As the much anticipated 2002-03 training camp opens in Northern Vermont the Rangers faithful are showing more signs of excitement than in recent years. Here is the 2002-03 training camp roster for Rookies and non-NHL regulars. Ken Gernander, Dixon Ward, Mike Mottau and others are not figured as they have NHL and or many years of AHL experience and are not classified as a “rookie” in this writing.
Garrett Burnett(New Haven-UHL & Cincinnati-AHL)
Ryan Hollweg(Medicine Hat-WHL)
David Inman(Notre Dame-CCHA)
Garth Murray(Regina-WHL & Hartford-AHL)
Chris St.Jacques(Medicine Hat-WHL)
Jon Tripp(Pensacola-ECHL & Hartford-AHL)
NOTE: Of this group the favorites to earn a spot or a more serious look are Garth Murray at wing, Jamie Lundmark at wing and center and Bobby Andrews. On the outside Patrick Yetman is one to keep an eye on but will likely be assigned to Hartford. Shawn Collymore is also looking good as is Brandon Cullen(29 pts) who both had solid post seasons in the Canadian Junior System.
Pat Aufiero(Boston U-HE)
NOTE: Of this group Fedor Tjutin is one the all eyes are on. After a shining rookie camp this fluid skater is already being primed as the new darling of the system. Big Jeff State at 6-6 235 is a very feist defender who has turned a lot of heads with his style of physical play in both college and in rookie camp. Craig Weller has also looked solid and much is expected of Pat Aufiero who has in very mature but has struggled offensively in Hockey East(US-College) when a lot more was expected.
Scott Meyer(Charlotte-ECHL & Hartford-AHL)
NOTE:Of this group the question is who will be number three behind Richter and Blackburn. Johan Holmqvist whom has had cups of coffee in the NHL the last 2 seasons is back for another shot. The number three guy will be the number one in Hartford. Scott Meyer looks decent and will earn ice time at the AHL level as will Jason LaBarbera if and when Holmqvist is recalled.
FINAL NOTE I:Let me know your opinions on who you think will make it or who has a serious shot at making the Rangers. I will then post an article on the responses from the readers! The full roster is available at the Rangers team site and throughout the North American via every major newspaper.
FINAL NOTE II: On the anniversary of the attacks against freedom on 9-11 please take time to honor those who fell and those who are out there defending our right to think and live freely. And please take the time to slow down and smell the flowers along the side of the road! Events such as what happened 1 year ago should really put things in a proper perspective!