Discussion in 'New York Rangers' started by nyr2k2, Mar 11, 2020.
Nhl this season, i think no
He needs to do it for more than a couple weeks
Would be awesome if he could grow a bit.
Let me first say I have a strong bias in favor of Ronning. A few years ago I met the bus driver for his Vancouver team and the bus driver raved about him as a person let alone as a hockey player. I am rooting for a good guy to succeed.
Seeing how well he is playing this year it is hard to understand that he couldn't make the team last year and that he was scratched for 6 of the 12 games so far this year. This is one of the questions I have about Knoblouch's ability to develop young talent.
Ronning is quick, has good although not great speed, works hard, is defensively alert, has an ability to be on the puck and can stickhandle. He is your typical energy player. But he is small and he's not winning a lot of board battles although he always is in there trying. And his skills are not exceptional. So maybe he could be a Colin Blackwell type of player.
I assumed at the beginning of the year that Ronning was going to be one of the RFAs not resigned. Now I am not sure. Of the four Hartford forwards (Gettinger, Newell, Fontaine) who are RFAs at the end of this year, based on what I have seen so far Ronning would be my top choice to resign. Fontaine has spent three years being injured and Richards plays his game, Gettinger is not quick enough, doesn't use his big body and Reuschhoff plays the game the organization would want Gettinger to play and I think Ronning has played better than the other small quick forward, Newell and is two years younger.
So I hope NYR resigns him and we'll see if he can make it as an energy player. I wouldn't expect more than that but if you got that out of a seventh rounder that would be a good pick.
Now you have me really interested in what the bus driver had to say about him.
We took two of our grandchildren to the Canadian Rockies a couple of summers ago. I wore my Ranger cap throughout the trip and I talked hockey with our bus driver when we had down time. When we were in Jasper I came out of the Lodge to go to the bus and the bus driver, who was talking to someone, called me over. He introduced me to the guy who was a bus driver for the same company but on a different tour. He turned out to be the bus driver for the Vancouver Giants. Seeing I was a Ranger fan he took a picture of me with my Rangers cap and sent it to Ty Ronning but Ronning didn't respond in the 5-10 minutes we spoke. He raved about Ronning as a human. Said everyone loved him, he was a team leader, always positive, never got into any trouble, the nicest kid in the world. This bus driver had been with the team for a long time and has seen a lot of kids but he couldn't stop talking about how much he thought of Ronning. It's hard not to root for someone like that.
Lackey released, never appeared in a game, uncertain if he ever dressed as backup
TheAHL.com | The American Hockey League
2021-03-28 Michael Lackey (G) Hartford DEL Released from PTO
Replaced on the roster with David Henchman.
If my childhood bus drivers were interviewed, I wouldn’t have a job
With the season half way over and with the team on a six day break I thought I would be create a top 5 list of prospects for others to consider. This list has several caveats:
I am not a scout. I have been watching NHL games for close to 60 years. I have seen the Wolfpack play in person for seven straight years until this year and I have seen all 12 Hartford games this year. So while I consider myself a knowledgable fan I do not have the skills of a scout.
The Wolfpack have played only 12 games. That’s a pretty small sample. And except for Braden Schneider’s 2021 WJC tournament, many of Morgan Barron’s Cornell games over the last 3 years, and anyone who was on the team in the last two years I have not seen the others play until this year.
This is a really strange year. Being off the ice for 10-11 months, having a short training camp and then playing so few games and unable to get into much of a rhythm, this is not a normal year for evaluations.
The Wolfpack only are playing two other teams. If those teams are not representative of other AHL teams then we’ll get a false sense of the Wolfpack players.
The AHL TV production is not great to say the least. Usually only one distant camera angle, and no replays unless you watch on a computer rather than a larger TV screen. It’s easy to miss the nuances of play.
Goalies excluded. Given the TV production it’s hard to tell if a goalie is screened or sometimes how a puck gets in the net.
So with those caveats here are my top 5 prospects:
#5. Justin Richards and Ty Ronning — Wait, didn’t you say this was a top five list? Well it’s my list and if you don’t like it make your own list.
I put Richards and Ronning together because I see each as projecting as a possible fourth line forward.
Justin Richards missed training camp being on the covid list, played the first game in Hartford and then sat out two games before playing. His initial games were lackluster. He was barely noticeable. His play has picked up, perhaps because he now is on a line with Ronning. He is a hard worker and plays PK scoring a short handed goal in the last game. Unfortunately AHL TV had a technical issue and it didn’t show that goal. There is not a great deal of offensive skill. I think he projects as a fourth line defensive center.
Ty Ronning is quick, has good although not great speed, works hard, is defensively alert, has an ability to be on the puck and can stickhandle. He is your typical energy player. But he is small and he's not winning a lot of board battles although he always is in there trying. And his skills are not exceptional. So maybe he could be a Colin Blackwell type of player. Four goals and six points in six games and all of the points well earned.
#4. Austin Reuschhoff — I struggled with whether to rank Austin or Cuylle higher. Reuschhoff has had a better year but he is 4+ years older so I ranked Cuylle higher. Reuschhoff was thought of as the least likely of the three NCAA signings last year to make an impact but he has had the best year. He is really big and knows how to use his size to his advantage. Defensive players can’t knock him off the puck and get around him. His skating was supposed to be a weakness and while he’ll never win a speed skating contest I can’t say I’ve ever felt he was behind the play. He is a shooting machine. Although playing fourth line minutes for the first six or so games and not getting any power play time during that time he still ranks 3rd on the team in shots. He has a fast release and is not hesitant about shooting. And did I mention he is really big! Not tremendous skill but a very interesting and unique player, one that the Rangers don’t have. I think he projects as a bottom six forward.
#3. Will Cuylle — Has only played 8 of the 12 games and sat out the last two wins. It’s unclear if he is hurt or these are healthy scratches. He is a good skater with a big body. He is not a dirty player and almost all of his penalty minutes came on one boarding game that I didn’t think was appropriate. He has flashed some quickness and skill. And in his last game when partnered with Reuschhoff and James Sanchez they often kept the puck behind the net. He has a long way to go but he is holding his own in the AHL having just turned 19. Let’s see how he progresses. Projects as a bottom six forward.
#2. Tarmo Reunanen — Started off the year on fire but his game plateaued. He had two good plays in the last two games so perhaps his game will pick up. Very good with the puck. Very calm, similar to the way Adam Fox can slow a game down. Runs the PP with efficiency. Has flashed some very good passing but would like to see more of it. Although his game is offense I don’t remember any time he carried the puck into the offensive zone. I wonder about his defense. He hasn’t had one second of PK time. And he made two bad defensive plays in the last game. I think he projects as a third pairing defenseman. He has exclusively played on the left side in Hartford. The problem for him is whether there is any room on the Rangers for him. You have 3 young left handed defensemen playing now for the Rangers with Matthew Robertson and Zac Jones coming. He was drafted 98 in the 2016 draft behind Libor Hajek drafted 34 that year. I like Hajek more than Reunanen. Hajek is significantly better defensively and his skating in superior to Reunanen So where does he fit in?
#1 Braden Schneider and Morgan Barron — So I now have seven players in my top five. And yes, Schneider only played two games. But we did see him in AHL action.
Schneider was a controversial pick last year. Some analysts did not have him as a first round selection and others thought the Ranges were crazy to trade up for him. The knock on him was that while he would be a solid defensive defenseman there wasn’t much offense and the Rangers should have swung higher than him at 19. Then we saw Schneider in the WJC. And suddenly this guy without great offensive skills is constantly making good outlet passes and on occasion is carrying the puck into the offensive zone creating chances. And when he got to Hartford he continued that play without missing a beat. With few exceptions, he has been the only Hartford defenseman who carries the puck into the offensive zone looking to make a play. After his two games, both of which Hartford won, the team won only 3 of the next ten. While not the only reason for this decline his move back to the WHL was a big factor. He projects as a top four defenseman. It will will be interesting to see how the Rangers manage Trouba, who has a no-move clause, Fox, Schneider and Lundquist probably in two years
I am a big Morgan Barron fan. I was able to watch him at Cornell on ESPN+. I thought he was ready to come out after his second year. He’s big, strong, has a wicked shot, can stick handle, is responsible defensively and played PK at Cornell and with the Wolfpack and is very good on face offs. Coach Quinn said he looked tentative at Rangers training camp. He looked tentative the first two or three games in Hartford. Then his game picked up. He is not dominating as he did at Cornell but there are moments with Hartford where he shines. He was excellent in game 11 but he had a quiet game 12 last Saturday. I think he has more to offer and would rather see him expand his game with Hartford then play 7 fourth line minutes a night with the Rangers. The one shortcoming he has is that, as another poster has already said, he needs to play the game faster. Once he gets going his skill can shine but he needs a couple of steps to get going. He will have less time in the NHL and will need to work on his quickness and skating. I think he can be a middle six forward. Some people see Brian Boyle in him and that would be fine but I think he has more to offer. He played the first ten games at left wing but has now moved to center. I think this reflects the Rangers willingness to ease him in to start and now to expand his game as he has improved.
So that’s my seven player top five prospect list. I would welcome other poster’s thoughts on the list or on any other Wolfpack player.
This was a good read. Much appreciated. Having seen quite a few of the AHL games this year, I completely agree with your assessments.
I am glad you put Schneider with Barron at #1. Yes it was only 2 games, but when he left, his loss was immediately felt. He proved in that very short sample size in the A that he could not only handle the speed of the A, but was the most effective defenseman on the team. He had a lot more offense than advertised. As much as I like Barron, Schneider is the one player that really stood out. If he can show a steadiness in the first quarter of next season in the A, it's reasonable he could be called up to the NHL team by the 20 game mark. And if he stays healthy and locks it down in his own zone -- he's going to be a top 4 D in the NHL someday soon. Whereas with Barron I think his ceiling is Mike Knuble. His near ceiling is Brian Boyle. His floor is a AAAA player. He must work on his skating this off-season. He's not a bad skater by any stretch, but even a half of a step can be the difference in his whole career. And he has a chance to one day be deadly in the bumper position or netfront presence on the PP.
enjoyed this throughly, only thing i would disagree with is Schneider. Many scouts had him as a top 2 D neck and neck with Amirov In the 1st rd. I didn’t see any projections of him going in the 2nd
Thanks for your positive comment. It's not a big deal but I did do a quick check and saw that Steve Kournianos rated Schneider 35 and Scott Wheeler of the Athletic had Schneider 38. My only point was there was some variance among prospect analysts about Schneider being in the first round, let alone 19.
You and I have interacted on this site several times and we have been in complete agreement about the Wolfpack players.
I went through several versions of the ratings in my head and thought some readers might think I was crazy for rating Schneider number 1 with him only playing 2 games. So I put him together with Barron. But again I agree with you. Schneider is a better prospect. I think Barron has the potential to be a middle six forward but I am confident that Schneider is a top four defensemen and has the potential to be a top pairing defenseman. Every comment you made about him is accurate. The real question with him is how he fits in with Trouba, Fox, and Lundquist. But that's a great question to have.
This is a great write-up and I think we're on the same page pretty much on everything. I know just from intermittent posting throughout the year we were on the same page but still, nice to see in longer form.
If I disagree anywhere, it's on Ronning. I want him to succeed, I really do, but I'm a bit concerned by the small sample, since his previous stints he was so completely invisible. He's still small and not particularly strong, I don't think he's involved enough offensively or generates his own offense as much as you like. If he could do this over a full year I'd feel better, but he can't (not his fault) this season. I'd like to see if we could keep him on an AHL deal, though I'm not sure I'd qualify him because I don't think he has any realistic NHL future and I'm not even sold he's a legitimate AHL star.
I also feel Barron is a wing long term. I know he was played at C the last game and did well (I didn't see it but it sounded like he did well, anyway), but I think think given the game he plays and the mediocre skating, make him better-suited to wing at the NHL level.
Well written post!
Thanks for your positive comment. I agree that we are generally are on the same page. I appreciate all you have done for the posters on this site over the years.
While I might be a little higher on Ronning than you your points are well taken. Ronning only has appeared in 6 of the 12 games so it's not much of a sample. You would want to see this performance over a longer time period. And even if he does my projection for him is not very high -- 4th line energy winger. Colin Blackwell, a guy whose bounced around for several years, comes to mind.
Based on the past two years I assumed he was terrible and am shocked at how well he has played over this limited period, how visible he has been and how much better he has played than several of the other "prospect" forwards. If he continues his play through the rest of the season I would choose to resign him over Gettinger and even Newell if a choice had to be made. But under the best circumstance he is not a core player.
Really like Barron but as you note the skating is the problem. His skating if fine once he gets going but he lacks the quickness you need to be an elite player. Will see if he can improve. But I would be shocked if he didn't have a successful NHL career.
Gotcha. Either way, excellent post. Keep em coming broski
Agreed on all points. I recognized when I was typing my views on Ronning that they probably were not far off of yours.
It's safe to say Ronning is really easy to root for. He has shown improvement I think every year. Likely AAAA player at his peak. He's been one of the more effective players in his appearances this year for sure. Just don't know that he has the size/speed package and defensive awareness to make it. It bums me out though as I genuinely like him as a player. It's not quite to the level of sadness I felt for Ryan Bourque never making it. But still.
100 minutes to Skinner time (in Pack colors, and a NYR deal in his pocket) - maybe
Very nice writeup there. Mucho appreciado
Huska in goal. Skinner playing. O'Leary in for Khodorenko. Cuylle scratched again. Brodzinski also out.
Corey Schneider in goal for Bridgeport.
Some unknown delay to the start of the game...
Why no Cuylle??
Ronning had a wonderful backhand pass to Gettinger who was wide-open in front but couldn't bury the snapper.
Thompson I think had a couple good chances in front and then Whelan hit the pipe.
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