Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome to the 2013-2014 season

Anthony Duclair (Quebec Remparts)
As the OHL and WHL teams made their 2013-2014 regular season debuts, the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects didn't have ideal season openers but at least they were interesting. This will be one of the smallest groups of prospects playing in the juniors that is even if all of those eligible to return are sent back.

The Rangers will have just 4 prospects this season and the Islanders could have as few as 5 unless Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, and Alan Quine are sent back. This might be a very strange prospect season for coverage.

Forward Anthony Duclair (NYR 2013 3rd) had a good season debut for his Quebec Remparts with a 2 goal effort but Quebec gave up 4 goals in the 2nd period to lose to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 7-4. Duclair had a power play goal in the first period which gave Quebec a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission. In the 2nd period Duclair had an even strength goal which tied the game up at 3-3 before the Drakkar scored 3 unanswered goals to put the game away.

Wearing an "A" on his jersey, Duclair is looking to rebound from a so-so sophomore effort last season and is being counted on by Quebec to be one of the team leaders in goals. 2 goals is a nice way to start his season and Duclair did it on 2 shots going "even" for game with 1 hit and was 1-2 on faceoffs.

Defenseman Ryan Graves (NYR 2013 4th) is also wearing an "A" this season for his Charlottetown Islanders as they were in Sydney Nova Scotia to face Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) and his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Islanders spotted the Screaming Eagles a 3-1 lead before coming back for a 5-4 win to go 3-0 on the season.

Graves was a -1 on 4 shots and 2 hits with a minor penalty for interference that led to a Cape Breton power play goal. Leduc was a -1 with 2 hits as his Screaming Eagles remained winless at 0-2-0-1.

The Erie Otters have an Islander and Ranger prospect playing defense for them this season with both of them wearing an "A" on their uniforms. Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) and Troy Donnay (NYR 2013 UFA). Neither can say that they had a good game in their season opener as their Erie Otters lost to the Guelph Storm in overtime 4-3.

Pelech took back to back minors in the first period that the Otters actually turned into a shorthanded goal and then Pelech earned a primary assist on the Otter's 2nd goal of the game also in the first period. Pelech followed up the assist with his 3rd minor penalty of the period which the Otters killed off.

Donnay was a -1 on the game but took a "checking from behind" call while the Otters were already killing off a penalty to give the Storm a 2-man advantage that the Storm cashed in for the game tying goal.

Victor Crus-Rydberg (NYI 2013 5th) had a quiet debut for his Plymouth Whalers were shut out 3-0 by the London Knights in the season opener for both teams. Crus-Rydberg was the starting center for the Whalers.

Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) was playing well until the 3rd period when he gave up goals 8 seconds apart as his Kootenay Ice let a 2-1 lead slip away for a 4-2 loss to the Red Deer Rebels. Skapski had given up just 1 goal on 22 shots in the first 2 periods but in the 3rd let 3 in on 20 shots in taking the loss. Overall Skapski gave up 4 goals on 42 shots in the home opener for the Ice.

Doing things a little differently this year

If you noticed the Ranger and Islander pages have been changed as I am going to try to keep an updated page on how the prospects are progressing (or not) this season. There will be a link for you to get updated stats for each player. Your feedback would be welcome to see how I can improve those pages.

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