Once again Ranger fans it is time for you to decide which Ranger prospect is going to earn the Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month for January 2008.
For this month 2 prospects stood out and we will make the case for each of them, David Skokan of the Rimouski Oceanic/Team Slovakia and Ryan Hillier of the Halifax Mooseheads.
David Skokan of the Rimouski Oceanic/Team Slovakia is our first prospect to tell you about. The first of the Ranger's 2 7th round picks in the 2007 NHL Draft had double duty in January.
Skokan started the month as a member of Slovakian Under-20 team at the World Under-20 Championships. There Skokan first had a 3 assist game and followed that up with a 2 goal 1 assist effort as he was named by his coach as one of his 3 stars of the tournament.
Upon his return to the Rimouski Oceanic, Skokan continued his solid play as he went 2-4- 6 in 7 games as well as going over 500 on his faceoffs in 6 of the 7 games he played in. Skokan has been getting better as the season wears on.
For the season Skokan is 10-18-28 with a 52% win rate on his faceoffs going against the other team's best center.
Ryan Hillier seems to spend a lot of time at the top of our reports with good cause as Hillier is the current leader in the prospect scoring race after a 6 goal and 5 assist month.
Hillier of the Halifax Mooseheads is finally putting together the complete season that many have been wanting to see from him during his career in the QJMHL.
The highlight of Hillier's month was a 4 point performance on January 12th when he had a hat trick and a assist against the Shawinigan Cataractes while earning the game's first star.
It was as we said at the time an almost perfect night for Hillier as he had 2 power play goals (including the game winner) and 1 shorthanded one as he was reunited with his best friend and newest teammate Brad Marchand.
The month got better for Hillier as not even a week later Hillier teamed with Marchand to set up linemate P. J. Corsi for the game winner while adding a goal of his own in a 5-3 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Hillier still was not finished as 5 days later Hillier had 2 more goals including yet another game winner as his Mooseheads defeated the Gatineau Olympiques 4-1. We called that night "the one which locked up his Ranger contract" and with good reason.
So there you have it 2 very worthy choices for the Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month let the voting begin.
Tomas Zaborsky had a quiet night but his Saginaw Spirit edged the division leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2-1 in the shootout. For Zaborsky he finished the month 5-5-10 but has gone without a goal in 7 straight games.
Ready for the weekend
As the month of February gets underway so does the battles for playoff seeding in the 3 CHL leagues and seeding for college conference tournaments. Everyone who is healthy is in action this weekend and we will have all the action for you right here.
(David Skokan picture courtesy of the Rimouski Oceanic, Ryan Hillier courtesy of the Halifax Mooseheads)
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