Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Tad Spoiled

The news on the Prospect front was so slow that the bigger story turned out to be the Ranger's Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark being named as one of the QMJHL's Honorary Captains for their games against the Russian Selects during the ADT Canada/Russia Challenge.

Clark who runs the Ranger's scouting and developmental program did not play in the QMJHL but instead played at the NCAA level with New Hampshire. It was being a native son of St John in New Brunswick that led to this selection.

For us at Prospect Park, it is in it's own way a fitting award as Clark and his scouts have done a great job at restocking the Ranger prospect pipeline over the last few years. Scouts never get their proper due from the fan base in part because nobody ever mentions that "so and so" was the person who led the Rangers to selecting a certain player.

If there was anyone who deserves an early season MVP award for the Rangers then in our book it is Gordie Clark. When you have 5 prospects who in one draft who are making an almost immediate impact as the Rangers are doing with their class of 2008 then someone is doing more than just their job.

Clark and the Ranger scouting staff found players who if they can remain healthy and continue to progress will go a long way in helping the Rangers in the not to distant future. The rule of drafting thumb is that if you can get 2 players as NHLers then your draft is a winner.

In our eyes we see NHL futures for sure out of Michael Del Zotto, Derek Stefan, Evgeny Grachev and Dale Weise. We think that Chris Doyle and Tomas Kundratek have good shots and the wild card is Mitch Gaulton who's heart alone might carry him to the NHL.

Clark will be the honorary captain for the game to be held in his Canadian hometown of St. John, NB on November 19th.


Prospect Action

Evgeny Grachev (2008 3rd) makes news for when he does not score as was the case in his Brampton Battalion's 12th straight win, a 4-3 shoot out win over the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. Grachev we think was off his game for the same reason why most of his teammates were as this game was played during the middle of the day on a school day.

Or another reason might be that the Battalion were a bit too busy reading the latest CHL Mosaik Mastercard Top Ten Rankings as the Battalion made their season's debut in the poll at number 9. No other team with Ranger prospects are ranking in the poll.

Tysen Dowzak (2008 UFA signee) and his Kelowna Rocket took on BC division rival the Vancouver Giants and found out the hard way why the Giants are the 3rd ranked team in that same CHL poll. The Rocket fell to the Rocket 3-1 on home ice.

Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) also was scoreless as his Medicine Hat Tigers needed to go to a shoot out before defeating the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-3. The Tigers should blame themselves for giving away a point as they gave back a 2 goal lead in this game.

Kundratek did not look bad and now needs to show some offense after playing 7 games with just one assist to show for it.

Michael Del Zotto (2008 1st) remains out of the Oshawa General lineup for the 3rd straight game as the Generals were edged 2-1 by the Belleville Bulls in OHL action. Still no confirmation or update as to the status of Del Zotto but we will share that information once the rumors stop and the actual reason becomes known.


It is a shame that people mistake the Lady Byng Trophy as a sign of weakness, that if you won it then you were not a tough player. The trophy is awarded to the player who shows that he is both a great sportsman and combined with a high standard of playing ability.

Grit and toughness is not measured by how many PIMs a player has but rather the way one plays the game. Unless of course you want to consider players like Joe Sakic, Pavel Daystuk, or a Ron Francis as lacking in either toughness or grit.

(Gord Clark courtesy of the sidearm delivery)

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