Found October 12, 2011 on Blue Seat Blogs:

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. 

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