Around the Farm: NY Rangers prospects Will Cuylle and Adam Sykora lead the way

will cuylle ny rangers prospects

We are coming off a short week since the last Around the Farm, but luckily there have been a couple of Rangers prospects that have stood out – Adam Sykora and Will Cuylle. Before he left for the 2023 World Juniors, Sykora had chipped in with 4 points in 4 games, which was preceded by a run of 8 games without a point. Since his return, Sykora has continued that run of excellent production for HK Nitra, contributing 5 points in 4 games while averaging well over 20 minutes a night. Those points came against Slovan and Zvolen, the top two teams in the Slovak Extraliga.

Sykora now needs just 4 more points to surpass his point total from last season (17), and he is currently pacing for 22 points in 38 games. I would not be at all surprised if he outpaces that projection, as it is clear that his lack of production before this stretch was unwarranted. Keep in mind that Sykora was not far off from being eligible for the 2023 draft. There is no question this has been a year of progression for Sykora, and it will be interesting to see how the Rangers handle the next step in his development.

As for Will Cuylle, on the surface, 20 points in 39 games may not seem like overly impressive production for a forward that is supposed to have NHL upside. But it is clear that Cuylle has been the only consistent goal threat on a Hartford team that is the second-lowest scoring in its division.

Cuylle sits third on the team in points and has contributed 8 points in his last 12 games (6 goals, 2 assists). That production has come in a stretch where Hartford has lost in regulation just twice, and he even scored the winning goal in their recent 4-3 OT win over Providence. Cuylle probably needs another year in the AHL, and hopefully it comes on a more competent team, but he is still showing the goalscoring upside that pushed the Rangers to take a flier on him in the 2nd round.

2023 Prospect of the Week

The big prospect news of the past week came yesterday when Bob McKenzie release his mid-season draft rankings. As a reminder, these are not his personal rankings. Instead, they are an aggregate ranking based on polling from NHL scouts. The ranking consists of almost 100 players, so it’s substantial. Since the Rangers have two first-round picks and a second-rounder, I thought it would be worthwhile to point out some prospects I think would provide good value at their current ranking.

The first name that stands out to me is Andrew Cristall (F), who is McKenzie’s 18th-ranked skater. EliteProspects has Cristall ranked 6th in their mid-season ranking. He scored over a point per game last season in the WHL, and is pacing for over 100 points this season- his 62 points in 36 games have him sitting 3rd in the WHL scoring race (the top 4 are all draft-eligible!). Keep in mind that the WHL is traditionally a hard league to score in. The big question with him is his size (5’9”), combined with an awkward skating stride, but that talent is worth a shot where the Rangers will be drafting.

David Reinbacher (RHD) is the next name that caught my eye, coming in at 20. This looks like a weak class for defensemen, but Reinbacher is viewed as a potential top-10 prospect by many public analysts due to his play in the NLA (18 points in 33 games), a very competitive men’s league. I am very skeptical that he stays in this range when the final rankings are released in June, but he would be a great value addition in that range.

The final standout, and I thought this was shocking given the narrative around his season, was Chicago Steel winger Jayden Perron slotting in at 50. The public narrative around Perron has shifted from likely first-rounder to potential top-10 talent, with some even preferring him to the mercurial Matvei Michkov – EliteProspects has him 10th in their recent ranking and I have seen him higher. While that is a take far too rich for my taste, it is clear to see that Perron is a gifted player with slick puck skills. He is only 5’9”, but he is one of the players in this class that could really hit if he is taken with a late-round pick.

Honorable Mentions: More of a bump than honorable mentions, but prior 2023 prospects of the week Quentin Musty (26), Lukas Dragicevic (27), and Gavin Brindley (43) all look like players the Rangers should have a shot at taking on draft day. I know many people think the 2023 first-round picks are as good as gone, but I am still not convinced!

Liiga

  • Leevi Aaltonen (KooKoo)
    • 23 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 4 PIM, 1
  • Kalle Vaisanen (TPS)
    • Liiga Stats: 34 GP, 4 G, 1 A, 4 PIM, -1
    • u20 Stats: 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, -1

SHL

HockeyAllsvenskan

  • Oliver Tarnstrom (Tingsryds)
    • HockeyAllsvenskan Stats: 12 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 2 PIM, -4
    • SHL Stats (Rogle): 27 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 0 PIM, -2

Slovakia Extraliga

OHL

  • Brennan Othmann (Peterborough Petes)
    • 32 GP, 17 G, 24 A, 56 PIM, +3
  • Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds, SOL 4-3): 1 G, 1 A, +1
    • 41 GP, 23 G, 28 A, 10 PIM, -5

QMJHL

  • Maxim Barbashev (Moncton Wildcats)
    • 41 GP, 22 G, 19 A, 22 PIM, +8

WHL

  • Talyn Boyko (Kelowna Rockets)
    • 26 GP, 3.69 GAA, .891 SV%
  • JaydeGrubbe (Red Deer Rebels)
    • 41 GP, 13 G, 39 A, 53 PIM, +14
  • Ryder Korczak (Moose Jaw Warriors)
    • 27 GP, 18 G, 22 A, 18 PIM, +15

 NCAA

  • Hank Kempf (Cornell)
    • 16 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 6 PIM, +9
  • Hugo Ollas (Merrimack)
    • 15 GP, 2.52 GAA, .912 SV%, 2 SO
  • Brett Berard (Providence)
    • 24 GP, 7 G, 12 A, 29 PIM, +7
  • Jaroslav Chmelar (Providence)
    • 21 GP, 6 G, 5 A, 14 PIM, 0
  • Riley Hughes (Northeastern)
    • 22 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 14 PIM, -2
  • Eric Ciccolini (Michigan)
    • 13 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 6 PIM, +1
  • Brody Lamb (Minnesota)
    • 25 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 2 PIM, +4
  • Zakary Karpa (Harvard)
    • 14 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 PIM, 1
  • Victor Mancini (Nebraska-Omaha)
    • 19 GP, 0 G, 6 A, 4 PIM, 4
  • Noah Laba (Colorado College)
    • 21 GP, 8 G, 6 A, 24 PIM, -12

Hartford Wolf Pack

Forwards

  • Lauri Pajuniemi: 
    • 36 GP, 9 G, 5 A, 16 PIM, -1
  • Bobby Trivigno:
    • 35 GP, 6 G, 11 A, 12 PIM, +5
  • Matt Rempe:
    • 31 GP, 5 G, 3 A, 69 PIM, 1
  • Karl Henriksson:
    • 38 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 12 PIM, 0
  • Will Cuylle: 
    • 39 GP, 13 G, 7 A, 39 PIM, 3
  • Gustav Rydahl: 
    • 29 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 28 PIM, 3
  • Ryder Korczak:
    • 5 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIM, -4

Defensemen

  • Matthew Robertson: 
    • 36 GP, 3 G, 9 A, 23 PIM, -13
  • Zac Jones 
    • 21 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 14 PIM, 9 
  • Hunter Skinner:
    • 5 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 2 PIM, -1

Goalies

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