on every play and didn’t look to be slow on his skates. He has a good shot too, as he showed on the powerplay.
- Carl Hagelin – this kid can fly. He is exactly how I expected him to be after watching this past year while he was at Michigan. He may not be an offensive force in the NHL, but he will turn a few heads.
- Christian Thomas – small players need “escapeability”, and Thomas has that. The little shifty move he put on in the 2nd period to set up Andrew Yogan in front of the net was a nice little move. He has tremendous skill too, but his escapeability is what will hopefully turn him into a star.
- Ryan Bourque – there wasn’t a particular moment that stood out, but he really impressed me. I’ve never been a big “fan” of Bourque –I think he’s bottom six NHL material — but he really showed why the Rangers are so high on him.
- Blake Parlett – this was the biggest surprise of the night. I did not think much of Parlett other than he impressed the organization last year. But he is a very smooth skater who is good with the puck. He ran the powerplay like a natural.
OPPONENT: St. Louis Blues
TOP PROSPECT (SKATER): Philip McCrae (2nd round, 2008)
TOP PROSPECT (GOALIE): Jake Allen (2nd round, 2008)
RANGERS LINES (Per Steve Zipay on 9/9):
Shane McColgan-Ryan Bourque-Christian Thomas
Carl Hagelin-JT Miller-Randy McNaught
Jason Wilson-Jon Audy-Marchessault-Tommy Grant
Jordan Hickmott-Michael St. Croix-Christian Thomas (double shifted)
Kale Kerbashian-Andrew Yogan-Tayler Jordan
CRAZY THOUGHT: The McColgan-Bourque-Thomas line gets two points each.
OPPONENT’S BLOG: St. Louis Game Time
PREDICTION: Rangers 5, Blues 3
The tournament is being televised this year on MSG. Game time is 7pm.
There has been a lot of hype heading into the Traverse City Tournament this year, and for good reason. For the first time, we will get the opportunity to watch the games live, instead of hearing about them from bloggers and other media outlets. We will finally get first hand looks at Dylan McIlrath, Tim Erixon, Christian Thomas, J.T. Miller, and other Ranger prospects that we have not seen play before. We have read about them and written about them, but most have not seen them play. I myself have only really seen the NCAA players and the players who played at the World Juniors.
But with the ability to watch comes some lofty expectations. The kids I mentioned about are all highly touted prospects that will see top pairing/top-six minutes. There is no doubt some expectations that comes along with the ability to play in this tournament, and some are deserved, while some aren’t. Yes, you’re getting a bullet point list of things to look for in the tournament.
- If the line of Shane McColgan-Ryan Bourque-Christian Thomas stays together, expect them to compete for the World’s Smallest Forward Line. Second place will go to Mike Cammalleri-Scott Gomez-Brian Gionta.
- Also, expect that line to wow you with skill.
- Carl Hagelin is very, very, very, very fast. Unlike Luis Mendoza, he can stop. He can score, especially since he will be paired with J.T. Miller. If the midget line is going to provide most of the offense, then expect this duo to take some of the pressure off them.
- I don’t know why Randy McNaught, a fighter/tough guy, is on that line. I would expect someone like Tommy Grant, who has an offensive skill set, to be on that line.
- Andrew Yogan and Michael St. Croix, despite being on the bottom forwards, will get a decent amount of ice time.
- Yogan is playing for a contract next year. Don’t forget that.
- Dylan McIlrath might actually kill someone if he lands a well placed hit. That is unless he goes up against the aforementioned midget line. They can just skate through his legs.
- Tim Erixon is likely going to look like the most professional player out there. The kid has already played professionally, while no one else on this roster has. No, the CHL is not considered to be the pros in my mind.
- This tournament may have a lot of say into who makes the CT Whale, and who goes to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. Blake Parlett and Lee Baldwin are two guys to watch closely. They may not realize it, but they are battling for an AHL spot.
- As Jess Rubenstein pointed out the other day, the kids invited as non-roster players are playing for contracts, but will be sent back to the CHL for their overage years.
Shane McColgan/Ryan Bourque/Christian Thomas
Hagelin/JT Miller/Randy McNaught
Jason Wilson/Jon Audy-Marchessault/Tommy Grant
Jordan Hickmott/Michael St. Croix/Thomas (double shifted)
Kale Kerbashian/Andrew Yogan/Tayler Jordan
Again, these could very well change….
Zipay notes that Ryan Bourque will likely be named captain of the team. I’m looking forward to seeing both Thomas and McColgan in action. I’ve seen plenty of Hagelin while he was at Michigan, and I know the kid has some serious wheels. On defense, Erixon and McIlrath are the ones I will be watching closely.
If you’re interested in what number each player is wearing, you can check that out here.
The first game of the tournament for the Rangers will be tomorrow at 7pm, and will be televised on MSG.