Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Quick One

It was a really quiet Tuesday as only one prospect saw any action as Nino Niederreiter (NYI 2010 1st) and his Portland Winterhawks made the long bus ride (733 miles) up to Prince George to face the Prince George Cougars.

Niederreiter had an primary assist on Portland's 3rd goal as his Winterhawks built up a 4-0 lead before eventually winning 6-3. For Niederreiter it was his 21st assist of the season as Niederreiter is on a 3 game scoring streak (3-3-6) as the Winterhawks won their 3rd straight and moved back into first place in the WHL's Western Conference by a single point over Spokane.

The Winterhawks and Cougars will face each other again on Wednesday in Prince George.

Our friends in Owen Sound tell us that Scott Stajcer (NYR 2009 5th) has started skating again and they hope to have him back in net by OHL playoff time.

Stacjer who has been out since November with a hip injury really needs to get out there as the Rangers are going to have to make a decision on whether or not to sign him.

Stajcer before he hurt his hip and tried to play through was at the top of the OHL goalie stats. 10-3-0, a 2.91 GAA and a .901 save percentage.

It is going to be interesting to see come playoff time who winds up as the starting goalie for the Attack. The job was Stajcer's before he was hurt but the Attack also have Jordan Binnington who was ranked 7th by the NHL's Central Scouting for the 2011 NHL Draft.

The Attack also have overager Michael Zador but the rule of thumb is starters are not supposed to lose their jobs because of injury. The Attack have played well without Stajcer but we think they will be even better with Stajcer if he regains his early season form.

We have to send a huge thank you to Matt Trevor the SID of the Michigan Wolverines who set us up with an interview with Carl Hagelin (NYR 2007 6th) yesterday. We also love Trevor's sense of timing as he got us the interview right after Hagelin pulled 2 rabbits out of his hat to break the hearts of Western Michigan on Saturday nights.

And before anyone asks no the question was not asked as to whether or not Hagelin is going to sign with the Rangers out of respect for the Super Swede and the Michigan program. And to be honest the rumors that Hagelin would say no to the Rangers are just that rumors.

Hagelin knows that his fastest route to the NHL is to become a Ranger. He saw that Derek Stepan went from Wisconsin right to the Rangers and quite honestly Hagelin to us is more NHL ready than Chris Kreider is.

Hagelin has 4 years of tournament play under his belt and anyone who has followed Hagelin knows he plays better in the bigger games. After talking with him, we say that Hagelin will sign with the Rangers as soon as Michigan's season ends.

Want to know why?  Well for starters two dates on the calendar April 10th and August 16th. Only the Rangers can talk to Hagelin the moment his season comes to an end. If you do not think that Sather, Messier, Clark and company will not be in attendance during the NCAA tournament that would be a mistake.

Only Glen Sather can put a check for a signing bonus into Hagelin's hands between the end of Michigan's season and 12:01 AM August 16. And say what you want about the Rangers but they know how to woo someone.

Imagine being a Ranger prospect sitting between Mark Messier, Adam Graves and Brian Leetch at a game even better a Ranger playoff game. Introduce him on the big screen to the Ranger fans who by now know who Carl Hagelin is.

Show him what life for a young guy is like in New York City, the Ranger's practice facility and like Ryan McDonagh discovered a Ranger prospect camp does to fuel the desire to become a Ranger.

Want to bet on whether Hagelin signs with the Rangers? We suggest you bet on the team with a blue uniform just like the one Hagelin already wears.

(Images: Niederreiter/Portland, Stajcer/Aaron Bell of OHL Images, Hagelin/Michigan Wolverines)

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