Originally posted on NY Rangers Blog  |  Last updated 8/3/12
Chris Peters over at The United States of Hockey breaks down the 17 American defensemen that will be looking to make the cut during the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp which kicks off in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Saturday, including Rangers 2012 first round pick Brady Skjei...

"There's not a better skater among the defensemen in camp and that's going to be a key tool for this team if Phil Housley wants an up-tempo attack. Skjei does his best work in the defensive zone and can shut down top forwards. His offense is at a decent enough level to be effective at the WJC level, particularly his ability to trigger the defense-to-offense transition. I think they'll have a tough time keeping Skjei off the final roster no matter what. He has good size, plays smart and will be a weapon on international ice potentially."

The 6' 2", 196 lb Skjei will be skating for the University of Minnesota in the fall.

...yesterday in the comments section of my post on Rangers prospects that have a chance of cracking the Rangers roster, reader "sdocb" said he's impressed with the Rangers recent trend of draft players with size and speed. Well Skjei's another example. The days of the Rangers minor league system being filled with Daweses, Fatas and Immonens are over. And we have Gordie Clark to thank for it.

...i've heard Skjei being compared to McD a number of times and I tell you what, if he comes even close to being as effective as Mac Truck, we've got a keeper.

Here's Skjei on emulating McDonagh (Bergen Record)...

"Watching a guy like [Ryan] McDonagh in the playoffs, obviously he stepped up his game and played unbelievable. I think maybe I can play like McDonagh some day. It will take a while."

Skjei added that needs to get stronger and work on being more physical on the ice.

For more prospect news, keep reading after the jump.

In other 2012 draft pick news, Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park informs as that 2nd round pick Cristoval (Boo) Nieves and his Michigan Wolverines will be taking on Cornell at the annual college hockey game held at Madison Square Garden known as the Frozen Apple on November 24th.

Rubenstein adds that Michigan has put a lot of pressure on the 6' 2" freshman as they assigned him Carl Hagelin's old #12.

From NHL Scouting Report...

"With excellent size and elite speed, Cristoval “Boo” Nieves might be the best talent from the New England Prep circuit..."

...size and speed folks, size and speed.

Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.
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