Rangers News on Malhotra, Novak and More!

By Brandon LeBourveau

Novak Not Going to WJC: Rangers defensive prospect Filip Novak will not be playing for the Czech Republic at this years World Junior Championships, as he is having problems with his former Czech team. According to what is being said, when Novak first left the Czech Republic for the Regina Pats last year, he left without permission and that has caused a problem with his former Czech team, which in some way they are not letting him play in the WJC. I suppose Rangers’ assistant GM Don Maloney didn’t know of the situation as he said on TV earlier in the year that Novak will be playing 😉 . However, Pavel Brendl will be on the Czech team and will look to make a name for himself, if he hasn’t done so already.

The Sophomores: How good have Mike York, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson been for the Rangers this season? They have all been playing key roles on the team this year. Johnsson is the 3rd/4th defenseman, York the 3rd line center, but has been playing on the 1st PP and PK units, and Jan Hlavac has been playing 2nd line LW with Petr Nedved and Radek Dvorak. York has been a superb player for the Rangers, as his name has always come up in the press. Mark Messier, Theo Fleury, Ron Low and everyone else on the Rangers have said nothing but great things about York. He should continue to be a great two way center. Hlavac is on pace to score about 25 goals this year, and he will be a consistent 30 goal scorer in the NHL. While many Rangers fans have proposed trade offers with his name included, I don’t see any way Sather can trade Hlavac. He is not only good offensively, but defensively as well and has good hockey instincts. Johnsson has been a very good, puck rushing defenseman. He has great offensive abilities, although doesn’t see much PP time as Fleury and Leetch play the points and stay out the whole 2 minutes. Johnsson should continue to be a solid no. 3 defenseman.