It is only fitting that the first day of training camp was also the first day not only for the the QMJHL regular season but the first post for this blog. For those of you who know me from the Blueshirt Bulletin this is not a sign that I am leaving Dubi but actually I look at it as the opposite.
This upcoming NHL season is going to be (hopefully) one of the most exciting ones for Ranger fans since the 1994 Cup Winner. There is going to be so much news and information going on that Dubi is going to have his hands full trying to keep up.
By undertaking this blog I hope to relieve some of the pressure that Dubi is going to have to deal with but to also take on more responsibility so Ranger fans will continue to receive the very best in Ranger coverage.
If you do not know me then let me tell you that I have been writing about Ranger happenings for the last 10 years. I started thanks to the wonderful Kara and her Ranger Fan Central and then when Dubi took over the Blueshirt Bulletin I moved there and took on Prospect Coverage.
Since the lockout year I have covered just about every Ranger prospect drafted or traded for. I have also interviewed Tom Renney, Gordie Clark and Glen Sather.
Not to mention features on former Ranger players like Kelly Kisio and Kris King but here I plan on keeping the focus on the prospects along with hopefully responding to your questions about them.
Ranger fans are about to enter what I think is going to be a great era as with the current roster along with what is in the prospect pipeline the days of going 7 years without a playoff team are over.
So let us get at it:
The QMJHL was the first CHL league to get their regular season underway as 3 Ranger prospects were in action on Friday Night.
We start with 2006 3rd round pick forward Ryan Hillier as he led the Halifax Mooseheads against 2007 2nd round pick goalie Antoine Lafleur and his Prince Edward Island Rocket. Hillier was named an assistant captain for the Mooseheads and has to be one of the Ranger prospects to watch this year.
Hillier got his season off to a good start as he had an assist as his Mooseheads whipped on Lafleur's Rocket 5-2. Lafleur did not look or play well giving up 4 goals on 28 shots but one has to take into account having to have spent most of Thursday evening traveling back to Prince Edward Island.
For the evening Hillier had his assist but he also had a 2 minute minor, was a +1, took 3 shots and was 1-1 on faceoffs. He did not record any "good" hits for the game.
For Lafleur of the 28 shots he faced, 12 were called "dangerous" , 2 of the goals he gave up were power play goal so this is one to toss away as it was not the Lafleur we will expect to see this year.
David Skokan returned to the Rimouski Oceanic fresh off his excellent performance in the Traverse City Tournament Championship and also had an assist as his Oceanic had no problem defeating the Gatineau Olympiques 6-3.
Skokan assisted on the Oceanic's final goal of the game but struggled on his faceoffs going 7-14 for the evening.
All 3 Ranger prospects playing in the QMJHL will be in action on Saturday. You can listen to the games live on their team websites or in some cases be able to watch the games FREE on your PC via http://qmjhl.mytelus.com/live_games.asp
6 days ago