Friday night hockey for New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects continues on what is turning into a rather bizarre month of February. If we could explain why so many of the prospects and their teams are struggling like they are we would.
It's almost like somebody is playing one very huge practical joke on us and we're still waiting for the punchline. Sadly what many of the prospects may not realize is that this is when they're being watched even more closely than they were before they were drafted.
New York Rangers Star Christian Thomas
Bad news for the rest of the OHL as Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 2nd)
is heating up as the Oshawa Generals forward is helping his team secure a spot in the OHL playoffs. Thomas had a goal as well as an assist to key an 8-1 win over the Belleville Bulls that has Oshawa in 6th place in the OHL's Eastern Conference with eyes on moving higher.
Thomas scored his 28th goal to open the scoring for the Generals; a power-play goal which gave Oshawa a 1-0 lead and they never looked back after that. Thomas also finished the scoring for the Generals setting up the eighth and final goal of the game for his 28th assist.
Thomas in his last 12 games has gone 10-8-18 as he is now 28-28-56 as he has jumped into the third place among Ranger prospects scorers. Thomas is 28 goals is second only to Michael St. Croix of the Edmonton oil Kings.
The rest of the Ranger prospect picture is not very pretty and we are warning you now so you cannot blame us for what you see right here
New York Islanders Star Kirill Kabanov
It's been way too long since Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 3rd)
showed up here and the corny joke would be that it took someone knocking some sense into him (a concussion) to fire up his game.
Kabanov is one of our favorite players because of the way he's grown up in the last couple years but at the same time we feel that he has not played up to what we believe to be his potential. In the offense crazy QMJHL; a 18-24-42 mark in 38 games does not work for someone who we believe is a world-class player especially one who we have seen dominate games.
Kabanov and his Shawinigan Cataractes were playing the second half of the home and home with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Kabanov had a goal and an assist to help the Cataractes defeat the Drakkar 3-2. Kabanov's 18th goal of the season at 14:03 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and turned out to be the game-winning goal for the Cataractes one now unbeaten in regulation in their last five games.
Kabanov also had the primary assist on Shawinigan's second goal as the Cataractes were able to keep pace with the Saint John's Sea Dogs. As an example of why we think Kabanov's numbers should be better is that this is just his 2nd game-winning goal of the season.
as theAs for the rest of the Islander report while some of the numbers look better than the Rangers the results are not a whole lot better so fair warning to you folks as well when you look here.
1300 And Counting
Never once did I ever dream that I would find myself doing something like this. As a kid you dream about scoring the winning goal in the Stanley Cup but reality of being too short, too slow, and that tiny little detail about needing talent came into play.
There so many people that I need say thank you to for everything that they've done especially in the last couple of years when my health has become my worst enemy. There are so many of you who if I can reach across the computer and shake your hand or hug you I would.
I don't get to 1300 posts, eight years of covering hockey prospects without a lot of help and so rather than I stand up and take a bow. 1300 is because of you guys please stand up and take the bow that you have earned in the meantime I will say.
(Thomas - Aaron Bell of OHL Images, Kabanov- Shawinigan Cataractes)