Thursday, December 6, 2012

Playing the messenger

Ryan Strome (OHL Images)
I keep telling people that what happens here is simply repeating what the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects have done. Case in point is Ryan Strome the Islander's 2011 first round pick who has owned the "Prospect of the Week" the last few weeks.

Strome has been on fire really since opening night as the OHL's leading scorer (20-39-59) in 30 games played has recorded points in 28 of them. November was very much Strome's month as he scored in all 13 games that he played in (9-26-35) so it is no surprise that Ryan Strome was named as the "OHL Player of the Month."

The press release from the OHL:

Ryan Strome of the Niagara IceDogs led the OHL in November scoring with 35 points in 13 games producing nine goals with a league-high 26 assists. He also recorded the league’s best plus-minus rating with a mark of plus-18. Strome picked up a point in all 13 games he played last Month and had 10 multi-point contests. He is currently on a 14-game point streak which is one behind the OHL’s longest streak of the season set by rookie Connor McDavid. Strome was twice recognized as first star of the game and received third star honours six times including back-to-back games where he recorded five-point performances. On November 3 he scored a goal and four assists in a 9-4 win over the Guelph Storm then did the same to the Peterborough Petes on November 4 in the 6-4 victory.

Strome, a 19-year-old from Mississauga, ON, is playing in his fourth OHL season and leads the league in scoring with 59 points in 30 games contributing 20 goals and 39 assists. The New York Islanders prospect selected fifth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft was also named Player of the Game for Team OHL on November 12 with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 victory over Team Russia in the 2012 SUBWAY Super Series. A returning member of Canada’s National Junior Team, Strome will attend Canada’s Selection Camp for the 2013 World Junior Championship beginning December 10.

Game Action

It was the battle of 2011 5th round picks as Brenden Kichton (NYI) led his Spokane Chiefs up against Shane McColgan (NYR) and his Saskatoon Blades. This one went the way of the Chiefs as they jumped on the Blades for 2 quick goals then cruised to a 4-1 win.

Neither prospect scored as Kichton saw his 6 game scoring streak end (1-10-11) but was a +2 while McColgan may have been a -2 but he was really the only Blade to show up from the start of the game. Spokane improves to 4-0 on their Eastern road trip but also extend their unbeaten streak to 8 games (7-0-1-0).

Saskatoon dropped their 2nd straight and saw their record fall back below 500 at 13-14-0-1.

Then there was Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) and Griffin Reinhart (NYI 2012 1st) and their Edmonton Oil Kings on the road to play the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Someone forgot to pack the Oil King's game as they were spanked 6-2 by the Hurricanes.

Sorry this one was a clunker as the Oil Kings must have forgot that Lethbridge almost beat them last Sunday in Edmonton. Even worse was the effort by the Oil King special teams as they surrendered 2 power play goals on 5 attempts while failing to cash in on any of their 5 chances.

Neither prospect scored as Reinhart was a -1 and St. Croix a -2. Edmonton needs to understand that they need to grab as many wins as possible before they start losing players to the World Under-20 championships.

In the QMJHL, Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) and his Baie-Comeau Drakkar stopped a 3 game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Gatineau Olympiques. Noreau was scoreless on the evening not even attempting a shot.

It was good news/bad news for Peter Ceresnak (NYR 2011 6th) as the good news was that he was selected to play for Slovakia in the upcoming World Under-20 Championships. The bad news is that he doesn't get to leave until the the 8th so he still has to play for the Peterborough Petes.

On Wednesday, Ceresnak and the Petes were in Belleville to play the Bulls and at least they earned a point losing 3-2 in overtime. The season of frustration continues as the Petes are a textbook in underachievement as they have some talent but it doesn't show up every night.

Right now the biggest surprise would be if the Rangers offer Ceresnak even an AHL contract as you hate to say this but there is zero forward progress since being drafted. Ceresnak should not be 1-2-3 after 30 games but he is and a -15 is not going to give the Rangers any thought that he is a stay at home defender.

He was worth taking a shot on with a 6th round pick but not every prospect who gets drafted winds up with a contract.

It could be worse like it is in the case of Cody Rosen (NYI 2010 7th) as Rosen has spent 4 years at Clarkson and has not gotten to play during his 4 seasons there. Clarkson defeated St. Lawrence 4-1 with Rosen once again a "DNP."

Still you have to respect Rosen for not quitting and taking full advantage of his scholarship. If you caught this article on Rosen in the New York Times then you will see why despite all he has faced; Rosen still has people rooting for him to make it.

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