The New York Rangers have some very good forward prospects in their organization. Although the overall depth at forward is not spectacular, it is solid to say the least. Most of the good young forwards in the Rangers’ organization are already playing in the NHL, in players such as Radek Dvorak, Jan Hlavac, Mike York and Manny Malhotra, but there are still the crown jewels in Jamie Lundmark and Pavel Brendl waiting in the wings, and other players with NHL potential.
Whether or not any rookies at forward make the Rangers this season remains to be seen. Everyone who participates in training camp will be given an equal opportunity to make the team. If a certain player steps up and shows that he is ready for the NHL and can contribute to the team, Glen Sather and the New York Rangers staff will not hold that player back. Jamie Lundmark and Pavel Brendl are heading into their 3rd training camp, and hopefully for the Rangers the saying “Three’s a charm” comes true.
Well, with that, I will now take a look at the forward prospects for the New York Rangers. (Note: Excluded from this article are Jay Dardis, Petter Henning, Brandon Dietrich and Alexei Bulatov, simply because I have not seen enough of them to give a fair assessment.)
The world championship and the NHL Entry Draft in this year let us say: Germany is back.
Next time to shine: the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in February 2002. The rosters must be named till December, 22nd. The big nations currently named some players, Germany named nobody. And there will be much time go by till german national team coach Hans Zach name the first player. An interesting thing he said regarding the Olympic Games: All players with chances to be named will be watched, including the germans in the north american minor leagues. Read more»
Rutherford has made a good effort to try and solidify the future of this franchise for years to come. There is still work that must be done. Among other things, they need to bolster their defense, which they have tried to do, and drafting Russian backliner Igor Knyazev has been a giant step in the right direction. They also needed to try and get a decent back-up goaltender, to smooth over that position. They are still in need of a bit of work on the wings, in adding size, and Chris Dingman could possibly be the answer there, but he has been a big disappointment as a pro. The scoring touch he showed as a junior hasn’t been there, although he won’t be expected to score in a ‘Canes uniform, he can be more than a goon.
1. Zepp, Rob
Rob Zepp was in his final season with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, which is also owned by ‘Canes owner Peter Karmanos, was a final cut from Canada’s National Junior Team. He put in his best season yet in Plymouth, and with the help of other ‘Cane prospects, including the likes of Damian Surma, Jared Newman and Tomas Kurka, took the Whalers to the OHL finals, only to lose to the Ottawa ’67’s, and a goal by their Captain, Joe Talbot. He failed to come to terms with his original drafting team, the Atlanta Thrashers, so he re-entered, and was selected almost exactly where the Thrashers took him in ’99, but eleven picks lower, at #110. He looks like a very good bet to be a big part of the ‘Canes future.
2000-01 Plymouth OHL 55GP 34W 18L 3T 2.26GAA .916SV%
2. DeFauw, Brad Read more»
The Canadian Hockey Association announced the addition of center Joel Stepp to the Canadian National Junior Team Camp on Friday. The 18-year-old Torquay, Saskatchewan native played for the Memorial Cup Champion Red Deer Rebels of the WHL last season, his second full year in the league. A third round pick of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Stepp posted 24 goals and 37 points primarily as a defensive forward last season with the Rebels.
He joins teammates Colby Armstrong, Shane Bendera, Doug Lynch, and Jeff Woywitka in the current camp, which runs through August 10th at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary, Alberta.
Year Team League GP G A Pts PIM
1998-99 Estevan Ban. AA 60 65 70 135 120
1998-99 Red Deer WHL 2 0 0 0 0
1999-00 Red Deer WHL 65 11 13 24 59
1999-00* Red Deer WHL 4 1 0 1 8
2000-01 Red Deer WHL 70 24 13 37 89
2000-01* Red Deer WHL 22 6 3 9 24
* = playoffs
The teams that meet in the Stanley Cup Finals this past June have something in common, besides from being excellent hockey teams with great players. Both the New Jersey Devils and the Colorado Avalanche have made some excellent draft picks, developed the prospects’ talents and abilities in the minor leagues, and have fostered and advanced their careers in the NHL. Arguably, the Devils have one of the best General Managers in professional sports today on a wide variety of levels in Lou Lamoriello. Without him, the architect of the system, the Devils would not have been so successful. Along with the assistance of Dave Conte, head of scouting and Claude Carrier, assistant director of scouting, the Devils have established an exceptional network of scouting throughout Europe, Russia, and North America including the collegiate ranks. They know what they are looking for in potential players, draft them and develop them in the juniors or in the AHL. It is very obvious that the success of the franchise depends upon it, however, what might not be too obvious is that the secret of the Devils success lies within the second round of every entry draft.
First, when a team like the New Jersey Devils experience so much success and accomplish so much, you are not going to be drafting high in the first round every year. Two Stanley Cup Championships, another Finals appearance, an Eastern Conference Finals birth, and several Atlantic Division Crowns, all of this since the early ‘90’s, is going to place you no higher than number 20 or 25 for your first selection. Since 1990, Read more»