Rangers hit the skids; WJC Wrap

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by SPG, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. SPG

    SPG Registered User

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    Rangers hit the skids; WJC Wrap

    The Rangers have vaulted themselves right into the thick of the Phil Kessel sweepstakes after losing their last seven games and going 1-8-1 in their last ten. The team got off to an improbable strong start, but has since looked like a cellar dweller. Winger Paul Kariya was expected to be the offensive leader of this team, but his production has been horrendous this season. Kariya has yet to score a goal almost a fourth of the way through the 2005-06 season. Kariya has gotten playing time on both the first and second lines, but nothing seems to be igniting his play. Rumors are swirling that he may be on the trading block.

    On a positive note, many young players in the Rangers organization have put together impressive seasons and look to be getting a spot in the lineup in the coming seasons. With the World Junior Hockey Championship in Vancouver, British Columbia recently coming to a conclusion, several New York prospects made their mark. Here’s a brief run-down of how Rangers’ prospects fared in the tournament:

    Justin Pogge, G – Canada
    Pogge has put up stellar numbers for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL this season and his momentum carried over to the WJC, backstopping the Canadian team to their 12th gold medal. Pogge started all six games for Canada, posting a whopping .952 SV%, a miniscule 1.00 GAA, and 3 shutouts including a 5-0 whitewash of the offensively talented Russian team in the gold medal contest. He has undoubtedly raised his stock with his brilliant play this season.

    Chris Bourque, F – United States
    Bourque came out firing in USA’s opening victory over the weak Norwegian team, scoring five goals. He picked up another two goals and an assist throughout the rest of the tournament, finishing with 7G and 1A for 8PTS in 7GP. His seven goals led all players and he finished fifth in scoring overall. Bourque also had 14 PIM and had a +/- rating of -1. Bourque has been solid for the Hershey Bears of the AHL with 15 points in 20 games and may warrant a promotion to the NHL before the season is done.

    Jakub Kindl, D – Czech Republic
    Kindl was the first round draft choice of the Rangers in 2005 at the 20th selection overall. He had a sub-par year with Kitchener (OHL) last season, creating confusion over where he should be selected in the draft after once being touted as a top five selection. His offensive game has come around in a big way this season, as he has been scoring at over a point per game pace. He currently has 8G and 25A for 33PTS in 31GP in the OHL, far surpassing last season's totals in only half the number of games. His defensive play has also improved as the season has moved on. Kindl didn’t put up big offensive numbers (only one assist in the tournament), but he played solid defense in the WJC.

    Alexei Emelin, D – Russia
    Emelin was a major contributor for the silver medal winning Russian team and finished as the highest scoring defenseman in the WJC. The only Russian player with more points was super-prospect and top forward of the WJC, Evgeni Malkin. A player that has been compared to Darius Kasparaitis, Emelin demonstrated physical play all tournament long and finished with 36 PIM in only six games, second most in the tournament. That type of play was expected, but his offensive contribution came as a surprise to many. Alexei finished with 2G, 5A for 7PTS in 6GP.

    Sergei Ogordnikov, F – Russia
    Ogordnikov played a limited role for the Russian team, registering one assist in six games played. He finished +2 with six penalty minutes. He has played a few games for CSKA in Russia this season without registering a point. Ogordnikov is not expected to leave Russia in the immediate future.

    Janne Kolehmainen, F - Finland
    Kolehmainen put together a solid tournament for bronze-winning team Finland. He finished with 2G and 1A for 3PTS in 7GP. He also had 14PIM and was +3. Janne is a big, physical winger at 6-3, 209. He has been getting limited ice time for Saipa of the Finnish League, but has managed two assists and 39 penalty minutes in 27 games played. It is not known when Kolehmainen will make the trip overseas to play in North America. He will continue to hone his physical game skills in Finland.

    Stay tuned for additional updates on prospects that did not participate in the WJC…
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
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