Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beyond Nuclear Hot

Maybe if we are the rest of the world then we should be thanking Hockey Canada for not inviting New York Ranger 2011 4th round pick Michael St. Croix to play in the 2012 World Under-20 championships to be held in Edmonton and Calgary. After all St. Croix only plays for the local Edmonton Oil Kings and right now he is beyond hot.

Yesterday we laid out the case as to why St. Croix was the Ranger prospect of the week so on Tuesday evening it was St. Croix and his Oil Kings hosting New York Islander prospect defenseman Brendan Kichton (2011 5th) and his Spokane Chiefs. Kichton if you missed the news was invited to tryout for Hockey Canada on Monday and his play against the Oil Kings did nothing to show he did not deserve the invite.

Right now you just do not want to play the Oil Kings as they are scoring basically whenever they want to. Spokane for example played a very good first period defensively holding the Oil King offense to just 5 shots on goal. In fact Kichton set up Spokane for a goal just 3:30 into the first period for a 1-0 lead.

The problem for Spokane is that they gave up 2 goals on those 5 shots as St. Croix set up his linemate Dylan Wruck first at 16:34 to tie the game up at 1-1 and then just 2:51 later at 19:25 to take the lead 2-1. It was not the prettiest of games but one had to feel for Spokane as they threw everything they could at Edmonton and it did not matter.

A scoreless 2nd period where once again Spokane shut down the Edmonton offense holding them to just 5 shots but they could not solve Edmonton's defense either. In the 3rd period, St. Croix finished off any hope of a Spokane comeback when St. Croix scored his 14th goal of the season at 9:31 to give the Oil Kings a 3-1 lead en route to a 4-1 win which was also Edmonton's 4th straight.

St. Croix ended the month of November with a 5 game scoring streak (7-7-14), a  9-12-21 for the month of November and as of now the leading scorer among Ranger prospects at 14-22-36. Oh and we almost left out that St. Croix was the game's first star.

As for Brendan Kickton, his assist on the only goal his Spokane Chiefs scored improves his numbers to 3-18-21 for the season.

The WHL handed down their verdict on Dylan McIlrath (NYR 2010 1st) and it was a 3 game suspension for a charging major and game misconduct that McIlrath received on November 23rd. The good news for McIlrath and his Moose Jaw Warriors is that after missing Tuesday's game against the Vancouver Giants is he has now served all 3 games.

McIlrath really should thank his stars that he got off with just 3 games as the next offense is going to cost him at least 6-10 games.

John Persson (NYI 2011 5th) of the Red Deer Rebels missed his game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes due to an unspecified illness. Persson is listed as day to day.

Jesper Fasth

Yes we have seen the YouTube video of the injury that the Ranger's 2010 6th round pick suffered and no we will not repost it or link to it because of it's graphic nature. However may we suggest that before people using their online medical degrees to work that they wait until team announces what is the actual outcome.

We say this because our own experience with prospect injuries is that as much agony you see Fasth in odds are good that it is also his first real hockey injury. Sometimes there is a good thing to come out of these injuries as strange as it sounds because they can become wake up calls for the prospects.

The key to watch for is whether or not Fasth has to undergo surgery to insert pins in to his injury. If that happens then he is done for the season but if that does not happen then Fasth could make it back for the league playoffs.

(St. Croix- Edmonton Oil Kings)

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