Getting Straight to the Point

By Michael Theodore
As the Former Rangers editor {other jobs within the industry have taken my time, prompting me to shift my focus to scouting instead of overseeing} I have watched the results of the past three drafts closely and have acquired a knowledge and understanding of those players drafted. Most of the stories in the New York area papers tend to be off beat and mis-informed about “future” Rangers. So for this article I’ve decided to respond to some rumblings I’ve heard as of late.

1. Jamie Lundmark is not going anywhere. Though the Rangers brass was less then pleased about his trade demand, they have seen Jamie turn the entire Seattle team around with his presence and performance.

2. Sather knows better then to ship Lundmark out in any deal, Lundmark is still the first line center of the future regardless of what writers 3,000 miles away might try to say.

3. Malhotra on the other hand is more likely to be traded. He hasn’t been bad but let’s be honest Muckler probably wasn’t very far off on his assessment of Manny. Manny should be a bigger, more aggressive version of Tim Taylor. 20 Goals is about his limit.

4. One of the Rangers goaltending prospects is the one who is the future. It is still Holmqvist on the inside track, but LaBarbera is a dark horse.

5. Pavel Brendl will not be a flop, it’s better to bring a 20 year old to the NHL then an 18 year old. In 5 years no one will remember the fact that he didn’t play as an 18 year old.

6. Mike Mottau is not and never will be the next Leetch. No way, no how. He will be a dependable two way defender, but he is a shade below the Brian Leetch level.

7. Kloucek will be a top 3 defenseman for the next 10 years, if he gets a shot. He is a bigger version of Norstrom, and more advanced at a younger age.

8. Dale Purinton is a number 7 defenseman, nothing more.

9. Stefan Cherneski will probably never be the player he could have been. Missing one year is hard enough, but two is the end of a once promising career.

10. Not every prospect will match the hype, Brandon, Evan, myself do all we can to project these kids so please no bashing if someone doesn’t “match the hype”.

And now I am finally updating my projections for the Rangers prospects. On the left is their name and the right is their comparison player. This is based on projections, the results are subject to change. This is not saying these kids will be exactly like these players or even as good, it is just a comparison to give some idea of the type player they are or might become.

Pavel Brendl               Ziggy Palffy
Jamie Lundmark             Joe Sakic
Mike Mottau                Matt Schneider
Tomas Kloucek              Mattias Norstrom
Johan Holmqvist            Roman Turek
Jason Labarbera            Kirk McLean {but bigger}
Filip Novak                Kim Johnsson
Garrett Bembridge          Curtis Brown {with less offense}
Burke Henry                Brad Norton {more physical though
Pat Aufiero                Doug Lidster