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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Ranger Prospect Report Card (Part 2)
Yesterday we talked about the New York Ranger prospect class of 2011 and solid performances we have been seeing out of them. Right now it is easy to say that the 2011 class is shaping up to be one of the very best in Ranger's history.
But see we can't do that because all we need to do is look at the other recent draft classes and realize that the road to Broadway is a long way off for the 2011 class.
In many ways the 2011 draft class is making the other classes look less promising and that is a key factor as to why we don't rank the prospects. So many factors affect how a season can turn out and what looks like a great season to one is a struggle for another.
2009 Draft Class
Chris Kreider (1)- Strange when a 12-11-23 season at the halfway point is not good enough but in the case of Kreider we feel that way. 12 goals in 18 games is not going to be good enough for a 1st line LW as Kreider is projected to be.
First Half- We focused on Kreider being more active on the offensive end linking his shots on goal to his goal output. On games where Kreider has 4 shots on goal then we can just about guarantee a goal but when he has less than 4 then odds of him getting any points drops dramatically.
Strengths: Size, skill and 2 way game as we see in Kreider a player who can dominate games at both ends. Never gets any kind of credit for his defensive game but we would not have any problem asking him to kill a Ranger penalty tomorrow.
Has to be "gang defended" as his skating skill is going to beat most defenders. When he sets up then it is almost impossible for him to be moved out.
Concerns: When Boston College has lost this season it was because the opposition did not give them any room to move let alone breathe. Able to get under his skin so he will take bad penalties.
Second Half: Boston College found out the hard way that when you are at the top everyone wants to knock you off. Kreider needs to take over games at crunch time and if need be toss that BC system away.
Take the game to people and force them to play how you want not the other way around. Again with us it is going to come down to how many shots Kreider takes as even 4 is not enough.
We look at who is ahead of Kreider in the NCAA scoring race and honestly Kreider is just as good if not better than most ahead of him. Dominate Chris, just dominate.
Scott Stajcer (5th)- Stajcer is stuck in a problem not of his own making as he is playing on a team that believes they have 2 number 1 goalies. We look at the numbers and say oh no you do not as Stajcer is 4th in the OHL for goalies while Jordan Binnington his partner is 21st.
First Half: Other than his won/loss record (6-4-2-2) there is not much to say bad about Stajcer as his goals against (2.47) is 4th in the OHL while his save percentage is (0.927) is 5th.
Strengths: The numbers do not lie as Stajcer has made huge strides working the last 2 summers with Benoit Allaire. 6'3 with great reflexes and fast hands make him hard to beat when Stajcer is on.
Concerns: That Owen Sound does not move him to a team that will start him before the trading deadline. Owen Sound has made it pretty clear that Binnington is their guy (he can come back next season while Stajcer can't) and now want to turn Stajcer into huge return.
Second Half: Problem is that Owen Sound we are sure wants to trade Stajcer to a team in the other conference (rather than come back and bite them) but most teams who are serious about a OHL run are set in goal. Stajcer is a 2 month rental and most teams unless an injury happens will not pay a king's ransom.
Stajcer needs to play steady not once every two weeks and we fear Owen Sound is going to wait until it is too late to move Stajcer. Give Stajcer a team like Ottawa or Oshawa and let him show one way or another if he still offers potential
2010 Draft Class
Dylan McIlrath (1st)- It has been quite the challenging season for McIlrath as he had a pretty good Traverse City and Ranger training camp but the season with Moose Jaw has been interesting to say the least.
First Half: was suspended for 3 games under the new rules on discipline and suffered an "upper body" (read that as possible concussion) injury that cost him 5 games. Has 6 fighting majors and has had to play a bigger defensive role due to injuries, suspensions and trades.
Strengths: His size as it is more than just being 6'5 but his wingspan of 7 ft which causes problems for other teams. A heavy hard hitter who finishes his checks with force. Can disrupt the other team's attack just by being on the ice, teams try to avoid him.
Heavy shot that is already getting people to avoid trying to block it since it causes pain.
Concerns: The injury and suspension in our eyes cost McIlrath a chance at playing in the World Under-20 championship. The Moose Jaw blueline has had problems with injuries as well as other suspensions so McIlrath now really needs to play with more discipline as well as eat up a lot of minutes.
Second Half: McIlrath and his Moose Jaw Warriors are despite all the problems the team has had been at the top of the WHL's East Division. McIlrath needs to focus on the defensive side more than work on his own offensive game.
Pick his spots for offense as well as his fights as Moose Jaw can not afford to lose McIlrath for any length of time now. His next suspension might cost him 5-8 games which puts him in difficult position of having to balance hitting vs possible infraction.
Christian Thomas (2)- Best way to describe his first half would be total frustration from every direction. From struggling to score in his first 10 games to a 10 game suspension that we will say was 5 games too many to being cut from Hockey Canada when he deserved the spot.
First Half: Thomas had more bad things happen to him that we are impressed with his ability to maintain composure. Still one has to wonder where Thomas would be if not for a 7 game hot streak that brought his numbers to a respectable 13-14-27.
Strengths: A true sniper who has proven that he can score from any spot on the ice. His 8-9-17 streak over 7 games shows he can pile up the points. Underrated on defense as he is a danger in open ice on the penalty kill.
Concerns: Right now his Oshawa Generals are 9th in the OHL's Eastern Conference and while they are just 6 points out; we would like to see Thomas moved to a contending team in the 2nd half. Oshawa has some talent but not enough to make a legit run through playoffs.
We fear that Thomas will try to put team on his back and carry it but offense is not the problem for Generals; a poor team defense is.
Second Half: We deal with some great people in the CHL and NCAAs; that said our loyalty is to the prospect not the Rangers or the teams. In our eyes Oshawa needs to decide whether keeping Thomas for the 2nd half is going to help them down the road?
Either bring in a better goalie or trade Thomas as Thomas is a player who could greatly change the balance of power in the OHL. Put Thomas on a good team and watch him catch fire but leave him in Oshawa and we think it will slow his development.
Andrew Yogan (4th)- Here is a very talented prospect who has skill as well as size which makes him the kind of prospect you badly want to have. The problem is that Yogan can also be his own worst enemy and how his career goes is going to be dependent on his maturity on the ice.
First Half: Yogan got off to a bit of a slow start and found himself in Coach Mike Pelino's doghouse for repeated bad penalties. Pelino publically healthy scratched him
to try to get the message across.
Strengths: no question that Yogan has a world of talent offensively that is greatly enhanced by being 6'3 200. Yogan can create his own offense or for others and for a big man almost impossible to stop one on one.
Concerns: To Yogan's credit, he has been addressing several of our concerns with him as of late. We are not seeing him constantly taking penalties (only 1 minor in last 12 games) as he was earlier in the season. Now we want to see him start having multi-goal games as only 2 in 32 games is not acceptable for a player with Yogan's skill set.
Second Half: Break out plain and simple as the Petes if they have any hope of making the playoffs will need Yogan to pile up the points. Yogan has had a few mini scoring streaks now we want to see him put a 10-15 game one together.
If he does that then he will get his coveted Ranger contract but Yogan also has to realize that Peterborough will not have problem sitting him if he falls back into old bad habits.
Jesper Fasth (6th)- This one is a heart-breaker as we were so looking forward to seeing Fasth playing in the World Under-20 championships until he broke his ankle. We have a super reliable source who says Fasth has NHL potential and patience is a must for his development.
Medical Update: despite the video that has been making the rounds, the news has been pretty good regarding Fasth's ankle. For starters we have not heard one mention of any pins having to have been inserted to help heal the injury.
That is good news because it also means that Fasth will not need a 2nd surgery to remove said pins which would guarantee his season would be over. A clean break like this means there in most cases is no long term affects on his skating.
Contract Status: Fasth signed a 2 year extension which we also say is good for the Rangers as they can bring him over to gauge his progress and then send him back for more development at no cost to them. New deal takes him to 22 so the Rangers do not need to sign him to 3 year entry level deal until they know he is close to NHL ready.
Randy McNaught (7th)- McNaught choose to attend school in Canada over signing with the Rangers. After missing almost an entire year due to an injury then it seems like the best move for both sides.
Not going to do anything more than link up his stats because McNaught is not doing anything to show that pro hockey is in his future.
(Kreider- NHL Media)
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