HFNHL NY Rangers Top 20 Prospects (warning - long ;)

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by SPG, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. SPG

    SPG Registered User

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    NOTE: Well, this turned out to be a lot longer and more in depth than I originally planned... hopefully someone reads it ;) Also, as a disclaimer, just because I have someone ranked lower on this list or in the HM section doesn't mean they don't have value to me. My prospect pool has a lot more depth than in recent years, so some good prospects are ranked lower than they would be.

    With the HFNHL New York Rangers struggling again this season, it’s time again to look toward the future. The Rangers were able to add several key prospects at the 2006 HFNHL draft in Michael Frolik, Trevor Lewis, Nick Foligno and others. With three picks in the first three rounds in 2007, there should be more quality additions to the prospect pool this summer. A few key free agent signings, such as Jonathan Ericsson and Drew Miller have added to the stable as well. That, combined with recent prospect graduates Shea Weber, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Petr Prucha, Jim Slater, and Freddy Meyer already playing in the HFNHL, should make a bright future for the Rangers.

    Here’s a look at this year’s Top 20 list…

    1. C/W Michael Frolik
    Acquired: 2006 draft, 1st round (9th overall)
    Once touted as a potential top pick in the 2006 draft, Frolik’s stock fell a bit before draft day, but the HFNHL’s Rangers liked what they saw enough to select him with the 9th pick. Frolik made the jump to North America and joined the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic in order to get more playing time this season. Rimouski is an inexperienced team loaded with younger players and Frolik took on a leading role, a much different situation compared to playing with men in the Czech Republic. He finished with 31 goals, and 73 points in 52 games and was named to the QMJHL’s All-Rookie team. Frolik also had a good showing at the U20 World Junior Championships in December/January and was considered the Czech Republic’s best player in the tournament. Frolik is expected to continue his development in the QMJHL next season.
    Notes: Ranked as 19th best prospect by The Hockey News. Ranked as 43rd best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “Frolik has excellent hands and scoring touch, but needs to work on his strength and physical play.” – The Hockey News

    2. D Jakub Kindl
    Acquired: 2005 draft, 1st round (20th overall)
    A player who took a similar path to the HFNHL Rangers organization as fellow countryman Frolik, Kindl was also a player once touted as a possible top five pick and saw his stock drop approaching his draft year. Kindl is a big defenseman at 6’3, 202lbs, with good offensive skills. Jakub was one of the last cuts from the NHL Red Wings training camp last fall after an impressive showing. He was, however, returned to the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers and took on a greater leadership role with the club. He averaged more than a point per game from the blueline this season, tallying 11 goals, 55 points in 54 games played. Kindl was also a +23 and racked up 143 minutes in penalties, among the team leaders in both categories. There have been concerns in the past about his defensive play, but Kindl showed great improvement in the defensive zone this season. Kindl failed to produce in past OHL playoffs, so this year’s postseason will be a test for him. He’s played well so far, with a goal and an assist in Kitchener’s first three games. Look for Kindl to spend some time in the AHL next season with the occasional NHL call-up.
    Notes: Ranked as 25th best prospect by The Hockey News. Ranked as 50th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “He’s become the leader of the team, playing 30 to 40 minutes a game in all situations. He’s a strong skater who sees the ice well and moves the puck well. And he’s improved his defensive game.” – NHL Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill

    3. C Trevor Lewis
    Acquired: 2006 draft, 2nd round (49th overall)
    Lewis is a late bloomer who was passed over in the 2005 draft. At the time of his draft selection, he was committed to playing for the NCAA’s Michigan Wolverines, but ended up spurning Michigan and joining Owen Sound of the OHL. With excellent speed and solid two-way play, Lewis can play in all situations. He finished with 29 goals and 73 points in 62 games this season. Lewis will likely play in the AHL next season and continue honing his game for the next level.
    Notes: Ranked as 55th best prospect by The Hockey News
    Quotes: “He still has a lot to learn, but he has shown a willingness to learn.” – NHL Kings GM Dean Lombardi

    4. C/LW Nick Foligno
    Acquired: 2006 draft, 2nd round (39th overall)
    Foligno, son of former player Mike Foligno, has hockey in his genes. He plays a, gritty, feisty game, and isn’t afraid to work in the corners. Foligno can contribute offensively as well, chipping in 31 goals and 88 points for the Subury Wolves of the OHL this season. His offensive potential at the next level is still up for debate, but he currently projects as a two-way third line forward. He will make the jump to pro hockey next season.
    Notes: Ranked as 46th best prospect by The Hockey News
    Quotes: “The younger Foligno works hard, plays similar to his father and goes to the net. He’s going to need that at the NHL level and there’s not a scout who doesn’t believe he will play in the league.” –The Hockey News

    5. C/LW Chris Bourque
    Acquired: 2004 draft, 4th round (106th overall)
    The fifth prospect on this list also has family ties. Bourque, son of Ray Bourque, is an undersized forward at only 5’8, 180lbs, in his second year in the AHL. Prior to playing in the AHL, Bourque played one season for Boston University (NCAA). Bourque has improved his numbers in his second AHL season, with 20 goals and 47 points in 67 games so far for Hershey. He has proved to be much more durable this season than he did last year when he was limited to only 52 games. Bourque will need to continue to work on his strength to make it to the next level.
    Notes: Ranked as Washingon’s 5th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “Hall of Famer’s son relies on attitude, skills to overcome small stature.” – The Hockey News.

    6. D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
    Acquired: Trade with Carolina, 2006
    Tollefsen is a big defensive defenseman who loves the physical aspect of the game. Known for his bruising hits and punishing style, he uses his big body (6’2, 211lbs) effectively. The big Norwegian is currently playing with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets and has registered 2 goals and 5 points in 66 games while playing solid defensive hockey. He has very limited offensive potential, but that’s not his game. Look for OKT to join the NFNHL Rangers next season in some capacity.
    Notes: Ranked as Columbus’ 7th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “Tollefsen isn’t intimidated to be playing at the highest level. While he will not provide much offensively, the Oslo, Norway native certainly isn’t a liability on the ice.” –Hockey’s Future

    7. D Nathan Paetsch
    Acquired: Trade with Florida, 2005
    Paetsch is another defenseman playing in the NHL, but his game couldn’t be more different than Tollefsen’s. Paetsch is a smooth skating defenseman with good passing skills and finesse to his game. Currently with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, he has 2 goals and 24 points in 59 games. Paetsch is a weapon on the powerplay, but he needs to continue to work on his defensive play. He played a bit of forward in the minor leagues, but his future is as an offensive defenseman. He is already under contract with the HFNHL Rangers, so look for him to contribute in the 2007-08 season.
    Notes: Ranked as Buffalo’s 11th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “He has a good shot and is known for working hard and bringing his game every night. A very intelligent player and a good leader…” – Hockey’s Future

    8. D Jonathan Ericsson
    Acquired: Free Agent, 2007
    Ericsson has made big strides in his development this season, his first in North America. The big Swede stands at 6’4, but he will need to continue to fill out his frame as he only weighs in at 195lbs. Ericsson is a converted forward who is a very raw player, but has a big upside as a mobile defenseman. He has 27 points in 57 games this season with Grand Rapids (AHL). Look for him to get a long look at NHL Red Wings camp next year, but continue his development in the AHL.
    Notes: Ranked as Detroit’s 6th best prospect by The Hockey News.
    Quotes: “Ericsson has many of the attributes needed to become a good defenseman: size, reach, physical strength, a very hard shot and a great attitude.” – Elite Prospects

    9. D Raymond Macias
    Acquired: 2005 draft, 6th round (181st overall)
    Macias put together an excellent season in his overage year for Kamloops (WHL). He finished with 30 goals and 70 points in 70 games playing as a full-time defenseman. A similar player to Paetsch, he had switched back and forth between defense and forward in previous seasons. Macias’ biggest shortcoming is his defensive play and he will need to improve that to make it at the next level.
    Notes: Ranked as Colorado’s 8th best prospect by Hockey’s Future.
    Quotes: “Macias is a savvy offensive-minded defenseman who has a nose for the back of the net.” – Hockey’s Future

    10. LW Denis Parshin
    Acquired: 2004 draft, 2nd round (52nd overall)
    The diminutive winger had somewhat of a breakout year in the Russian Super League this year. Parshin led CSKA Moscow in goals with 18 and finished third in scoring with 32 points. Touted as being an amazing stickhandler and skater, his biggest obstacle to overcome is his size – or lack thereof. He’s only 5’8 (give or take an inch or two) and weighs only around 160lbs. Despite his small stature, Parshin oozes offensive talent and has a great shot. Look for him to possibly make the jump to North America next season.
    Notes: Ranked as Colorado’s 5th best prospect by Hockey’s Future.
    Quotes: “Shifty skater, a mystery man to Avs fans; not been to camp yet. Skilled, but small.” – The Hockey News

    11. D Derek Meech
    Acquired: Trade with Florida, 2005
    Meech is the third NHL Red Wings defenseman prospect on this list. Coming off a mediocre 2005-06 season with Grand Rapids (AHL), Meech has rebounded and put together a good season. His play this season has even earned him a four game stint in the NHL. At 5’11, 196lbs, Meech is slightly undersized as a defenseman, but he makes up for that with good positioning and defensive play. He’s also mobile with good puck movement skills. Meech has 6 goals and 26 points in 57 AHL games this season.
    Notes: Ranked as Detroit’s 9th best prospect by The Hockey News.
    Quotes: “He possesses great skating ability with phenomenal speed and lateral movement and is willing to join the offensive attack.” – Hockey’s Future

    12. G Tobias Stephan
    Acquired: Trade with Atlanta. 2007
    At the moment, Swiss goalie Stephan is the top goaltender prospect in the HFNHL Rangers organization. While Stephan is a nice prospect, that is a statement to the lack of goaltender prospect depth in the organization. Stephan is in his first season in North America, playing for Iowa of the AHL. He has played primarily a backup role and has had his ups and downs in his first North American season. Stephan currently has a 9-12 record with a .902 SV% and 2.81 GAA for Iowa. Look for him to take on a bigger role in the AHL next season as he continues his development.
    Notes: Ranked as Dallas’ 5th best prospect by The Hockey News.
    Quotes: “He’s just taking the next step right now and has a lot to learn. He’s a young goalie and we’re going to bring him along slowly.” – Dallas goalie coach Andy Moog.

    13. C Ben Walter
    Acquired: Trade with Carolina, 2006
    The former Hobey Baker finalist has stepped up his production in the AHL this year, improving on a solid rookie season in 2005-06. He currently has 22 goals and 57 points in 65 games for Providence. Walter has earned brief promotions to the NHL in both his pro seasons.
    Notes: Ranked as Boston’s 10th best prospect by The Hockey News.
    Quotes: “Walter is a skilled forward who possesses good vision, hockey smarts and tremendous passing skills.” – Hockey’s Future.

    14. RW Marc-Andre Cliché
    Acquired: 2005 draft, 3rd round (80th overall)
    Cliché’s numbers are down a bit from last year for Lewiston (QMJHL), but he has put together a solid season. He played a key role on the penalty kill for Gold-medal winning Team Canada and was very effective. He has good leadership qualities (he is team captain on Lewiston), and is a solid skater with good offensive instincts. Cliché had 24 goals and 54 points in 52 games for Lewiston in 2006-07 and is currently participatin gin the QMJHL playoffs.
    Notes: Ranked as Los Angeles’ 14th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “…good penalty-killing, leadership and intangibles that do not appear on the boxscore” – Hockey’s Future

    15. D Michal Barinka
    Acquired: Trade with New Jersey, 2005
    Barinka has slipped down this list a bit from last year, but mainly from other prospects improving their stock. The big defensive defenseman started the season with Binghamton (AHL), but eventually returned to the Czech Republic to be closer to his girlfriendm who’s mother is ill. He continued his season in the Czech Republic, but he is expected to return to North America next season. Barinka already has 34 games of NHL experience under his belt.
    Notes: Ranked as Ottawa’s 10th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “He is a good skater with impressive strength, agility and balance and takes advantage of his assets in one-on-one situations” – Hockey’s Future

    16. G Matt Keetley
    Acquired: 2005 draft, 7th round (212 overall)
    The second goaltender on the list is Keetley. A southpaw goalie, Keetley has put together back-to-back dominant seasons for the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. It was thought that he may turn pro after last season, but he was sent back to Medicine Hat to play his overage season. The thought behind that was to get him more experience for a contending team and additional playoff experience. He hasn’t disappointed and will be playing in the ECHL and/or AHL next season. Keetley posted a 42-11-1 record with 6 shutouts, a .913 SV% and 2.19 GAA this season and is currently in the playoffs.
    Notes: Ranked as Calgary’s 11th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “Keetley poses an imposing figure for shooters and take up a good chunk of the net with his large frame. He moves well between the pipes, has fairly good rebound control and puck-handling skills.” – Hockey’s Future

    17. LW Drew Miller
    Acquired: Free Agent, 2006
    Miller is yet another player on this list with family ties. He is the younger brother of Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and is also related to former NHLers Kip, Kelly, and Kevin Miller. A former captain at Michigan State (NCAA), Miller is currently in his rookie year in the AHL. He has posted solid numbers with 12 goals and 29 points in 70 games. He should play a greater role for Portland next year, both on the ice and in the locker room. Although he stands at 6’2, he needs to bulk up as he is listed at only 170lbs.
    Notes: Ranked as Anaheim’s 7th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “Sees the ice well and works very hard. Has good size, but he needs to get stronger.” – Hockey’s Future

    18. LW Matt Marquardt
    Acquired: 2006 draft, 7th round (190th overall)
    Marquardt is a player that the HFNHL Rangers had on their radar as a potential late round sleeper going in to last summer’s draft. When he was available in the 7th round, the Rangers were thrilled and snapped him up. Marquardt is a very big power forward type with good hands, a goal-scoring touch, and is also a punishing checker. He had a breakout year for Moncton (QMJHL) this season, scoring 41 goals and 70 points in 67 games, averaging more than a point per game. There are concerns over his skating and Marquardt is definitely a project, but the Rangers like his progress so far.
    Notes: Led Moncton in scoring in 2006-07 regular season.
    Quotes: “He's a relentless and punishing hitter with the ability to change the momentum of the game with his checks. However he also possesses surprising soft hands and an accurate shot.” – Hockey’s Future

    19. D Simon Danis-Pepin
    Acquired: 2006 draft, 3rd round (69th overall)
    The hulking Danis-Pepin is a long-term project. He stands at 6’7, but needs to add muscle to his frame as he currently weighs only 208. He was the youngest player in Hockey East (NCAA) in his draft year, but showed remarkable improvement as the season went on. He is a good skater with good mobility, but he will need to learn to use his size advantage more effectively.
    Notes: Ranked as Chicago’s 17th best prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “He has good offensive capabilities and a keen awareness of his surroundings, particularly in the defensive zone” – Hockey’s Future

    20. RW Ryan Flynn
    Acquired: 2006 draft, 4th round (99th overall)
    The big winger just completed his freshman season with powerhouse Minnesota (NCAA). Minnesota was a very deep team at forward in 2006-07, with top prospects such as Kyle Okposo, Ryan Stoa, and Blake Wheeler ahead of him on the depth chart. Despite that, Flynn managed to put together a solid campaign and was a key penalty killer for the Gophers. His numbers weren’t eye-popping at 5 goals, 13 points in 41 games, but he should continue his development with Minnesota next season with increased production.
    Notes: Nashville’s 16th ranked prospect by Hockey’s Future
    Quotes: “Shows good upper body strength and can rattle opponents with a stiff check” – Hockey’s Future

    Honorable Mentions
    T.J. Trevelyan, LW – Free agent signing and former Hockey Baker finalist has put together a good rookie pro season and has been one of Providence’s (AHL) top goal scorers.
    Stefan Meyer, LW – Has had a difficult time adjusting to pro hockey after a solid junior career in the WHL. Has been caught in the numbers game for dual-affiliate Rochester (AHL).
    Sergei Ogorodnikov, C – Struggled early in the AHL, but has been producing and gaining confidence in the ECHL after being sent down. Excellent on shootouts.
    Gabe Gauthier, C/W – NCAA Free Agent signing has put together a good AHL rookie season and even earned a brief NHL stint, playing 5 games.
    Kevin Regan, G – One of the best goalies in the college ranks, Regan led the NCAA with a .937 SV% as a junior. He should return to New Hampshire for his senior season and should be a Hobey Baker candidate.

    Others
    G Brett Bennett, D Patrick Coloumbe, G Patrick Ehelechner, G Yutaka Fukufuji, D Derek Peltier, D Corey Potter
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  2. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    Good list... there's more than one player there I covet!
     
  3. SPG

    SPG Registered User

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    Thanks, Matt... that's a change from years past :)
     

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