Peter Ceresnak (Peterborough Petes)
On the day when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that there will be yet another lockout; the best response was simple the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects are still going to keep playing. For all of you who are swearing off hockey because of the NHL/NHLPA nonsense then you don't know what you are going to miss.
Thursday night a Ranger prospect who needs to step up played a very solid game even in a losing cause. Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) scored his first goal of the preseason and added an assist as his Peterborough Petes lost to the Mississauga Steelheads 4-3 via the shootout.
Ceresnak was seen by the Rangers as a project when they drafted the 6'3 219 lb defender from Trencin Slovakia. At 19 and already having an NHL body, Ceresnak is entering his 2nd season playing for former Ranger assistant coach Mike Pelino and the Petes.
The Petes missed out on the playoffs last season and are already starting the 2011-2012 season with a couple of key players injured. Ceresnak is needed to step up and contribute more than just the 6-9-15 than he did last season in 61 games.
If he does then Ceresnak has a shot at a professional contract from the Rangers. But Ceresnak has to be a consistent 2 way defender this season for the Petes for that to happen.
In the QMJHL another Ranger defensive prospect Samuel Noreau (2011 5th) also had a solid game to help his Baie-Comeau Drakkar to a convincing 7-3 over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Noreau (6'5 215) is wanting to be a whole lot more than a 3rd pair defensemen this season.
The Drakkar have a new coach in Eric Veilleux this season and the expectations on the Drakkar are quite high. Veilleux was the coach of the Shawinigan Cataractes last year leading them to the Memorial Cup championship.
Already Veilleux has used Noreau on both the power play as well as the penalty kill and that has to be a scary sight a 6'5 defender bearing down on the other team. Against the Sagueneens, Noreau set up the game's first goal on the power play for his 2nd point of the preseason.
Noreau was looking for his offense in this game taking 3 shots as he wound up the night with a +2 and was credited with a hit. In 4 preseason games, Noreau is 0-2-4 +5 with just 4 PIMs in addition to wearing an "A" on his uniform.
The Rangers would be jumping for joy if they can turn a 5th and 6th round draft picks into possible NHLers. Right now we are still a long way away from this happening but Noreau and Ceresnak are off to good starts.
For the Islanders, their prospects Brenden Kichton (2011 5th) and Andrey Pedan (2011 3rd) were both healthy scratches. Don't read anything into this as neither player is hurt or in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
Their coaches need to make some cuts so now is the time for them to look at younger players.
Friday night is going to feature a pretty full schedule in the WHL and some games in both the QMJHL and OHL. Still have not seen Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) back on the ice but with a week to go before opening night in the WHL, not going to expect to see him play this weekend.
The New York Rangers in preparation for the lockout placed 8 players on waivers in order to send them to the CT Whale. These players will not have to clear waivers if the NHL does find a way to reach a settlement with the NHLPA.
It should be noted that the Rangers will most likely also send Chris Kreider to the AHL. But as it has been mentioned that this is a season where Ranger fans would see pretty much a gap in the prospect pool so the lockout could be a good thing for the Rangers.
None of these 8 are seen as everyday contributors for the Rangers anyway
It is interesting to not that the Islanders did not place anyone on waivers but they have 4 prospects on entry level contracts they can send to Bridgeport.