Monday, October 6, 2008

Remember Me?

Hi do you know who I am? I was the Ranger's 2007 6th round pick, I had a ESPN Sportcenter Top 5 Play of the Day goal in the Frozen Four against Notre Dame and I earned a Silver Medal playing for Sweden in the World Under-20 Championships last season.

If you still do not know me then that is OK because by the end of my sophomore season with the Michigan Wolverines you will. His name is Carl Hagelin and when you read the October issue of the Blueshirt Bulletin we will explain why Hagelin will be our pick for breakout player for the 2008-09 season.

For now we will tell you that Carl Hagelin is our Sunday Star after a goal and assist effort as Hagelin's 2nd ranked Michigan Wolverines defeated the Waterloo Warriors 3-1 in exhibition action.

Last season too many thought that Hagelin was invisible during the season but when you realize all that Hagelin had to go though then going 11-11-22 with a +18 is rather impressive for a freshman covering over from Europe.

For the game against the Warriors, Hagelin got his Wolverines going scoring his first goal of the year just 4:34 of the first period. Hagelin despite his smallish size attacks the net with strength as he grabbed a loose puck and fired a wrist shot past Waterloo goalie Ryan Mior for a 1-0 lead that Michigan would not give back.

Hagelin then got primary assist on the Wolverines 2nd goal as on the power play Hagelin carried the puck into the Waterloo zone where he fed teammate Louis Caporusso who scored at 17:53 of the first period on what proved to be the game winning goal.

The other story besides Hagelin's offense was once again Hagelin's play on the penalty kill as the Wolverines held Waterloo to an 0 for 5 on the power play. What was even more impressive was that the Wolverines only allowed Waterloo to get off 2 shots on all 5 power plays.

Michigan opens their regular season this Friday as they host St. Lawrence.

Make it 5 Straight

Michael Del Zotto and his Oshawa Generals finished off their 3 games in 3 night weekend with a 5-3 home win over the Kingston Frontenacs in OHL action. It gave the Generals a 2-1 record for their weekend and considering how little rest they had this is a great sign for the Generals.

For Del Zotto, he added a power play assist to extend his point scoring streak to 5 games has Del Zotto is now 1-4-5 in 5 games since rejoining the Generals.

There is however a different streak that we would like to see Del Zotto put an end to as Del Zotto now has taken a penalty in 4 straight games (10 PIMs already). At this rate, Del Zotto will wind up with over 132 PIMs and that is not acceptable.

Del Zotto has to realize his importance to the Generals as he has take 2 crosschecking and 2 roughing calls in his 5 games. Those are the kinds of penalties that a prospect can avoid by playing within himself.

We understand that Del Zotto is trying to improve himself at both ends of the ice and that this might sound petty except that Del Zotto is a team leader now. Those kinds of penalties are the ones that will drive a coach insane so we hope he lets others do the dirty deeds as the Generals have a much better chance at winning with Del Zotto on the ice and not in the penalty box.

Have You Seen This Young Man?

In case you have forgotten this is Tomas Kundratek the second of the Ranger's 2008 3rd round draft picks. The Rangers sent him back to Medicine Hat last week and we are still awaiting his debut.

We will be trying to contact the Tigers to see if we can get an update on Kundratek's status. In the meantime his Tigers got whipped on the road 5-2 by the Saskatoon Blades in a game that was not as close as the score shows.

The Tigers fell behind 5-0 before they got on the scoreboard and we kind of feel sorry for the Tiger players. Their coach Will Desjardins is going to make them pay for their efforts in practice this week.

A Good Week for The Prospects

So now that we are getting good looks at the Ranger prospects there is a lot to be optimistic about given their play. Other than concerns about when we will get to see Kundratek and Antoine Lafleur play this is starting to shape up as one of the best years to watch Ranger prospects.

None of the prospects is playing with the post training camp hangover and that is a first for Ranger prospects in the 5 years we have been covering them.

Of course we know there is a very long way to go but this is the kind of start we are liking.

(Pictures: Hagelin-Michigan Wolverines, Del Zotto- New York Rangers)

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