Found October 23, 2012 on
The Prospect Park:
(New York Rangers)
It must be frustrating for those New York Ranger fans not having the NHL because of the lockout. And it may be even more frustrating for those who normally would be talking about the Rangers on their blogs or website.
I can understand that up to a point because when the NHL resumes play then most won't even bother talking about the Ranger prospects where they play in the AHL or anywhere else. But what is frustrating to me, someone who covers the prospects lockout or not is the endless speculation about players that most people would not even know if they crossed paths on the street.
So let me cut to the chase here and make this point perfectly clear:
The kids are doing fine and just like developing NHL players they will have their ups and downs.
But can we correct some mistaken impressions?
Jesper Fast signed a 2 year extension with HV71 and THEN signed a future NHL contract with the Rangers. Fast is 20 and still growing into his body so let him spend the next 2 seasons working on his game before he comes to North America.
Oscar Lindberg is also 20 and yes offensively he is having a breakout year in the SEL. There is no need to rush his development just because he is having one good season.
Let him fine tune his 2 way game in the SEL and like Fast grow more into his body so he can handle the wear and tear of the NHL. The Rangers are not in a rush to bring either prospect over so relax and enjoy that these are promising prospects.
Calle Andersson is playing for 2 teams at the same time; he is playing for Färjestad in the SEL and he is also playing for the Farjestad Under-20 squad that plays in the SuperElit.
If you want to go by stats then Andersson is have 2 seasons as he has not registered a point in the SEL but has put up 7-6-13 while playing for the junior team. This is not a knock on Andersson but he is not even close to beginning his journey to the NHL as he first needs to show he can produce in the SEL.
The exact same thing could be said about Thomas Spelling who quite honestly I think he should have come over to North America and played in the Canadian Juniors not play in Sweden. His former teammate Oliver Bjorkstrand is playing for the Portland Winterhawks and his development is moving at rocket speed.
Right now I would say Bjorkstrand will be a early 3rd maybe a late 2nd round pick in the 2013 NHL draft. Not a knock on Spelling but until he too shows that he can produce at the higher level then he is not lighting anything but the Swedish junior level up.
Michael St. Croix to the fans looks like he is off to a great start statwise but actually St. Croix is just beginning to play like he should be doing. Remember the Gordie Clark mantra of a prospect needs to dominate at the level he is playing at before advancing to the next level.
Come back and look at St. Croix in December and you should see a better player. The numbers he is producing is not reflecting of the player he needs to be.
Want to know who really are the current breakout players among the Ranger prospects? Try Samuel Noreau of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL for starters as nobody is even mentioning him.
You should as the one time goon is now playing 2 way hockey, he is wearing an "A" on his jersey and is being used in all situations by his coach. Give Noreau credit as while he will never be a Brian Leetch, I would give Noreau an AHL contract and let Jeff Beukeboom work with him.
The Rangers just might get themselves a solid 3rd pair defenseman who is 6'5 225 out of a 5th round pick. Just let him play his way up the ladder.
Cristoval "Boo" Nieves is getting more attention for his game than his cute nickname. 3 games in and Nieves has already set up 2 game winning goals.
Nobody said a word about Nieves being a playmaker but he is impressing the heck out of me with his very high hockey IQ. His on-ice vision, his ability to read plays and even better his very quick decision making process is what is the fans should be looking for.
Brady Skjei is playing on a very loaded Minnesota Golden Gopher team. He is a freshman playing on a team that many see as a possible NCAA champion.
Don't look for his numbers but rather look to see where Skjei is on the depth chart. Right now Skjei is a 6-7 which is kind of where you expect a freshman in his situation to be in.
The good news is he is playing for a guy who has sent many a player to the NHL. The better news is that Skjei is a very coachable prospect who will be able to work on his game every day.
Steven Forgarty is in the same kind of boat as yes he is the 4th line center for Notre Dame. Let him adjust to the NCAA level of competition before writing him off.
Really these kids will be alright down the road but it is the fans who need to stop worrying about whether or not the prospects will be OK. Seriously make the effort to watch these kids whether it is watching them on CBS Sports Network or the NBC Sports Network or spend the money to watch a webcast.
Another option would be to call MSG Networks and ask them to pick up the feed of Minnesota or Michigan games. Ask them to show the prospects on the tube and watch with your own eyes that the kids will be alright.
Just relax and stop worrying about their future.
BEST OF MAXIM
Kyle Jean is off to a hot start in the AHL.
When the Rangers signed Kyle Jean to a contract over the summer, not many were sure what to expect. After all, Jean wasn’t exactly lighting the lamp in the CCHA, finishing with 36 points in 77 games before coming on board with the Rangers as a non-roster invitee to the prospect development camp. But four games into his AHL career, Jean...
Oscar Lindberg could replace Brian Boyle, but where will other prospects fit in?We’ve spent a lot of time discussing the hot starts by Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast, and their futures raises an interesting question for the Blueshirts.
Along with Lindberg and Fast, the Rangers have a number of potential NHL players one rung away from the big show in Hartford including J.T. Miller...
It seems as though every off-season there's a story about Henrik Lundqvist's knees, so here's this year's version courtesy of Expressen.se (via The Henrik Lundqvist Blog)...
"How is your physical condition, you did better from injury last season?
- Yes, we got some order on it, but this summer I had some knee problems that needed to be fixed. It was tough...
Rangers Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld discusses Chris Kreider's skill set as well as things he needs to work on with Craig Custance at ESPN Insider...
"I think he has the makings of a star, I really do," Schoenfeld said. "His strength, his tremendous skating, his speed and power -- that quick release with the shot ... the ethic young players have to develop is...
Larry Brooks of the New York Post recently caught up with New York Rangers bence boss John Tortorella to discuss a few things about his team. With the NHL Lockout reaches its 38th day, Torts has a few concerns about the Blueshirts.
On how the Lockout could affect the team whenever it ends...
“To be quite honest, it worries me,” Tortorella said. “When our guys report...
The Rangers organization has assigned goalie Scott Stajcer to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. This move isn’t a surprise, Stajcer struggled in his two Whale games, going 0-2 with a 4.32 GAA and a .841 SV%.
Stajcer, the Rangers 5th round pick in 2009, was destined for the ECHL once Cam Talbot returned from injury. Currently Stajcer sits behind Talbot and Jason Missiaen...
Hockey players aren’t typically known for their strong sense of style though their off-ice “uniforms” continue to evolve. As the league’s most fashionable squad, the New York Rangers have proven they love to make sartorial statements. For many of the team’s stars, playing in New York has forced a major wardrobe upgrade.
The team already has a long list of stylish endeavors...
According to a press release, MSG Networks will telecast two Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) games in October including one featuring Ryan McDonagh. The games, this Friday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 31 on MSG, will be presented at 1:00 p.m. Eastern with an encore presentation in primetime both nights at 8:00 p.m.
MSG’s John Giannone will call play-by-play alongside...
Henrik Lundqvist attended a recent Frolunda game and received this ovation from the crowd...
...can't wait for Rangers fans to give him the same reception once the NHL season finally gets under way.
H/T to The Henrik Lundqvist Blog.
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from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
As would be expected, Tortorella has mixed feelings about his locked-out athletes playing in Europe, as are Rick Nash (Switzerland), Ryan McDonagh (Russia) and Carl Hagelin (Sweden).
“On one hand, I worry about the risk of injury — Rick already had the shoulder issue, which turned out to be minor — but on the other hand, I believe...
By Kristin Tullo (@KToools)
The season looked like it was off to a good start when the Connecticut Whale outscored the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-0, including a shorthanded goal by Kyle Jean in the first period of the season opener. But it was short lived though.
The Sound Tigers scored five of their own goals in the second period, extending a lead that was too much for...
In an effort to lighten the mood during the lockout, The New York Rangers Blog will be writing faux recaps for every Rangers game missed due to the work stoppage. Enjoy.
Tampa Bay, FL - With the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrating their 20th anniversary of existence this season, they made the unusual request of asking the Rangers if they would allow John Tortorella to switch teams...
Carl Hagelin scores twice in Södertälje's 3-1 win over Mora. Hagelin is 4-5-9 in 5 games with Södertälje, all wins for them. #NYR
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) October 23, 2012
For video of the goals, click the below picture (00:43 mark)...
...WOW!!!! What a move on that first goal! Man I miss that speed.
In other Rangers overseas news, Rick Nash picked...
Even though he is still a couple of weeks away from starting to skate @dylan_mcilrath thrilled he "can see light at end of the tunnel"
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 22, 2012
Here's the full interview (via Blueshirts United)...
McIlrath notes that his doctor said his knee healed correctly.
...i'm sure it's tough for McIlrath to...
#NYR G prospect Scott Stajcer has been assigned from the #CTWhale to its ECHL affiliate, the Greenville Road Warriors.
— Laurie Carr (@byndblueshirts) October 24, 2012
...guess that means Talbot is ready to return from injury.
...a Talbot return would be huge for the Whale as Stajcer and fellow rookie netminder Missiaen have struggled this early season.