Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One Play

For so many Ranger fans this was their first real introduction to the future of the Rangers and boy does Artem Anisimov know how to enter a room.

It was the World Under-20 quarterfinal matchup between Russia and the Czech Republic, late in the second period with Russia already leading 2-0.

Russia had entered the zone when Anisimov made a spin-a-rama pass right onto the stick of teammate Nikta Filatov who only had to tap it in for an easy goal.

One play that showed off Anisimov's on ice vision, his playmaking skills and his passing all rolled into one. While so many talk about how much of a weapon his teammate Alexei Cherepanov is going to be on offense, here is Anisimov who the Rangers stole in the 2nd second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft..

No offense to anyone else but we here at Prospect Park and our flagship website the Blueshirt Bulletin have been telling people all along that Anisimov is no slouch when it comes to offense. We have been describing Anisimov as a better skating version of the Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk.

What most of you witnessed is just the beginning of the potential we believe is untapped in Anisimov. There is going to be a whole lot more of that in the future, trust us as we have been right all along about him.

Teammate Alexei Cherepanov was quiet in this game and while TSN is believing that issues between Cherepanov and Russian coach Sergei Nemchinov as the problem what we saw from the replay suggests that it is more Cherepanov's health than it is a rift.

David Kveton missed this game (his 4th) because of his injured shoulder and it is a shame since it would have been a good chance to show whether or not Kveton is a legit prospect or not.

Oh and the final score was Russia 4-1 over the Czech Republic so Russia moves on to face Carl Hagelin and Sweden on Friday. Sweden has been the surprise team of these championships but they will be the underdog against Russia despite their undefeated record.

David Skokan may not be earning any medals but his 3 assists helped insure that Slovakia will remain at the elite level as Slovakia defeated Switzerland 5-2 which helps Slovakia clinch one of the 2 spots out of the relegation round.

It was perhaps the biggest game for Slovakia as they try to rebuild their national program but Skokan has this habit of elevating his game in the bigger games.

Skokan's 3 assists also give him the lead among Ranger prospects playing at the World Under-20 Championships as Skokan now has 5 points for the event one more than Artem Anisimov. We do want to see how he does with Hartford when Skokan's season ends with Rimouski of the QMJHL.

Double Duty

Prospect Park is heading to Vancouver and Edmonton to help the Blueshirt Bulletin cover the Ranger's west coast trip. We will be bring pre and post game coverage to the Blueshirt Bulletin website so catch us there and then come back here for the coverage of Ranger prospects

(Anisimov Picture courtesy of Chris Rutsch/Hartford Wolfpack, Skokan pic courtesy of Rimouski Oceanic)

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