Wednesday, May 19, 2010

He Should Know And So Should You

So there we were wondering how exactly could someone beat the Windsor Spitfires when we ran into Ethan Werek on Facebook. Ethan who is getting ready for the Ranger's annual prospect camp was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

Prospect Park: Ethan you have played against the Spitfires so tell us what it is like to play against them?

Ethan Werek: There a team that finishes all there hits, they are chippy but they also have lots of skill. They have a little bit of everything and great goaltending

PP: If you were Calgary or Brandon how would you suggest they try to beat them?

EW: You have to beat them at their own game, be more physical and score on every opportunity

PP: Can Windsor be beaten?

EW: Any team can be beaten. With the confidence they are showing its going to be hard to beat them, but if you capitalize on their mistakes and make them pay for them you will beat them. You also need a goalie to stand on his head for you.

Ethan is someone who knows firsthand what it is like to play against the Spitfires as he has 2 years of experience playing against them. But there was another motive to talk with Ethan and get this out to the Ranger fans.

See when Ranger fans think about the top Ranger prospects the names mentioned are Stepan, Kreider, McDonagh, and Bourque. For the most part people tend to make the mistake of overlooking Ethan Werek and we want to make sure that those who read us don't make the same mistake.

We like following Werek for a very simple reason; he is going to be a star for the Rangers if he can remain healthy. He may not be as fast as Kreider, not as good a passer as Stepan or as heavy a hitter as McDonagh is but what he might wind up turning out to be is the best overall prospect the Rangers have.

Werek is coming off back to back 30 goal seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs under the mentoring of Doug Gilmour. If not for a couple of injuries, odds are very good that Werek might have broken 40 goals.

Werek has the size of a power forward at 6'2 200+ but the hands of a very skilled smaller player. While Werek is known as a goal scorer; his playmaking skills should not be overlooked.

Still there is something about Werek that makes us watch him closer than other Ranger prospects and that is his determination to be the best at everything he attempts. Last season before we got to know Werek, he drove us nuts trying to get his profile for the Blueshirt Bulletin done.

Werek was an interview we did via email because what we did not know what kind of life schedule he was living. Werek in addition to playing for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL is also a full time university student at Queens University trying to get a college degree.

When we finally got back Werek's interview it was without a doubt the most complete detailed interview we had ever done at Prospect Park. Werek clearly gave a lot of thought to what he wanted to say and put a lot of effort into it.

That was enough for us to spend a little extra time watching Werek work as a player and the more we saw the more we started to really like. We watched as Werek was the model of consistency as the longest Werek went without scoring any points was 2 games.

Then came the 2010 OHL All-Star Skills competition and Werek went up against Taylor Hall of the Windsor Spitfires in the puckhandling skill competition. It was supposed to be a mismatch as Hall the expected 1st pick known as the offensive weapon against the power forward.

It was not that Werek just beat Hall but it was how Werek stayed in control of himself in doing so. Werek stayed in basically a straight line, keeping his stride and movements smooth and compact.

Power forwards are supposed to be lumbering players not smooth skaters but what Werek is an example of is the new idea of a power forward. Smart, skilled and able to adapt to game conditions is what you are going to get with Werek.

But what we really like about Werek is that while Ranger fans have been hoping that Stepan and McDonagh would leave the Wisconsin Badgers to turn pro is what Werek has been saying since March. Werek is coming to training camp with every intention of making the Rangers and not returning to the OHL.

Who are we to tell Werek that he is not NHL ready? If anything what we should be saluting that Werek is going into overdrive to make his NHL dream happen.

Come next training camp when Werek surprises the rest of the Ranger universe by earning a spot on the Ranger roster we won't be.

(Werek courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)


Jess Rubenstein said...


I have not used Bubbapaws as a screen name for forum posting anywhere since leaving the New York Times Ranger forum over 5 years ago.

I also do not live in Portland, read the Portland Mercury or have done any of the things you are repeatedly trying to accuse me of.

Sorry I know this is disappointing to you since you have made repeated attempts to smear me over the years.

elroy said...

the new kid played in WHL - any impressions? thx

New York Rangers - Acquired defenseman Jyri Niemi from the New York Islanders in exchange for a sixth round pick in 2010; agreed to terms with Niemi on a contract.

Google Swedish to English translation:
Tall defenseman who has a physical style of play. Have a really good shots and blow. Dangerous weapon in the power play thanks to his shot. Inertia in skating and weaknesses in their spelförstÄelse. Have problems with high speed with its positioning.