Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The year of the champions?

Monday night was a good night for New York Ranger prospect Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) and his Penticton Vees as they earned the right to play for the BCHL championship. The Vees earned that trip after a 6-2 win in game 5 of their BCHL Interior Conference Finals eliminated the Merritt Centennials 4-1.

This is going to be a a very interesting week for the Ranger and Islander prospects who are still playing hockey. Thursday will be the semifinals of the NCAA Frozen Four with Chris Kreider (NYR 2009 1st) looking for his second NCAA championship.

Then Friday night will be the start of the second round of the Canadian Junior playoffs while Fogarty and his team will be playing in game one of the BCHL finals against the Powell River Kings.The winner of that series will play against the champions of the AJHL for the right to represent the West in the Junior A championships, the RBC cup.

It's part of a pattern as you see teams like the Islanders and Rangers going after players who are playing on winning programs. It is something we've talked about on many occasions and if you're Ranger fan you can validate the truthfulness of such a statement by looking at the current Ranger roster.

We have made that list before of those current Rangers who have won gold medals, league championships and Memorial Cups.It is hard to deny what bringing in players who have played for championships does to help change the atmosphere and environment of the team's locker room.

It is one of the factors we have to consider and acknowledge when we see this, New York Ranger team with 107 points and at the top of the NHL standings. Winning is one of those areas that can't be drawn up on a chalkboard and taught to players.

It would be quite the accomplishment if Fogarty could come home with the BCHL title, McIlrath or St. Croix a WHL title and Kreider the NCAAs. JT Miller, Ryan Strome and Mitchell Theoret are candidates for the OHL championship while Kirill Kabanov and his team are hosting the Memorial Cup.

It would be great to see that many championships happen to the New York area prospects because it only means those players will be adding to the locker rooms of both teams.

In case you missed it, we got some audio and video from JT Miller's game-winning goal on Sunday thanks to Peter Krupsky of the Plymouth Whalers.  If you have not seen Miller play here's a brief glance at some of the things he does on the ice and why the Rangers are so high on him.

(Fogarty – Penticton Vees)

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