Yes it is still very early in the hockey year but one thing is very clear; the New York Ranger prospects have heard what John Tortorella has been saying and responding to it.
Ryan Bourque the Ranger's 2009 3rd round pick made his debut as a member of the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts a rather impressive one as the Remparts defeated the Rimouski Oceanic 4-2 in exhibition action.
Bourque had a goal, 2 assists and earned First Star of the Game honors in his home debut as a member of the Remparts. What made Bourque's work even more impressive was that each one of his points on the night were key ones.
Bourque needed all of 50 seconds to score his first QMJHL point as he set up teammate Kelsey Tessier to give the Remparts a very fast 1-0 lead in front of the home fans.
In the second period with the Remparts trailing 2-1, Bourque score his first goal of the exhibition season taking a feed from Danick Paquette and scoring on the power play at 9:10 of the second period to tie the game.
Bourque then set up Kelsey Tessier for his second goal of the game at 18:52 of the same period to give the Remparts a 3-2 lead on what proved to be the winning goal of the game. Bourque on the night was 1-2-3, +2, 3 Shots, and even credited with a good hit.
It was a great start for Bourque who is following up on his stellar performance at the Team USA evaluation camp but what Bourque did was show that the Ranger prospects have heard the message from John Tortorella about what he wants and are listening.
Whether it is Bourque, Chris Doyle, Sam Klassen or even Roman Horak; the prospects are showing that they got the message about conditioning and hard work loud and very clear. In all the reports we have been getting on Ranger prospects the theme is the same; the prospects are showing up in great shape and wanting to work as hard as they possibly can.
Pick the name of a Ranger prospect and the theme will remain the same; their conditioning is excellent, their work ethic is strong and their focus is even better. If these kinds of reports do not get you excited for the season then odds are nothing will.
With just 10 days until the prospects report for Traverse City the momentum is starting to build towards what might be one of the most interesting training camps for the Rangers since the 1990s. From contracted draft picks to those showing up on tryout basis; these prospects are wanting to send a message right back to the Rangers as well as their fans.
They want a job, a contract and a career as Rangers and they will work their backsides off to get one.
Hope the veterans look over their shoulders to see the same message.
(Ryan Bourque courtesy of Aaron Bell)
2 hours ago