Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thinking out loud

This was a nice quiet week for us to catch our breath as we await the announcements of the various World Junior National teams and to be honest the Rangers should be well represented.

We are going to start with the player who we feel is the most deserving of a spot on Team USA and that is Bobby Sanguinetti of Trenton New Jersey. IF Sanguinetti does not earn a selection to Team USA then a crime will have been committed.

Yes call me biased because I think a ton of this prospect but Sanguinetti has worked his backside off over the last year to shut his critics up once and for all.

Sanguinetti on offense alone will give Team USA a weapon that few other teams will offer and that is a legit scoring threat from the point. You have someone who can score from the blueline and you can force other defenses to have to scramble.

We are not going talk numbers but if 39 points are not enough to merit selection then no point total is.

Alexei Cherepanov is another we want to see selected for his National Team only for different reasons. Cherepanov got injured during the Russian/Canadian Challenge and that left more questions than answers about his potential.

Cherepanov has a ton of hype but how will he fare against age group peers now that he has been drafted. We know he can score but it is that other issues that require answers.

Number one on the list has to be: Which Cherepanov would show up for the World Juniors? Will it be the player who wants to hurt Canada for knocking him out of the Canadian/Russian Challenge?

Or will it be the supposed disinterested prospect whom people at times seem to go out of their way to look to criticize. To be honest the main reason we want to see him named to Team Russia is to be able to gauge both his development and potential.

We do not doubt that he can be an offensive weapon but we do have some questions about how he plays defense, about how he handles being a target by other teams, about whether or not he can get along with the Russian coaching staff and whether he will be the difference maker he has been hyped to be.

We are biased but we think Ryan Hillier deserves a shot in part based on his play against the Russians in the ADT Challenge, in part because of the season he is having and mainly because we believe Canada can use a solid 2 way player who has already shown he can play defense and offer offense on the penalty kill.

Hillier would be able to match up either as a finesse player or a physical one against the European teams but we believe the number one reason to add Hillier is that here is a player who wants to win and will sacrifice his own game if it means his team will win.

Then there is Carl Hagelin of Sweden who unless you are a regular reader here then you have no idea who he is. Hagelin is a freshman attending Michigan and already has been a member of the Under -Age National teams for his native Sweden.

Here is a young offensive minded player who is very quickly adjusting to North American play but is a danger to score from anywhere on the ice.

We believe Hagelin will be added to Sweden and if he is will be a factor.


It is the weekend once again and we will have just about every Ranger prospect in action so please join us here as we bring you the highlights and set you up for the next round of voting for the November Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month.

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