Sunday, March 14, 2010

And Now It Gets Real

On a lazy Sunday which was the final day of the regular season for the New York Ranger prospects only 4 saw action with nothing more than some pride and a chance to pad the statistics a little.

Chris Doyle (2008 5th) is the 2009-10 Ranger Prospect scoring champion as he added 2 assists in his Victoriaville Tigre's 7-3 over the Shawinigan Cataractes. The same two teams are going to be meeting in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.

After the Cataractes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, Doyle did his damage as he had a secondary assist on the Tigre's first goal and then set up the tying goal in the same period. Doyle's assists gave him 44 on the season to set a new career high for him.

Overall Doyle finished the season 25-44-69 netting 36 of his points after his trade from Prince Edward Island back in December. For Doyle, it is a redemption of sorts as last season if not for a back injury which was he never got over in the second half then it would have been Doyle that everyone was talking about.

Chris Doyle was running away with last season's prospect scoring race even from Evgeny Grachev. Doyle who had a 21-30-51 mark by holiday break never got healthy enough to regain his touch as he missed almost a full month and then was only 9-12-21 after returning.

He earned this one this year despite more adversity and Doyle wants a QMJHL title to his resume so watch him in the playoffs.

Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) knows what Chris Doyle went though as for most of this season it was Werek who was leading the prospects in scoring. Werek only got to play in 57 games with the Kingston Frontenacs due to injuries but he still managed to go 30-33-63 which is not bad considering Werek was 32-32-64 in 66 games last season.

What gets us is that Werek for some reason is not viewed as one of the top Ranger prospects by some which boggles the mind. Anyone who has watched him play can tell you that Werek is going to be an impact player for the Rangers as while Derek Stepan is a playmaker and Chris Kreider a goal scorer; Werek does both and he does them very well.

Werek may not have the speed of the other 2 but he makes it up with perhaps the highest hockey IQ of all the Ranger prospects and is a graceful skater for a player 6'2. Werek also has an advantage that few Ranger prospects enjoy which is having a Doug Gilmour as his coach.

Werek and his Kingston Frontenacs lost on Sunday to their first round playoff matchup in the Brampton Battalion. Werek had the only goal for the Fronts for his 30th which makes him the leading goal scorer among Ranger prospects and his 9 power play goals were also tops.

The OHL Media were kind enough to point this one out to you so here is a chance to see a Werek interview

Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) appears to have worked the rust out of his game as he scored a goal as his Quebec Remparts just whipped on the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 8-0 in their regular season finale.

For Bourque, his first season in the QMJHL was interrupted 3 times by injuries but when he was healthy Bourque was productive. In 44 games Bourque was 19-24-43 which if he had played a full season would have been 29-37- 66.

Those numbers would have put Bourque right at the top of the prospect scoring race in all areas. Now up for Bourque and his Remparts are the Acadie-Bathurst Titan who finished 33 points behind the Remparts in the standings.

Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) of the Sudbury Wolves ended their regular season with a frustrating 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa 67s. In many ways the loss was like how the season has gone for the Wolves, close but just not enough.

Maggio who was scoreless had a fight with Dalton Smith of the 67s for his 5th fighting major of the season. That makes Maggio the leader for this season as nobody else dropped their gloves as often as Maggio did.

Scoring wise, Maggio finished 9-22-31 as he got off to a great start but for the most part stopped scoring as he as gone 23 games since scoring a goal on Dec 31.

(Pics: Doyle/Benoit Dery, Werek and Maggio/Aaron Bell/OHL Images, Bourque/Kat Ep)

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