The young man in the picture is the Ranger's 2007 2nd round pick from the 2007 Entry Draft. His name is Antoine Lafleur and so far the 2007-08 season has not gotten off to the best of starts for him.
Lafleur is a rather nice young man who plays for the Prince Edward Island Rocket of the QMJHL. It sadly seems that all we have been reporting about his season thus far has been how much of a struggle it has been for Lafleur.
We called it the "Post Draft Blues" a condition that for some very maddening reason strikes one Ranger draft pick every season and it was Lafleur who has the misfortune of catching it this year.
It has gotten so bad for Lafleur that we even suggested after his last appearance last Friday that the Ranger sent up Benoit Allaire to help Lafleur with his game and confidence. Sometimes though the slump breakers come from the least likely of sources as we are hoping tonight was.
Lafleur did not get the start tonight but after teammate Marc-Antoine Gelinas gave up 2 goals in the first 6 minutes to the visiting St. John's Fog Devils, it was Lafleur who came off the bench to provide a spark. Lafleur stopped 6 shots in the first to stop the bleeding then his teammates tightened up on defense only allowing 2 shots in the second as they rallied to tie and take a 3-2 lead into the 3rd period.
Lafleur gave up a goal at 19:31 of the 3rd to send the game into overtime then shut the Fog Devils down only allowing one goal in the shoot out as the Rocket came away with a 4-3 shoot out win.
For Lafleur it was just his 3rd win of the season as he stopped 19 of 20 shots (along with 2 of 3 in the shoot out). We are going to simply say enjoy this one Antoine rather than say much more.
We still believe though that Lafleur was a great pick by the Rangers and in time Lafleur will become a contributing member of the Rangers.
Make Mine Moosehead
If it is Wednesday then it must be time for the weekly CHL Mosaik MasterCard Top 10 rankings. Only one team with a Ranger prospect cracked this week's Top 10 and that was Ryan Hillier's Halifax Mooseheads as they were number 10 thanks to their 8-3-0-0 record.
How can you not like a team that has jersey's that look like this? We are waiting for them to come out with their hat collection so we can purchase one.
Actually the Mooseheads have been very kind to us working with us to make sure we know how Ryan has been doing so we are very happy to see them off to a great start. When you have prospects coming from winning programs then that winning rubs off on your prospects as they expect to win.
Keep winning Moose.
29 minutes ago