Pavel Brendl continues to impress the New York Rangers at the Junior Level. Brendl was named WHL player of the week after his 4-3-7 in 3 games performance and is currently leading the WHL in scoring with 33-31-64, one pt ahead of teammate Brad Moran(33-30-63).
The upcoming World Junior A Championships begin Christmas Day and several New York Rangers prospects are to be donning their national team jersey. A preliminary listing includes: Pat Aufiero and Dave Inman (TEAM USA), Manny Malhorta and Jamie Lundmark (TEAM CANADA), Johan Asplund (SWEDEN), Arto Laatikainen (FINLAND). Of this group, many eyes will be on TEAM CANADA captain and seldom used New York Rangers center Manny Malhotra (6-3 218). Malhotra fell out of favor in New York with the emergence of Mike York and the resurgence of Alexander Daigle. Malhotra may be packaged to acquire a Keith Primeau or Bill Guerin type player. The World`s will provide him with the opportunity to showcase his talents and possible gain more ice time in New York. But Team Canada struggled early in a training match , falling 7-1 to SWEDEN. The USA fell to RUSSIA 3-1 as well.
The baby Rangers continue to play well in Hartford (16-8-5-1) and one point behind Division Leader Portland. Derek Armstrong (11-20-31), Brad Smyth (17-13-30), Mike Harder (12-11-23) and Ken Gernander (8-13-21) are the leading scorers in Hartford and will represent Canada and Planet USA in the upcoming AHL all-star game. Tomas Kloucek has also been named to the Planet USA Team.
In New York, Baby Rangers Mike York, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson continue to be important parts to the surging Rangers club. Johnsson has taken over much of the offense from the injured Brian Leetch. Johnsson`s play has been “gutsy” and even after a mistake continues to bounce back. He has pushed players such as Kevin Hatcher and Mathieu Schneider to another level after their previously low levels. Hlavac has been superb while playing with Petr Nedved. While Nedved struggles, Hlavac has flourished and looks to be the player Neil Smith and the World Championships crowd saw that he was this past May. Mike York struggled for a bit but has found his way back, although just a rookie he shows signs of being an everyday player for a long time in New York, perhaps the new Rangers version of Doug Weight.
SWEDISH ELITE SERIES
PLAYER GP MINS SH GA GAA SVS SV% SO PIM
Asplund, Johan 5 313:17 147 18 3.45 129 87.76 0 0
Holmqvist, Johan 23 1382:53 574 56 2.43 518 90.24 4 4
PLAYER POS GP G A TP PIM
Lundqvist, Stefan RW 28 3 1 4 6
Sundin, Ronnie D 28 4 3 7 24
Lindbom, Johan LW 15 3 3 6 16
Merry Christmas…..and a Happy New Year…..!!!!!