* All information through NHL games on Oct. 20
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 20
* All information through NHL games on Oct. 18
There isn’t much to say other than that the hockey world is in shock after the news of a plane crash that happened near the city of Yaroslavl in Central Russia. According to Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry, the crash has claimed the lives of at least 43 people, the majority of which are the members of the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv.
There were New York Ranger connections to several of the players who were killed. Alexander Karpotsev, a member of the 1994 Rangers’ Stanley Cup team was a coach on the team. Karel Rachunek was a defenseman who played parts of two seasons in New York and Jan Marek who was selected by the Blueshirts in round 8 (#243 overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Continue reading
Another tragic story rocked the pro hockey world Wednesday when another former tough guy battling personal issues, Wade Belak, was found dead in his Toronto condominium.
Belak, who was 35, announced his retirement from hockey in March and was training to compete in “Battle of the Bladers,” a Canadian Broadcasting Company show that is hockey’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.” Dying seeming impossible after he had posted on Twitter on Tuesday night, joking with 2006 Olympic pairs silver medalist Tanith Belbin.
Although these “fan-fare” articles are supposed to be about the Rangers, this is still a Connecticut Whale blog, dedicated to the future of the franchise. This post will still be about the Rangers, but more importantly, what the future of the prospect pool has in store for us.
Before the NHL Entry draft this past June, HockeysFuture.com had the New York Rangers prospect depth rated as 7th best among the 30 NHL franchises. This is a number that on that date (May 31, 2011) I could get behind. However with the addition of guys like Tim Erixon, JT Miller and Stephen Fogarty between May 31st and now, it’s a ranking that should either stay the same or go up.
This article will rank the Rangers top 3 prospects and (attempt to) predict when they will be making an impact at the NHL level. For this article alone, anyone who has registered a game at the NHL level will not be considered a prospect (even though that’s bologna) but this way we can give you, the viewer, a better look at the deeper parts of the Rangers prospect pool and introduce you to some names that you may have never heard about. So forget about guys like Dale Weise, Mats Zuccarello, even Ryan McDonagh (but not for long because they’re important too), and focus on the future.
Let’s get it started…
Veteran right wing Jeremy Williams, the Connecticut Whale’s leading goal scorer and only AHL All-Star last season, won’t be returning to Hartford.
The 27-year-old Williams wasn’t offered a new contract by the parent New York Rangers and has signed a one-year deal with the EC Salzburg Red Bulls in the Austrian Elite League, where his opponents will include former Hartford Wolf Pack players Craig Weller, Cory Larose, Marvin Degon, Francois Fortier, Mike Ouellette, Burke Henry and Tyler Donati.
In his only season with the Whale, Williams led the team with 32 goals, tying his career high with the Grand Rapids Griffins the previous season, and was second in points with 55, six behind center and close friend Kris Newbury, who is signed for next season. Williams was scoreless in one game with the Rangers.
Reports throughout the New York media say the Rangers will buy out the final year of captain/center Drury’s five-year, $35.25 million contract.
“He’s gone,” a source told the New York Daily News.
Jess Rubenstein of Prospect Park called Campbell “the comeback kid who rebuilt his entire game” at Western Michigan University and should have been given at least an amateur tryout contract with the Whale at the end of last season.
“The lack of centers, let alone those who are natural goal scorers in the system, should have been enough to earn Campbell a look,” Rubenstein said via email. “The kid scored some huge season-saving goals for Western Michigan. Heck, Campbell is the kid who knocked off (wing) Carl Hagelin and Michigan in the CCHA (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) semifinals. He had one game where he scored with like 0.09 on the clock to beat Notre Dame.
McGill wasn’t retained by the Calgary Flames, making him the third member of the coaching staff to be let go after the team missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Goalie coach Jamie McLennan and assistant Rob Cookson also didn’t have the option years of their contracts picked up. Dave Lowry is the only assistant to be retained under coach Brent Sutter.