Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mid-Week Prospect Update

Prospect of the Week

6 Ranger prospects were selected to play in the World Under-20 Championships. Of those 6 it was the lowest drafted prospect David Skokan who wound up having the having the best statistical performance of the bunch.

Skokan went 2-6-8 for the tournament but what earned him the prospect of the week was his efforts last Wednesday and Thursday when Skokan went 2-4-6 to help keep Slovakia in the elite division.

It was yet another impressive performance by the first of the Rangers two 7th round draft picks out of the 2007 Entry Draft. Skokan has shown this habit of playing big in meaningful games.

It was a 3 assist effort in the Traverse City Tournament Championship game that first introduced us to Skokan as a big game player. Now let us see some of this big game play from Skokan in the QMJHL.

Game Action

Ryan Hillier had an assist as his Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5-2. It was the 3rd straight win for the Mooseheads who moved to within one point of first place in the Eastern Division of the QMJHL.

One day after being announced as the Dean Prentice Prospect of the Month, Tomas Zaborsky was scoreless as his Saginaw Spirit lost to the Plymouth Whalers 4-2. The Spirit are on a roll going 7-3 over their last 10.

One More Prospect

When we did the prospect mid-season report yesterday we left off Antoine Lafleur of the Prince Edward Island Rocket. Kind of hard to forget the only goalie prospect not in the system.

Lafleur has had it rough during the first half of this season going 9-13 with a 4.39 GAA and .867 save percentage. It is a long way from his 27-19 2.97 .909 that led to the Rangers using their 2007 2nd round pick on him.

From a very inexperienced defense corp in front of him to a coaching change, Lafleur at one point sat for 6 straight games as he is supposedly "sharing" the goaltending duties for the Rocket.

We saw signs of perhaps Lafleur coming out of his season long slump as Lafleur had won 3 straight. However in his last start Lafleur gave up 3 goals on 9 shots lasting less than 13 minutes.

So what would we like to see from Lafleur in the second half you ask? We have wondered if perhaps a change of scenery would do Lafleur some good. That might be a good idea except with his current stats, Lafleur is not going to attract a lot of interest.

What we want then is for Lafleur to make the very best of his season. For starters get his record back to 500 and then over it by 5. Try to lower his GAA to at least 4.oo by the end of the season while raising hs save percentage to .900.

If Lafleur can do this then it would also mean that his Prince Edward Island Rocket will also have moved up in their playoff seeding which might open the door for a playoff run.

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