Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mid Week Report

It is not often when we say we really want to see a video but when we get 3 different people telling us about a specific play it does say SHOW ME THE VIDEO PEOPLE.

It seems that Sam Klassen (2009 UFA) of the Saskatoon Blades had one of those hits that get people just going crazy over. Wish we had all the details but as soon as we get a clip of the hit it will go up.

Still the more important issue was that the Saskatoon Blades defeated the Calgary Hitmen 4-1 to open up a 6 point lead in the WHL Eastern Conference race. The Blades may have dropped to 6th in the latest CHL poll but they remain the best team in the WHL.

Against the Hitmen, Klassen was his normal defensive self, protecting his crease and blocking shots. The 20 year old defender is making a very strong case for his being one of the Top defenders in Hartford next season.

With a +1 for the game, Klassen improves his plus/minus to a +30 which jumps him into 3rd place in the WHL, just one behind his teammate and defensive partner Stefan Elliott. In case you are wondering the Ranger prospect record for plus/minus belongs to Evgeny Grachev who was a +48 last season.
Tomas Kundratek (2008 3rd) and his Medicine Hat Tigers lost ground in their chase of the Saskatoon Blades when they dropped a home game to the Spokane Chiefs 4-2. Kundratek was scoreless and a -2 in the game as the Tigers fell 6 points behind Klassen's Blades but remain on top of the WHL's Central Division.

Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) returned to the Quebec Rempart lineup on Wednesday evening but his Remparts were defeated on their home ice by the Shawinigan Cataractes 4-1. Bourque had an assist as well as 2 good hits in the loss.

Bourque is 12-16-28 on the season and after seeing what he can do on defense for Team USA, we want see some more offense from him the rest of the season.


Way to Go Ethan

Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) may not have gotten the invite to tryout for Team Canada like we felt he deserved but he will get to play in front of his Kingston fans as a member of the OHL's Eastern Conference All-Star team.

This is Werek's 2nd selection to the All-Star team and last season's game was our first real introduction to Werek as he had 2 goals as the East whipped the West 11-6. The reason he stuck out for us was that his goals were set up by Evgeny Grachev's center Matt Duchene who now plays for the Colorado Avalanche.

Werek this season as we have been saying has been in our eyes the best Ranger prospect. His consistent play as well as his 21-23-44 numbers have been the best from among Ranger draft picks.

Did we mention that Werek is also on a 3 game goal scoring streak as we speak? Last season as an OHL rookie, Werek put up 32 goals in 66 games and is well on a pace to top that this season.

For now Werek appears to be the only Ranger prospect named to an in-season All-Star team so we are happy for him.


I had a great time talking with the Mouth and Jim over at Blueshirt Banter radio last night. The Banter is a great place for Ranger fans and should be your 3rd stop every day for Rangers news (well after here and the Blueshirt Bulletin).

Give those guys a visit as Joe, Jim and the rest of the gang at the Banter bust their butts to make their place Ranger fan friendly.

(Werek courtesy of the Kingston Frontenacs, Klassen courtesy of the Saskatoon Blades)

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