Sunday, March 17, 2013

And the clock ran out

Peter Ceresnak (OHL Images)
St. Patrick's Day was not very lucky for the one New York Ranger and one New York Islander prospect who saw their season come to an unhappy ending. Not every prospect has a happy ending to their season or their dream of an NHL career.

Peter Ceresnak (NYR 11 6th) and his Peterborough Petes came up 1 win, 1 point short of making the OHL Eastern Conference playoffs after they dropped their regular season finale to the Brampton Battalion 5-2. An amazing run by the Petes who back in January were 16 points out of 8th place but they can't complain as they had a chance to control their destiny.

Peterborough drew first blood scoring an even strength goal late in the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Brampton took control in the second period scoring a power play goal to first tie the game and then took the lead for good on an even strength goal late in the period.

In the third, Brampton added a early even strength goal before scoring a shorthanded goal which gave them a 4-1 lead that was the backbreaker. The Petes would get a goal back while on the same power play but it wasn't enough.

Ceresnak had a secondary assist on the Pete's second goal to finish his season 3-9-12 as in all likelihood has finished his career with the Petes. Most CHL teams don't bring back European players for an overage season since it would take up 2 spots (overage player and import player) that teams prefer to have flexibility with.

As for the Rangers? Nothing against Ceresnak but in the 2 years in North America that Ceresnak has been here that he has shown anything close into becoming an NHL level player. The Rangers will most likely not sign Ceresnak to any kind of professional contract and Ceresnak will most likely return home to Slovakia.

The only question that remains is how long will the Rangers retain the rights to Ceresnak? Under the new NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement, the draft rights to a European player not selected as a member of a CHL team will be 4 years.

The question is when does this rule go into effect right away, is it retroactive or does it start with the 2013 NHL Entry Draft? Haven't got a clear answer on this so honestly don't know.

Don't call this a failure by the Rangers as the way they used the 6th round pick in 2011 is exactly what how you use it. They saw a prospect who was interested in coming to North America who while a project was one of Slovakia's better young players with NHL size and could fill a Ranger need.

It didn't work so wish Ceresnak the best in the future.

On the other hand, Scott Mayfield (NYI 11 2nd) and his Denver Pioneers may have seen their 2012-2013 season come to an end after a 4-3 loss to Colorado College in game 3 of their WCHA playoff series. Colorado wins the series 2-1 and advances to the WCHA's Final Five.

As for Mayfield and Denver, not sure what to say as Colorado really wanted this game in the third period and think the most telling sign about the effort was even Denver's fans on their home ice did little to rally their own team. The small vocal Colorado fans once they took the lead got louder while Denver's disappeared.

Mayfield was scoreless on 2 shots and a -1 as the next question is did the loss knock Denver out of the NCAA's? The most updated Pairwise rankings has Denver 13th down 3 spots from prior to the game.

If you want to play with the tournaments like I did then Denver is right on the bubble with very little room for any more upsets in the league tournaments. It really should be if you can't even make it past the round of your league tournament then you don't belong in the NCAAs.

Call Denver done as Mayfield finishes 4-13-17 which is respectable for a shutdown defender but 108 PIMs at the college level isn't. First pair defenders need to be on the ice not in the penalty box and Mayfield if he returns to Denver for his junior season needs to chop 40+ minutes from that number.

Finally Brenden Kichton (NYI 11 5th) sat out his Spokane Chief's final regular season game against Portland on Sunday night. Portland sat out a few of their players so it was no big deal for Kichton to sit out as well.

Kichton finishes as the leading scorer among WHL defensemen 22-63-85 and one has to wonder where is his contract from the Islanders? The Islanders can use all the help they can get as they don't have any real offense among their blueline prospects.

Sign him or watch someone else do so.


Richard Torrani said...

According to Arthur Staples twitter the islanders offered Kichton a contract and he declined it and is likely to go back to the draft.... I dont know if this is a negotiation tactic or what.

Jess Rubenstein said...


Thanks for that as I am not a Newsday subscriber. Too many ways to play guessing games with here from the Islanders only offering him a AHL contract to Kichton wanting to try his luck elsewhere.

I don't think an overage player like Kichton can reenter the draft but if he did then that would be a bigger mistake.

Very few prospects move up in the draft when they go through on the 2nd attempt.