Friday, August 3, 2012

2012-2013, not the year of the prospect

I have to admit that I am really surprised that so many Ranger fans think that there will be opportunities for the Ranger prospects to earn roster spots if they have a training camp.

I really hate to burst anyone's bubble, but there is only going to be one Ranger rookie who's going to have an impact on the Rangers next season.

That's Chris Kreider and I'm not saying this to be negative or to be dismissive of the Ranger prospects. The reality is the guys that should have been contending for spots on this year's roster already have them.

I am talking about Kreider, Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Michael Del Zotto as under a normal developmental model, 2012-13 would be their coming out party. Because of that, there's going to be a gap where the Rangers aren't going to have that "outstanding rookie sensation" making the jump from the AHL.

Please let me explain as Chris Kreider, while the Rangers have been wanting him for the last 2-3 years; in reality should be a senior at Boston College this season. I don't think even the Rangers expected Kreider to come in and produce in the playoffs like he did during last year's playoffs (Yes I do acknowledge I was shocked too)

Carl Hagelin is a prospect that very few people thought would even be in the NHL as they said he's too small, he is too skinny and other choice criticisms. In the development model, Hagelin would've spent last season playing for the CT Whale and if not for opportunity knocking would not have gotten the call up that he did when he did.

Derek Stepan would have graduated from Wisconsin after last season, had he not decided to turn pro after his sophomore season. Instead Stepan is entering his third season as a Ranger, again like the others ahead of his time.

Michael Del Zotto is a prospect who I think privately you can get the Rangers to acknowledge that they rushed him to the NHL at age 18. It hurt his development because most people felt Del Zotto needed another season in the OHL working on his defensive side.

It's part of the reason why Del Zotto had such a terrible sophomore season. Del Zotto was the poster child for sophomore slump at age 19 and getting hurt after being demoted didn't help either. Had they allowed Del Zotto to develop a natural pace than this would've been his rookie season,or at best his second season as a Ranger.

These four prospects alone make up one heck of a graduating class but again, this is not a criticism on the Rangers or of their prospects. Stop and think about it for a second; how many Rangers are 23 or younger?

The answer is 8, and if not for the Rick Nash deal; it might have been as many as 10. That's out of the 22 man roster so it's not a bad thing if none of the Ranger prospects make the team out of training camp.

If anything, congratulations go to the Rangers for having so many so young players who are also now battle tested. So it's not going to be a bad thing if Christian Thomas, if JT Miller or if Ryan Bourque, or any other Ranger prospect does not make the team out of training camp.

It doesn't mean that during the season we won't see one of these prospects in Broadway blue but if we don't it's not a bad thing. Let's not be in such a rush to get these kids up to the Rangers but got to admit this is a whole lot better than 10 years ago at this very time.

(Edmonton Oil Kings)
The Islanders signed their 2012 first-round pick Griffin Reinhart to an entry-level contract. Good signing, even better pick as this kid is going to become a force on the blue line.


Islanders first round selection in 2012 NHL Draft signs three-year contract

UNIONDALE, NY (August 2, 2012) – The New York Islanders officially announced today that defenseman Griffin Reinhart has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 6’4, 202-pound defenseman was the Islanders first selection (fourth overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday, June 22 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Reinhart, a native of North Vancouver, BC, led Edmonton Oil Kings defensemen with 12 goals in 58 games during the 2011-12 season. The 18-year-old also added 24 assists for 36 points during his second season in the Western Hockey League.

In 2010-11, Reinhart scored 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 45 games as a rookie with Edmonton. A member of bronze medal-winning Team Pacific at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Reinhart recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) in six games..

Reinhart joined the Vancouver Northwest Giants in 2009-10 and captured a BC Major Midget League Championship. He first played midget at age 14, leading the Hollyburn Huskies to a provincial title in 2008-09 by scoring 18 points in six playoff games.


The Other Neil said...

Before the Nash deal, Erixon was the only prospect that had a high chance of cracking the lineup out of camp. There is definitely a gap year in our prospect development at this point.

That said, if there's no lockout (or a very short one), recent history has shown that teams that have gone deep in the playoffs the previous year tend to sustain a higher rate of injuries the following season. If that does come to pass, I just hope some of these not quite ready for primetime prospects can step it up and handle a cup of tea or two. Ironic that both JAM and MZA left when, after the Nash trade, there would actually be room for one of them. (ignoring Torts' tendency away from smaller guys)

Kmp said...

I think Hrivik is ahead of Bourque, Thomas and Miller right now.