Sunday, December 2, 2007

And the Nominees Are

December is here so that means it is time for YOU the reader to decide which of the Ranger prospects will be named as the Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month for November. The theme for this month has to be the battle of OHL versu the QMJHL as 2 of your choices are coming from the OHL and the other 2 the QMJHL.

We start with last month's winner Bobby Sanguinetti of the Brampton Battalion. For the month of November Sanguinetti was a very nice 7-9-16 over 11 games with the highlight being the 5 point performance on November 11th.

It has been a great start to the season for the 2006 first round pick of the Rangers, the 15th overall scorer in the OHL, first among defensemen and the leading overall scorer for Ranger prospects.

Tomas Zaborsky of the Saginaw Spirit got his season off to a slow start but in November his game took off. Earning points in 8 of the 9 games that Zaborsky played in his 5-5-10 numbers are a reason why the Saginaw Spirit have been more competitive than many expected this season.

Zaborsky, the Rangers 5th round pick in the 2006 draft did not have the highlight performance like Sanguinetti did with his 5 point night but the consistency shown was a steady influence on his Saginaw teammates. The native of Banska Bystrica, Slovakia with 14 goals in 25 games is already just 5 goals from matching his goal output from last season (in 59 games)

Our next nominee also comes from Slovakia (Poprad) and he has been perhaps the surprise of the prospects thanks in part to a offensive game that few expected from this defensive minded player. We are talking about David Skokan of the Rimouski Oceanics in the QMJHL.

Skokan had a balanced month with 4-5-9 in 7 games despite being injured and missing 2 other games. Now toss in his 15 "good" hits and you have a player who showed a solid 2-way game which is not bad for one of the Rangers 2 7th round picks out of the 2007 draft.

One of the problems Skokan has is that he is playing on a weak Rimouski team that after 33 games is just 12-20-1 and as a franchise is still rebuilding since the days of Sidney Crosby. On one hand it will give a Skokan a ton of ice time but at the same time his development gets hurt because he has to wear so many hats.

Skokan has made a strong case to be named to the Slovakian World Under-20 team. We hope he does get named so perhaps we can see what Skokan can do when playing with talented teammates.

Number 4 on our list is Ryan Hillier of the Halifax Mooseheads the Rangers 2006 3rd round pick. Hillier led all the prospects with 8 QMJHL goals and was second with 8 assists for 16 points but we also have to include his 2 games with Team QMJHL where Hillier was 1-2-3.

Altogether Ryan Hillier was 9-10-18 in 17 games for the month of November. Toss in that Hillier had 1 game winning goal, assisted on 3 other game winners, had a short handed goal along with 2 power play goals.

Hillier may have been listed as 4th on our list of prospects but his play was as good as any of them.

The polls are now open so let the voting begin for this month's Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month.

Sunday Game Action

There were 5 Ranger prospects in action on Sunday starting with Tomas Zaborsky of Saginaw who was the only prospect to register a point as Zaborsky had an assist in Saginaw's 4-3 overtime loss to London Knights.

Bobby Sanguinetti did not score as his Brampton Battalion shut out the Peterborough Petes 2-0.

David Skokan did not score as his Rimouski Oceanic lost to the Val-d'Or Foreurs 8-6.

Ryan Hillier also did not score but his Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 3-1.

Finally the struggles of the Prince Edward Island Rocket and Antoine Lafleur continue as the Saint John Sea Dogs set a franchise record of 10 goals in their 10-3 win over the Rocket. Lafleur did not take the loss as he gave up 5 goals while in relief of starter Marc-Antoine Gelinas.

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