Thursday, September 20, 2007

Being Fair to the Prospects

Prospect Report

This was sent in too late for yesterday's report but Tomas Zaborsky (2006 5th Rd) made his regular season debut with the Saginaw Spirit with a goal and an assist in a losing effort as his Spirit lost to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 7-5.

For the night Zaborsky was "Even" as his goal was at even strength while the assist came on a 3rd period power play. With Tom Pyatt gone and headed to Hartford , Zaborsky is going to be counted on to do a lot of scoring for the Spirit this season.

Friday night will have 3 prospects in action including Bobby Sanguinetti as he returned to the juniors and his Brampton Battalion.

Ranking the Prospects

I have always had a problem seeing websites try to rank prospects this early in the season for a number of reasons as I find it very unfair to these kids. Even more so is to see unsigned prospects ranked with those already in the system.

See with me I will rank prospects at mid-season and at the end of the season once they have shown what THIS YEAR is looking like for them. Nobody not even the Rangers know what a prospect is going to look like until they have gotten not only training camp but some game action under their belt.

What I can say is who I think will have might have a good season but I will not say this one is going to be a better prospect than another. Each of them are in different situation so trying to rank them in one list is unrealistic.

Even worse is when some of these lists come out do you ever see what goes into how a prospect is ranked where he is? It angers me to see people giving Ranger fans the wrong idea as to which prospect is better than another.

I would love for these "experts" to explain to you the Ranger fan how that Alexander Cherepanov is already at the top of several lists. Now there is no doubt the kid has potential but so few of these "experts" (and that includes me) have hardly seen the kid play so how in the world can you rank him so high?

I love it how players who were not on anyone's radar like Michael Sauer is shooting up everyone's list. Well I can say that I have seen the kid play for 3 years but can others?

Yet after one training camp here are people moving Sauer to the top ten. Give me a break please because Sauer should have been in the top 10 last year as he was a huge part of Medicine Hat's run to the Memorial Cup championship game.

It is a crock seeing these lists because none of these raters know what kind of training these kids have done over the summer. See despite all the hype that any of these kids get if they do not get to have a healthy summer training then the chances of them having a good season is slim.

And of course I can not leave out perhaps the biggest difference in prospects which is those who are signed receive Ranger coaching during the season, those who play in the 3 CHL leagues get to come to a camp and are visited by Ranger scouts. Those who play in the NCAAs have next to no support from the Rangers due to NCAA rules.

Ignore those lists and take the time to read up as much as you can on your own. Many of these kids you can watch on your PC or follow by going to their team websites. Trust your own judgment more than those who claim to know these kids.

Keep an eye on

Instead of giving you a bunch of rankings I will offer you players to watch (in no order)

Billy Ryan (Maine NCAA 2004 3rd) For the first time since he started attending Maine, Ryan got a healthy off-season of training under his belt. Ryan is listed as center but I think he is better suited for the wing and if any one Ranger prospect jumps out of nowhere it will be Ryan

Tomas Zaborsky (Saginaw 2006 2006 5th) The Rangers told everyone that Zaborsky was an offensive weapon but what even they did not know is how strong he was defensively. Last season he had the typical first year inconsistency of Europeans. This season he is going to be asked to do everything for the Spirit and I believe he can put up the kind of numbers Pyatt did for the same team (40 goal season)

Ryan Hillier (Halifax 2006 3rd) What is never said about Hillier is when his team needs him to step up his game he does. Hillier has put up better numbers with each season and this year expect more of that. The best thing that could happen to Hillier is that the Mooseheads do not get back several of their star players from NHL camps. I say that because when those "star" players show up then Hillier loses ice time. Hillier will be one of the highest scoring 2nd liners in the QMJHL.


Greg Cimilluca said...

Solid Points. too much time is wasted on rankings and "lists" that not only have no merit but are relied up too heavily.

Nat said...

Solid stuff Jess but way to harsh on your colleagues. You'll have till mid-season to show us your rankings reform proposal. How do you rank a prospect? How do you even rank an NHL player for that matter. Maybe you should sell your system to EA. haha.

Anthony M. said...

Congratulations on the new blog. I am looking forward to visiting it often!

steve said...

More stuff to read on the rangers,
also congradulations on the blog...but whats the deal with all the greek?? is this a greek site?