Monday, December 8, 2008

First Time For Him

Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) has had a lot of firsts over the last week as he gets ready to attend the selection camp for the Czech Republic's World Under-20 Championship team.

It starts with Kundratek being the only Czech born defender playing in the WHL invited to the selection camp. It is going to be hard to believe that Kundratek who played on the 2008 Czech Republic team will not be selected.

On Monday, Kundratek scored his first goal of his WHL career in a losing effort as his Medicine Hat Tigers lost in overtime to the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-3. It was a power play goal as Kundratek pinched in and set himself right up in the crease.

The Tiger's Brennan Bosch took the puck from the left side of the Hurricane goal and Kundratek just poked the puck past the Hurricane goalie which gave the Tigers a 1-0 second period lead. Kundratek played well all game as he also earned his first star of the season being named as the 3rd star of the game by the Medicine Hat media.

We are hoping that Medicine Hat does not bring the Artic weather when they travel to the US west coast (weather is predicting the first snow of the year for the weekend) as we are hoping to catch up to Kundratek this week to do his first real Ranger interview with us.


It is kind of strange to see that the Rangers will only be represented by 2 prospects in the upcoming World Under-20 Championships after seeing so many prospects over the last 5 years taking part.

This year only the 3rd round picks Evgeny Grachev and the already mentioned Kundratek will be taking part in this tournament. No Ranger prospect will be a part of either US or Canadian teams which and that is NOT a reflection on the Ranger prospects but in our eyes the flaws within the selection process.


The Colleges are on their holiday break now after this past weekend's action but we still have the latest polls from the two major polls for you. First we start with the Michigan Wolverines who are heading back up the polls jumping up 2 spots to 12th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

The Wolverines swept both games from in-state rival Michigan State only jumped one spot to 13th in the College Sports poll. So Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) who is starting to show the offensive spark we expected from him at the beginning of the season gets a couple of weeks off to enjoy the holidays.

Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) and his Wisconsin Badgers are right now most likely not wanting the holiday break as the team that started 0-6-1 is now sitting in first place in the WCHA as well as making their debut at number 16 in the poll. The Badgers are 17th in the USA Today poll but those who have been following the team know how misleading that record is.

Unlike the Ranger record which looks inflated, the Badgers played the toughest non conference schedule in college hockey as 6 of those first 8 games were played against 4 of college hockey's best teams.

(Tomas Kundratek courtesy of MC Images)

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