Since the season started we have been saying that Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) was the best pick that the Rangers made in the 2009 NHL Draft. Nothing against anyone else who the Ranger's picked but Werek is a cut above the rest.
How the Rangers were able to grab him in the second round at 47 is a nice miracle as this was a player who could have been a first round pick. His performance at the 2010 OHL All-Star Classic very much showed that his skill set and his hockey IQ is just as good as those player who will be going at the very top of the 2010 NHL Draft.
On Tuesday night Werek went one on one against Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires in a Individual Puck Handling contest and beat the prospect who is expected to go number 1 in that 2010 draft. We said that Werek deserved a shot at making Team Canda's WJC team and part of the reason was because this 6'2 200 lb center can play a skilled game.
On Wednesday evening, Werek had a goal to go along with 2 assists as the future Ranger helped the Eastern Conference All-Stars defeat the Western Conference team 17-10. Yes the score is correct it was 17-10 as the East exploded for 9 3rd period goals to break open this game.
Werek's unassisted goal at 8:04 of the 3rd period proved to be the game winning goal which made his evening that much better since the OHL All-Star game was played in Kingston which is also where Werek plays for the Frontenacs.
Werek had himself a very nice night as he had secondary assists on 2 Alex Hutching goals to give himself a lifetime 3-2-5 mark in 2 OHL All-Star Games.
Werek was also a +5 for the game which we hope helps springboard him to a strong finish when the OHL regular season gets back underway on Thursday evening.
Werek and his Frontenacs will be on the road in a very key matchup as they take on the Peterborough Petes in a battle for the 4th seed in the OHL's Eastern Conference.
The Frontenacs trail the Petes by one point in the standings but hold a game in hand but a win would be a huge difference maker for a team that last season finished dead last in the Eastern Conference. The Frontenacs have missed the playoffs for the last 2 straight seasons and Ethan Werek is a huge reason why that streak will be ending.
Oh and the reason we used 3 pictures of Werek is because we are big fans of Aaron Bell who takes many of the images you see here about Ranger prospects. Aaron is one of the very best photographers in all of hockey and these 3 pictures were too hard for us to just pick one.
Sam Klassen ( 2009 UFA) and his Saskatoon Blades are picking the wrong time of the year to fall into a bit of a slump. Klassen had a very quiet evening as his Blades dropped a 7-4 decision to the Prince Albert Raiders.
The Blades are now 5-3-2 in their last 10 games after being the leader for most of the season. The loss kept the Blades in 3rd place in the WHL's Eastern Conference 1 point behind the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Wheat Kings already have secured a spot in the 2010 Memorial Cup by being the host of the event but they could hurt the chances of the Blades making it if they can win the conference as then the WHL spot would go to the Western Conference Champions. The Blades we hope shake this slump in a hurry.
Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) missed his 2nd straight game as there has been no word as to when he might return to the Quebec Rempart's lineup. Bourque suffered his 2nd concussion of the season last Friday night was not dressed for the Rempart's game against the Montreal Juniors.
Luke Walker (Traverse City) was able to take the face cage off for the first time since getting injured on December 8th in Everett. He has only himself to blame for why his 12 game scoring streak ended on Wednesday evening as he should have left the cage on until he stopped scoring.
Walker was excellent during the month of January going 6-11-17 and scoring in every game he played in for the Portland Winterhawks, Not a bad month for Walker, a gold medal and a 12 game scoring streak.
The Winterhawks lost to the Kamloops Blazers 4-3 in overtime as former Winterhawk goalie Kurtis Mucha got the last laugh winning his 2nd game against his former team since being traded.
(all pictures courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
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