Rangers Prospect Ranking Update

By Michael Theodore

1. Pavel Brendl

Right Wing/Left Wing
Ht: 6’2
Wt. 200
Shoots: Right

Decent skater who knows the offensive flow. Not as bad defensively as some
would have you believe. Needs to work hard everynight. Amazing talent but
will either be the next Mike Bossy or the next Alex Kovalev. Good size, not
overly physical but has shown signs of a nasty streak. Rangers will work him
hard this summer, he will be in shape or else. Rangers invested a lot in
him and expect big payoff. The potential to be a first line superstar winger.

2. Jamie Lundmark

Center/Right Wing
Ht: 6’0
Wt: 185
Shoots: Right

Speed demon with several gears. Does everything well, even the little things
and does it all at top speeds. Didn’t have the offensive season that Rangers
expected but it should be noted he played on a young team that was quite
honestly horrible. He also was away from the team to spend time with the
Rangers, the Canadian Junior team and the WHL all-star game. After slow start
really poured it on and was actually on roughly a 94 point pace {over 72
games). Don’t worry about the numbers, Jamie works hard and has a ton of
talent. Is and always will be a better all around player than Brendl. Figures
to be a first line center in the crosshairs of a Steve Yzerman / Jeremy
Roenick mold.


3. Tomas Kloucek


Defense
Ht: 6’3
Wt: 210
Shoots: Left

Big stay at home defenseman has made major strides since being drafted in
’98. Is a perfect example of the surprises that come out of the draft every
year. Figures to stand a good chance to make the team next season. Not a huge
penalty minute grabber, but solid and aggressive. He isn’t afraid to mix it
up. Would be a good replacement for Quintal next year. Is fairly agile for a
big man and figures to be similar to Quintal in style of play. A solid number
4 or 5 defenseman who anchors a good offensive defenseman..

4. Mike Mottau

Defense
Ht: 6’0
Wt: 195
Shoots: Left

A good offensive defenseman who covers his own end, Mottau was a late round
pick back in ’97. He is a prime example of what hard work will get you.
Doesn’t have great size but as Brian Leetch proved, with heart you don’t
always need it. While he is no Brian Leetch, Mike knows how to make the
right plays while covering his own end. Fairly hard nosed. He is like a
Schneider only without the lazy lapses. Lets hope the Hobey Baker jinx
doesn’t catch him. Not a number one guy but could be a solid number two much
like Schneider who by the way is a Free Agent. In several years the Rangers
could picture him teaming with Kloucek to form a formidable tandom.

5. Johan Holmqvist

Goalie
Ht: 6’1
Wt: 200

The only thing keeping Holmqvist from being an NHL goalie is his lack of
North American experience. With McLean possibly leaving through expansion and
Richter on the shelf, the time might be right for him to make his move.
Arguably one of the top goalies on the other side of the Atlantic. At 22 time
will start running out as will the Rangers patience to get him to come to
America. It’s totally up to him. He could be an NHL starter.


6. Jason Labarbera

Goalie
Ht: 6’2
Wt: 207

Most people are surprised that he is ranked so high usually but this kid has
the goods. Unfortunately for him he has always played junior hockey on lame
duck teams. Was traded to a contender and immediatly put up big numbers. Has
always maintained a good save percentage on bad teams. He covers the net and
looks to be a Roman Turek style goalie though not as big. Give him a shot and
you could see him come out of the woods as a solid NHL goaltender.

7. Burke Henry

Defense
Ht: 6’3
Wt: 200
Shoots: Left

Granted no one expected him to put up his junior numbers, the Rangers were
certainly expected more from this WHL all-star. He wasn’t that physical and
he didn’t score. He was solid but not spectacular. It could just be he needs
time to develope his skills. Awkward skating style but effective. Figures to
be a solid number 4 defenseman. Needs to bulk up, add another 10 or 15
pounds. Figures to be another year away from the big show, but he does show
promise.

8. Alexei Vasiliev

Defense
Ht: 6’1
Wt: 190
Shoots: Left

Once seen as a sure fire NHL defenseman, injuries slowed Vasiliev progress
until this season. Doesn’t have the offensive skill that the Rangers thought
would emerge. Solid defensivly. Looks like a number 5 or 6 defenseman. Good
skating but gosh he looks smaller than he is listed. Generously listed at
190. Could make the team next season. Hat to make jump this year or faces the
possibility of becoming a minor league defenseman.

9. Jeff Dessner

Defense
Ht: 6’1
Wt: 195

Fell off the Radar and suddenly reemerged this year. Healthy and ready to go
he looks like he might turn out to be a player yet. Stay at home with some
offensive talent, he could very well turn into a sixth defenseman.


10. Johan Asplund

Goalie
Ht: 6’1
Wt: 195

Was stuck behind Holmqvist before finally being traded. Is actually a little
bit further along than Holmqvist was at his age. Got the chance to show his
stuff on a new team and has the Rangers thinking of bringing him over in a
few years. Blocked my Labarbera and Holmqvist but still one to keep your eye
on for a sleeper.

The Outside Looking In

Stefan Cherneski: RW, 6’1, 200, Shoots: Left

Injuries have cost this kid two years. Has all the talent to be an Adam
Graves type winger. Will he ever prevail, jury still out.


Wes Jarvis: D, 6’5, 220, Shoots: Left

Needs to assert himself and be dedicated to getting to the NHL. Doesn’t play
like his size lists always.


Patrick Aufiero: D, 6’2, 195

A throw in during the Savard/ Lundmark deal, he has emerged as a solid
player. Exclusion from top ten based more on other defenseman just being
closer to the show.


David Inman: LW/C, 6’1, 200, Shoots: Left

He has the size and skating but can’t seem to put the package together…yet.


Daniel Goneau: LW, 6’0, 195, Shoots: Left

Face it people, he is 24 and a minor league winger/occasional call
up…nothing more.


Dale Purinton: D, 6’3, 220, Shoots: Left

Hard to call him a prospect, he is 24 and a goon. Stands a good chance of
making the team only in Langdon does not return. Looks more like a minor
leaguer unless he converts to wing full time.


Bryce Wandler: G, 6’0, 190

Tough call, put up good numbers in the WHL but he is 21 and one has to wonder
why he was passed up in every draft since ’97. Still he could be a surprise,
just look at Ed Belfour. Figures to make AHL this season. The rest is a crap
shoot.