Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hi Do You Know Me?

American Express used to run commercials called "Do You Know Me?" which featured a forgotten big name talking about how with the AMEX card nobody forgets who they are. It was fitting because while the majority of the attention in the prospect world is on the World Under-20 Championships, the rest of the prospects started returning to action from the annual break.

First Star

Hello Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) as the Moose Jaw Warrior defenseman dominated the Calgary Hitmen with 2 assists in leading the Warriors to a 6-1 win on the road. McIlrath set up what proved to be the game winner at 17:43 of the first period when he fed Spencer Edwards for a power play goal which gave Moose Jaw a 2-0 lead.

McIlrath who earned "first star of the game" honors was a force at both ends of the ice especially on the penalty kill where McIlrath helped hold the Hitmen to a 0 for 9 on their power play. It was the kind of shutdown performance that validates why the Rangers used their 10th pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft on the 6'5 220 lb 18 year old.

With the assists McIlrath is now 3-10-13 with a 4 game scoring streak going back to prior to the holiday break.

Second Star

Jesper Fasth (NYR 2010 6th) is someone who we wanted to see play because of all the good reports we have seen on him. There is something about the Rangers and late round picks of Swedish players.

Fasth scored his first goal of the World Under-20's as Sweden shut out Russia 2-0 to win their 4th straight World Under-20 match against the Russians. Fasth scored off a one-timer at 14:11 of the first period at even strength.

Fasth is turning out to be just as advertised as a speedy attacker who is at his best when on the fly.A good skater who can change directions without missing a stride also becomes the first Ranger prospect to score a goal in the tournament.

The Rest of the Prospects

Chris Kreider (NYR 2009 1st) and Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) contributed a secondary assist each as Team USA blew Slovakia out 6-1. Brock Nelson (NYI 2010 1st) missed the game with what is being called an "Upper Body" injury.

Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) had an interesting game for Canada as they spanked the Czech Republic 7-2. First he gets called for a so-so tripping call then gets a phantom interference call and that was in the game's first 10 minutes.

In the 2nd period, Cizikas turned on his offense helping Canada blow open the game with 3 second period goals. Cizikas made a nice breakout pass to Cody Eakin on Canada's 5th goal.

The bad news is that Canada may have lost Calvin De Haan (2009 1st) to a knee injury possibly ruining De Haan's season for the second straight year.  De Haan was favoring his left knee as he left the ice heading right to the dressing room.

For the Czech Republic, Roman Horak (NYR 2009 5th) was scoreless and held to 2 shots as the Czech Republic is going to have to fight off the Russians for the last spot in the medal round. Horak has been quiet and we would like to see him take charge if he does not want to make a 2nd trip to the relegation round.

Nino Niederreiter (NYI 2010 1st) was limited to just 3 shots as Switzerland was shut out by Finland 4-0. For the Swiss their fate will be decided on Thursday when they face Slovakia as whoever wins that game will have the edge to the medal round.

David Toews (NYI 2008 3rd) was scoreless as his Brandon Wheat Kings returned from holiday break with a loss on the road to the Red Deer Rebels 4-1. Toews was a -2 on the night.

Kirill Kabanov (NYI 2010 3rd) missed out on his Lewiston MAINEaics blew out the Victoriaville Tigres 7-1. Kabanov was stranded in Europe and unable to catch a flight back to Canada because of the weather.

There is however absolutely no truth to the rumor that Kabanov tweeted that "Paris is a ghost town!!! worst city ever" but imagine the firestorm if it was Kabanov and not Emerson Etem who made that oops tweet about Buffalo.  Relax folks and enjoy the hockey being played.


This is the 903rd edition of Prospect Park, what started as a stress release from the NHL Lockout in 2004 has grown from a paragraph at the Blueshirt Bulletin to where we are today. It is because the Dolans once said that Ranger fans will not support a rebuild, that the Ranger fans want ready made stars.

Once again Rangers fans with their love for Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Derek Stepan, Michael Sauer and more that prove the Dolans wrong.

Thank you for being the folks who support us every day and thank you prospects for making this more fun than a job.

(McIlrath/Moose Jaw, Fasth/HV71, Cizikas/Aaron Bell/OHL Images )

1 comment:

Grandpa Garibaldi said...

Congrats on 903! I truly believe your prospect coverage was a factor in keeping Ranger fans hopeful that the eventual rebuilding process would not be an exercise in futility. Certainly, the accuracy of your observations is evident in this year's Rangers team. And from what you're reporting, better years are just ahead! Thanks! And keep up the good work!