Monday, December 31, 2007

Time for a New Year

2007 basically went out with a whimper for Ranger prospects seeing action on New Year's Eve. Hardly the kind of day you want to end the year with as 4 prospects at the World Under-20 Championship and one in the OHL were in action and none of them had any points on the day.

Bobby Sanguinetti and Team USA jumped out to a 5-0 lead before turning the game over to backups and held on for a 5-3 win. Team USA earned a bye to semi-finals as they will await the winner of the Canada/Finland matchup.

Carl Hagelin has not not done much offensively but his defense remains top notch as Sweden also ended the preliminary round undefeated as they had little problem defeating the Czech Republic 4-2. Sweden now awaits the winner of the Russia/Czech Rep matchup as they finished the preliminary round as the top seed for the medal round.

David Kveton missed his 3rd straight game due to his shoulder injury. We have learned that the injury happened when Kveton was hit by Colton Gillies of Canada. Gillies who previously had a knee on knee hit with Artem Anisimov during the Canada/Russia super series this past summer now has 2 Ranger prospect injuries on his resume.

Speaking of Anisimov, both he and Alexei Cherepanov were scoreless as Russia had another tough game but they beat Switzerland 4-2 to finish the preliminary round 3-1. Russia now faces an old foe the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals and expect this one to be a huge battle worth watching.

Back in North America, Tomas Zaborsky saw his scoring streak end at 6 games but not his team's winning streak as the Saginaw Spirit edged the Windsor Spitfires 3-2 and now have won 6 straight games. For Zaborsky it was the end of his 3rd scoring streak of 6 games or more this season.

Quietly without any fanfare Zaborsky has reached 40 points which trails Ryan Hillier's 45 points and Bobby Sanguinetti's 43 for the prospect scoring title.

Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month for December

With the end of December it is time for Ranger fans to vote for the Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month. For the first time this season, Bobby Sanguinetti is not part of the nominees not because of his play but because others earned the chance.

We start with Tomas Zaborsky of the Saginaw Spirit who had the best month from the statistic's standpoint going 6-6-12. Zaborsky had a 6 game scoring streak and had points in 9 out of 11 games for the month

Ryan Hillier of the Halifax Mooseheads passed Bobby Sanguinetti for the prospect scoring lead going 2-8-10 for the month. It is interesting to note that Hillier's critics complain that he does not pass the puck but the numbers do not lie as 24 assists on the season show.

Carl Hagelin was the great unknown entering the season as very little was know about him. We do know who he is now as Hagelin is one of the reasons why Michigan is number one in College Hockey. Hagelin keys the 2nd best PK in the NCAAs and his offense is not that bad either as he has 5-7-12 with 2 game winning goals.

Max Campbell of the Western Michigan Broncos as a freshman has been another surprise going 2-3-5 for the month. Win the Prospect of the month award or not Campbell entered the Western Michigan History books as the first player to score a shoot out goal and that goal was also a game winner.

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