Thursday, November 4, 2010

2 is Not a Lonely Number

It was really interesting to watch on twitter the discussion between 3 of the better Ranger tweeters today as Dave Shapiro (Blue Seat Blogs), Mike Gleich (Bleeding All Blue) and George Ays (AKA @RangerSmurf) were all talking about the Glen Sather Era. The 3 of them went back and forth all making valid points from trades to free agents to draft picks.

Of course talking about the draft picks is always going to catch our attention in a hurry as while they were talking about how first round drafting has gotten better in recent years. Like it or not in the Sather Era, the Rangers have been pretty good with their 2nd round picks.

2001- Fedor Tyutin
2004- Brandon Dubinsky
2005- Michael Sauer
2006- Artem Anisimov
2008- Derek Stepan
2009- Ethan Werek
2010- Christian Thomas

We include Ethan Werek and Christian Thomas in this list because when one is top line center, the other is one of the most gifted snipers we have seen in years. Tonight is about Ethan Werek who for reasons that escape us does not come up as one of the Ranger's better prospects.

What does Werek have to do in order to receiver his proper due? He has size 6'2 190, he has been a consistent goal scorer (30 and 32), his assists are consistent (32 and 33) and right now he is one of the leading goal scorers in the OHL (5th with 11) and his 3 game winning goals has him tied 5th.

And we have not even mentioned how Werek is 2 for 3 on the shootout.

Tonight Werek got that 11th goal of the season when he scored his 3rd power play goal of the season at 6:12 of the first period as Werek's Kingston Frontenacs defeated the Peterborough Petes 3-2. The Frontenacs with the win jumped past the Oshawa Generals and Ottawa 67's for first place in the OHL's East Division.

When everyone both inside and outside the Rangers asks the question "Who will be the Ranger's first line center of the future?" Maybe the answer is staring everyone in the face and his name is Ethan Werek.

The New York Islanders have themselves a pretty good prospect playing for the Mississauga St. Micheal's Majors in Casey Cizikas (2009 4th). Cizikas is the captain of the Majors who after they shut out Jason Wilson (NYR 2010 5th) and his Niagara IceDogs 3-0 have the best record in the OHL. 

Cizikas scored his 3rd game winning goal of the season when he scored at 19:15 of the first period for the only goal that the Majors would really need. The goal scoring was not the only part of Cizika's game as his defensive play helped Cizikas to being named the 2nd star of the game.

Jason Wilson and his IceDogs did not play a bad game but the Majors are that good and right now as hosts of the 2011 Memorial Cup are looking very good.

(Images: Werek and Cizikas/Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

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