One of the most frequently asked questions this offseason after, “is Rick Nash a Ranger yet?” has been, “who the heck is Kyle Jean?”
The answer is simple: he’s the latest gem uncovered by Gordie Clark and New York’s superior scouting staff, which has developed something of a Midas touch over the last couple of years.
It wasn’t long ago that the Rangers were completely incapable of even getting a high first-round pick right. But now, Clark and company are unearthing NHL caliber prospects not just through the draft’s later rounds, but even from the ranks of those that have long been completely ignored throughout their junior careers.
Jean, a 22-year-old forward out of Lake Superior State in the CCHA, is the latest of these, but the amateur scouting staff (Larry Bernard, Rich Brown, Brendon Clark, Daniel Dore, Ernie Gare, Peter Stephan and Tom Thompson) has outperformed its counterparts by leaps and bounds over the last 12 months.
Last summer the Rangers offered a 5-foot-9, 175-pound...