In 2004 when we first started covering New York Ranger prospects at best we felt that the Rangers had 4-6 quality prospects who had legit shots at becoming NHL players.
When Dane Byer's scored for the Rangers against the Wild; that meant that the 2004 draft class gave the Rangers 4 members who scored at least one goal in a Ranger uniform.
We bring this tidbit up because on this Friday evening a record total of 17 Ranger prospects were in action. It has been a very long time since the Rangers could honestly say they had not only quality but also productive ones at that.
Tonight's First Star
In a way it is a shame that most of the attention that Chris Doyle (2008 5th) has gotten this season has been for things other than his play on the ice. On the ice, Doyle has actually put up some decent numbers himself.
Before Doyle's Prince Edward Island Rocket visited Ryan Bourque's Quebec Remparts, Doyle was 7-6-13 in 14 games. Doyle had a goal and 2 assists as his PEI Rocket earned a 4-3 overtime win over Bourque's Remparts.
Doyle's 8th goal at 2:39 of the second period tied the game at 1-1, his first assist was a secondary assist at 0:30 of the 3rd period which pulled the Rocket to 3-2. It was Doyle's second assist that set up game's tying goal as Doyle fed teammate Adam Polasek on the power play at 12:22 of the 3rd period.
For his efforts Doyle was named the Game's 3rd star as he now has a modest 3 game scoring streak at 2-4-6.
Derek Stepan (2008 2nd) scored 2 goals as his Wisconsin Badgers whipped on the University of New Hampshire 4-1. The first goal was more accidental as it bounced in off Stepan's arm to give the Badgers a 3-1 lead at the 5:22 mark of the 3rd period.
The second goal which put the nail in the coffin so to speak for New Hampshire came at 9:15 of the period and turned out to be the game's final tally. Stepan fired a shot from just inside the New Hampshire blueline that appeared to fool New Hampshire goalie Brian Foster.
Stepan who entered the game 1-2-3 helped the Badgers to their first home win of the season.
Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) is very much off to his best start at Michigan as 5 games into the 2009-10, Hagelin after his 5th ranked Michigan Wolverines defeated the Lake Superior State Lakers 5-1 has 5 points. Hagelin earned the game's first star with his 3rd goal of the season along with his second assist as part of a 3 goal first period outburst.
Hagelin scored the game winning goal when he jumped on a rebound and put it in for Michigan's 2nd goal of the game at 10:30 of the first period. It was Hagelin's 8th career game winning goal at Michigan.
Just 5:27 later, Hagelin fed teammate Louie Caporusso for Michigan's 3rd goal and Hagelin's 2nd assist of the season. For Hagelin it was the 2nd multi-point game of the young season and 13th of his career.
Guess which prospect has quietly gotten hot and hardly anyone has noticed it? If you said Roman Horak (2009 5th) then you would be right as Horak after Friday has a 5 game scoring streak (4-1-5).
Horak's 5th goal of the season was also his first WHL power play goal of his career as Horak's Chilliwack Bruins whipped the Kamloops Blazers 7-1. Horak's goal was also his 2nd straight game winning goal and 3rd in the last 4 games.
Horak also added his 9th assist of the season also on the power play on Chilliwack's 5th goal of the game. On the season, Horak is now an very nice 5-9-14 +10 in 16 games.
Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) returned to the starting lineup and backstopped his Owen Sound Attack to a 6-2 win over the Plymouth Whalers. Stajcer stopped 29 out of 31 shots to earn his 5th win of the season (5-8-1-1) and break a personal 3 game losing streak.
Stajcer got support at both ends of the ice as the Attack scoring 6 goals was nice but the Attack penalty killing effort was even better killng off 6 of the 7 Whaler power plays.
The Rest of the Ranger Prospects
Ryan McDonagh (2009 Trade) had a secondary assist on the first Derek Stepan goal in the Wisconsin Badger's game. For McDonagh he is now up to 3 assists on the season.
Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) had an assist in his Quebec Rempart's 4-3 loss to Chris Doyle's PEI Rockets. Bourque now has his own 3 game scoring streak (0-6-6) going as he is now 6-8-14.
Chris Kreider (2009 1st) was scoreless and held to just 2 shots as his 12th ranked Boston College Eagles had a dogfight with the Merrimack Warriors before just escaping with a 4-3 win.
Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) 8th goal of the season forced overtime but his Kingston Frontenacs lost in the shootout 3-2 to the Belleville Bulls. Werek missed on his shootout attempt.
Sam Klassen (UFA 2009) had an assist to extend his own scoring streak to 3 games (2-3-5) and another +3 performance as his Saskatoon Blades defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-2. Klassen now leads Ranger prospects with a +14.
Tomas Kundratek's (2008 3rd) 7th assist of the season was not enough to help prevent his Medicine Hat Tigers from losing their 3rd straight game this time to the Red Deer Rebels 4-2. The only positive out of this loss as the Tigers were not blown out as they have been in their previous 2 losses.
Max Campbell (2007 5th) was held scoreless as his Western Michigan Broncos lost their first game of the season 2-1 to the Michigan Wolverines. The Broncos fall to 4-1 with the loss.
Daniel Hobbs (2007 7th) also did not score but his UMass Minutemen defeated the Providence Friars 5-3. With the win the Minutemen upped their record to 4-0 on the season.
Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) was scoreless but his Sudbury Wolves overcame blowing a 3-1 lead and held off the Niagara Ice Dogs 5-4. Maggio was quiet except for a -1 on the night.
Mitch Gaulton (2008 7th) and his Erie Otter team was held scoreless as they were shut out by the Kitchener Rangers 4-0.
Craig Cunningham (Traverse City) and his Vancouver Giants were also shut out as they were blanked 2-0 by the Calgary Hitmen. Cunningham saw his prospect high 7 game scoring streak (4-6-10) come to an end in the loss
Luke Pither (Traverse City) just might be starting to heat back up as Pither scored for the 2nd straight game as his Barrie Colts won a wild one 7-5 over the Guelph Storm. In addition to Pither's 12th goal of the season; Pither added his 11th assist and a +3 in the win.
(Doyle courtesy of the PEI Rockets, Stepan courtesy of the Wisconsin Badgers, Hagelin courtesy of the Michigan Wolverines)
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