Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Curse Strikes Again

In North America the New York Rangers currently have 14 prospects playing in the 3 CHL leagues and various NCAA conferences. This season of those 14 prospects, 7 of them have suffered injuries that have caused them to miss 5 or more games.

The latest to join the list is Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) who is out at least 2 weeks with a wrist injury. Bourque suffered the injury during the 2nd period against the Lewiston Maineaics last Saturday night and his coach Patrick Roy is not happy at how he got hurt.

7 prospects is the equivalent of an entire draft and with each injury, it adds that many more questions for the Ranger's scouting and player development staff.  The biggest one is how do you plan for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft when those you have already drafted are getting hurt left and right?

It is a tough spot both player and team are in as come May and June when the Rangers have to decide whether or not to offer contracts to some of the wounded. Those they want to sign are they willing to use NHL or AHL contracts on them?

Glad we do not have to make those decisions.

So yesterday we advocated that the best thing for Chris Kreider's development would be for him to spend one more year at Boston College. Patience we believe is the best way to develop the Rangers most important prospect they have.

So our friend Eric from 5 Hole Blog pointed out an article that Andrew Gross wrote yesterday where John Tortorella said

 "I wish he'd turned pro last year," Tortorella said. "I hope he turns pro next year. We think he's got some good stuff to offer and we want to get him tracked up here with us as soon as possible."

Hey John we can see the great job you have done with Michael Del Zotto this season. Sorry yelling at Del Zotto on the bench for the whole arena to see just does not work. 

The moment you were shown yelling at Del Zotto we and the Ranger universe knew that he would be heading to the press box. How can one believe you can develop the future when you use public embarrassment as a teaching method?

But we also want to look at the bigger picture regarding Kreider at Boston College for the 2011-12 season. We are expecting another extended shutdown of the NHL thanks to the wonderful efforts (sarcasm intended) of Gary Bettman and Don Fehr. 

Want to screw up Kreider's development really fast? Then sign him, keep him for the 2011-12 season as a Ranger then try to send him to the AHL when the NHL is locked out. Why not do the smart thing and play the "wait and see" game by leaving him in Boston College for a season where he could dominate college hockey. 

That is the preferred method of Gordie Clark the Rangers director of player personnel for development to have the prospect dominate at his current level before advancement.  9-11-20 is not dominating, 2 power play goals is not dominating.

Kreider needs to be allowed to develop at a natural pace not rushed to the pros as the Ranger's history is littered with young players rushed to the pro level who never fully developed. Del Zotto, Grachev, even in a way Zucarrello (notice his demotion to the 4th line?), Al Montoya, Dan Blackburn, and the biggest rush job of them all Manny Malhotra.

Kreider is perhaps the most talented prospect the Rangers have drafted since the 15th pick of the 1991 draft and yes you have to go look because unlike that pick he will not have the insane habits that pick had. 

Mess this pick up and it will be as bad as trading Rick Middleton to Boston all over again.


Only one prospect in action Tuesday evening as David Toews (NYI 2008 3rd)  and his Brandon Wheat Kings hosted the team with the best record in the WHL the Saskatoon Blades. The Blades have to be wondering how they lost to the Wheat Kings 7-4 as the Wheat Kings won their 3rd straight and a 7-3 in last ten games. 

Toews had a secondary assist on Brandon's 4th goal as the Wheat Kings used a 4 goal second period to break open the game. The Wheat Kings have extended their lead over 8th seeded Prince Albert to 3 points and 9th seeded Swift Current to 5. 

Toews is now 13-19-32 on the season. 

(Bourque courtesy of Katherine Ep)


Jay said...
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Kmp said...

How did Bourque get hurt?

Curious why do you think Chilliwack missing the playoffs would be good for Horak? Do you think he would finish the season with the Whale?

Jess Rubenstein said...


My understanding of French is not the good but it appears that it was the result of a hit that Patrick Roy complained about.

If Chilliwack fails to make the playoffs then Horak would be eligible to join them once his season is finished on March 19.

Horak would have a shot at 4 regular season game as well as any playoff games the Whale play in. It gives the Rangers a chance to see how Horak measures up before having to decide whether or not to sign him.


Thanks for the laugh