1. Jamie Lundmark, C/W, Hartford (AHL)People forget when he was drafted in ’99 that he was seen as being a few years away, despite his immense talent. The flashes he showed before were merely a bonus. This year provides a very shot for him. Though it will likely be as a winger. No problem, Lundmark is more then capable of that.
He’ll never be a first line force but Murray should make an impact in a year or so as third liner. His skill level is high enough that he wouldn’t look out of place playing occasionally on the second line as well. Will need at least a year in Hartford.
2. Garth Murray, C/LW, Regina (WHL)/Hartford (AHL)
Probably has the potential to be much higher but there are just little things in his game that scare me. His defensive positioning needs work, as does his timing on jumping into the play. Still he has high end potential ranging as high as even a number 2 defenseman.
3. Fedor Tyutin, D, Guelph Storm (OHL)
Another player rushed into the NHL, Fata deserves a shot in this years training camp. He’ll never score 30 goals, but his speed and checking ability could be useful.
4. Rico Fata, C/W, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Would probably have a shot anywhere else but here. Still his game has some holes that will keep him from being higher then a number 5 defenseman. I don’t see him making the squad with the “depth” this team has. Pencil him in for another team.
5. Mike Mottau, D, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
The Rangers would like to get him oversea’s as soon as they clear up their log jam in goal. He probably won’t displace Dan Blackburn, but could be a valuable asset for the Rangers.
6. Henrik Lundqvist, G, Vastra Frolunda (SEL)
If he was two inches taller he’d likely be battling for the number two or three spot. Isn’t as big as Murray but he has a higher offensive upside. The duo could potentially form a skiller but energetic third line someday. His game just keeps getting better, and his fiestiness makes him stand out amongst other players under 6-feet.
7. Ryan Hollweg, C/W, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Smallish center has some great speed but is probably a defensive plug. Works extremely hard and though he lacks his brothers’ size, he plays with more heart and that could be the deciding factor. That heart could be more then the some of his parts. Wishful thinking is him developing into a Todd Marchant type player.
8. Dominic Moore, C, Harvard Crimson (ECAC)
Two way defenseman should get a start in the AHL. He isn’t outstanding in any one area which may be his greatest characteristic or his greatest flaw, depending on who you talk to.
9. Patrick Aufiero, D, Boston University Terriers (Hockey East)
Doesn’t get noticed because there is very little “flash” to his game. He takes his man out, plays a solid positional game and since he will play next year with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, his PIM number should reflect his mean streak. Reminds me a lot of Kevin Lowe or Robyn Regehr.
10. Bryce Lampman, D, Univeristy of Omaha-Nebraska (CCHA)
Has been more consistent but seems to have hit his ceiling. He’s 24 now and likely could be a backup for an expansion team or a team in need of one. His lateral movement is his achilles heel. Move him side to side and he is very vulnerable.
11. Johan Holmqvist, G, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Gets his ranking probably on talent alone. Aside from Jamie Lundmark, he has probably the highest set of skills of any player the Rangers have. Terribly inconsistent and can’t often duplicate his practice moves in a real game situation. He remains an Enigma and this training camp should cast some light on him.
12. David Inman, C, University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (CCHA)
Big forwards take longer to develop so the jury is still out here. I wasn’t too impressed with what I saw, which was size and not much upside. Reminds me a lot of Bob Corkum and not Bobby Holik. I had several players ranked higher and actually though he would slip into the third round. If he devlelopes and put’s it all together, I still think he is a third line center.
13. Lee Falardeau, C, Michigan State University Spartans (CCHA)
Speedster’s future will depend a lot on what he shows this year. A great character player but one who has yet to put all his above average abilities together. If he does, he could have a monster year. Still he just doesn’t look like a scorer but his game is rounded enough that he could be a useful third liner, possibly adding speed to a combination with Murray and Hollweg.
14. Shawn Collymore, C, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
The longer he remains oversea’s the further he slides down the depth chart. Doesn’t seem interested in moving and looks likely to never come over. Still he has some talent and moves side to side better then Holmqvist.
15. Johan Asplund, G, Brynas Gavle (SEL)
Zidlicky is a 24-year-old Czech defenseman who has played in Finland the past few years. Continues to be one of the top defenseman in that league. Has a powerful shot and a mean streak, although he is rather small. He signed a one year contract with HIFK for this season, so he won’t be making it over to North America just yet.
16. Marek Zidlicky, D, HIFK Helsinki (FIN)
Hasn’t been awful since leaving juniors but hasn’t risen above the rest either. His temper will cost him some games this upcoming season as he serves a suspension. Of all the goaltenders actually battling in the minors for a spot, he probably has the most talent. Needs to be consistent. The old story was he was pretty good on inconsistent teams, now he’s inconsistent on some pretty good teams.
17. Jason Labarbera, G, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
After playing at a higher level of competion, Jonasen could jump right into the top ten. Right now though there’s no way of judging his abilities on a higher level. He’s a big kid with wheels and a nose for the net. Keep an eye on him.
18. Marcus Jonasen, LW, Sweden
Has made a lot of stides in the past two years. If he continues to develope he will move higher, I never expected him to get this far but his skill level has proven to better then expected. Keep an eye on him this year.
19. Petr Preucil, C, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Came out of nowhere and surprised everyone. His determination might be enough for him to climb in the rankings and surprise even more people. Still, a lot went right for him last year and a drop off could be expected.
20. Scott Meyer, G, Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Bio’s were contributed by Edge and Brandon (Zidlicky)