Monday, November 15, 2010

Stepping Up Quietly

While everyone wants to know the latest on New York Ranger 2010 first round pick Dylan McIlrath, the only news we have as of early Monday morning is no news. In a way that is good news as our experience is that a quick response has always been bad news.

The only thing we are confident in saying is that the Truck is not going to go up against El Nino on Monday night and that is a shame. El Nino of course is New York Islander 2010 first round pick Nino Niederreiter. Because of the way the WHL schedule this was going to be the only regular season match up between the too very important prospects.

But while we watch for the news on McIlrath there are other prospects who both Ranger and Islander fans should be watching as they too could one day have major impacts on their respective teams.

Take Ethan Werek (NYR 2009 2nd) of the Kingston Frontenacs for example; while Ranger fans are wondering who will the Ranger's first line center of the future our question is; Why not Werek? Why not after Werek once again came up with a huge play for his Frontenacs when he scored the game tying goal for the Frontenacs with just 18 seconds in the 3rd period.

Werek's 12th goal of the season tied the Frontenac's game with the Sarina Sting at 5-5, a game that the Frontenacs needed 2 goals in the last 1:14 of regulation to tie after blowing a 3-1 lead. Kingston went on to score in overtime for the 6-5 win and a 3 game winning streak.

Werek for reasons that totally escape us does not get the consideration for being a top Ranger prospects as what more does a player with a 12-12-24 record (2nd among Ranger prospects) and back to back 30+ goal seasons need to convince people?

Werek is also going to play on Monday for Team OHL against the Russian Selects in game 4 of the Subway Super Series. Werek is the only Ranger or Islander prospect to play in 2 games, Werek will be joined by Islander prospect Casey Cizikas (2009 4th) of the Mississauga St. Micheal's Majors

For the New York Islanders, yes their 2010-11 season is in major trouble but when we look at the future it is more than just Nino Niederreiter as 2009 first round pick Calvin De Haan of the Oshawa Generals is going to help bring better days ahead.

De Haan along with teammate Tony DeHart (2010 5th) are big reasons why the Generals are looking at not only making the OHL playoffs but making some noise in them. On Sunday, De Haan and DeHart both were +1 and very steady on the blueline in limiting the Peterborough Petes to just 21 shots on goal in the General's 3-2 win.

Both defenders are going to be making the Islander blueline a much tougher place for opposing teams in the not too distant future. Teammate and Ranger prospect Christian Thomas (2010 2nd) set up Osahawa's first goal of the game when he fed Boone Jenner for a power play goal at 14;25 of the 2nd period and a 1-0 Oshawa lead.

Thomas is 3rd among Ranger prospects in scoring at 12-11-23.

As promised Kirill Kabanov (2010 3rd) was in the Lewiston MAINEaic lineup  against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and if not for teaming with teammate Michael Chaput for a goal at 19:11 of the 3rd period that tied the game at 2-2, his MAINEaics would have suffered an embarrassing loss against a team that has not won a game in their last 22 games.

Make that streak 23 games as Kabanov's MAINEaics are hot themselves winners of 8 straight as they came from down 2 goals to steal this one in overtime 3-2. Kabanov registered his first point of the season and with fingers crossed one has to hope that Lewiston can reach a player who has world class talent.

Nothing would be more heartbreaking than seeing a player with the gifts that Kabanov clearly has go to waste because he has been led astray by a father who is dangerously risking his son's career with his own actions.

Elsewhere in the QMJHL in a battle for the top spot in the league the Saint John Sea Dogs just whipped Ryan Bourque's (NYR 2009 3rd) Quebec Remparts 6-0. Think of the beating the Rangers gave the Oilers on Sunday and you have this game.

The Remparts would just taken apart in this one in every possible way.

Finally do not say anything but Daniel Maggio's (2009 6th) Guelph Storm are slowly making their way up the OHL's Western Conference standings as the Storm are now 5th in the conference after a 5-2 win over the Sudbury Wolves. Maggio did not score but was a +1 for the game.

(Images Werek and De Haan/ Aaron Bell and Terry Wilson/OHL Images, Kabanov/Getty Images via Picapp)

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