How far will the Rangers get this season?

Rangers Pick Michael St. Croix At #106

Michael St. Croix (Via

Michael St. Croix (Via

Michael St. Croix

HT: 5-11

WT: 176

Pos: RW

Shoots: R

Birthday: 4/10/93

Team: Edmonton, WHL

2009-2010 stats: 18g, 28a, 66gp, 30PIM, -21

2010-2011 stats: 27g, 48a, 68gp, 48PIM, +28

2010-2011 playoffs: 1g, 0a, 4gp, 9PIM profile > 



The Hockey News: 46

CSS: 59 Midterm Rank: 36


TSN: NR Midterm Rank: 57 

TSN (Craig Button): N/A 

The Scouting Report: 51 Midterm Rank: 45 

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: NR 

Corey Pronman: 26 



Highlight Reel > 


What They’re Saying:

THN – “Hope in Edmonton has been in short supply in recent years and that’s not limited to the NHL.  But the expansion Oil Kings are starting to produce top-end talent and Michael St. Croix is the latest to come out of the program.  His father, Rick St. Croix, tended net for the Flyers and Maple Leafs, so there is a pro pedigree in the family.  Ironically, St. Croix is a terror for netminders and came into the WHL as a highly touted prospect who scored more than two points a game in midget.  Defensive play and overall strength are weaknesses right now, though St. Croix has an elusiveness that helps him avoid getting caught by big hits.  Those moves also help him stymie opposing blueliners.  ‘He plays more of an east-west game than a north-south game, so defensemen need to honor that, especially because of his stickhandling,’ one scout said.  ‘Speed is his biggest asset.  He sees the ice well and he distributes the puck well.’”

The Scouting Report – “Michael St. Croix had a solid, though not spectacular season in the WHL this year. The skilled center built on his rookie campaign by becoming a leader with the young Oil Kings, scoring 75 points and improving his plus/minus rating by an impressive 49 points in his second year. St. Croix is a competitive player who likes to set up his teammates, but can also finish when he gets the chance. Next season will go a long way in determining what kind of player St. Croix will be. If he can produce at the level he’s capable of, he could quickly establish himself as one of the potential steals in the 2011 draft.” 

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – “Like McNeill, St. Croix is to be commended for picking up his game and making a statement to scouts as the season went on. Coming into it, the season, the Winnipeg native had high offensive expectations given the flashes he showed as a rookie with the Oil Kings last year. He got off to a slow start, and compounded with some indifferent defensive play, was headed down in some NHL teams' eyes until he turned things around at mid-season and finished the year strong. A very good skater who can dangle with the best of them, he's got a lightning release and just seems to have that sixth sense around the net when it comes to scoring goals or setting them up. He tallied 27 markers and 75 points in 68 games, finishing just three points off the scoring lead to Dylan Wruck. His willingness to get his nose dirty and play more responsible in all zones is precisely why his stock is up these days. Will it be enough to get him into the first round? That remains to be seen, but even if he doesn't crack the Friday night lineup, he won't be around long on Saturday, as he has some of the best natural upside of any in this class. His average size (5-11, 165) hurts him- he needs to get a lot stronger, but that should come in time.”

Corey Pronman – “Michael St. Croix came into the season expecting to dominate offensively, and while he did well, he didn't show the complete upside he's capable of. He's a solid skater, with a very fluid and effective stride who has the agility and edge control to be extremely elusive. St. Croix has plus puck skills and can make defenders miss left and right, but also can make very good distributions if they back off him. He's a well above-average power play weapon and can make a ton of things happen from the left side of the offensive zone. He has a solid shot and is able to score his mid-distances. His physical game is well below-average right now, and it likely will top out at most as a fringe tool. St. Croix does go into the physical areas and drives to the net, but he is relatively ineffective and physically overwhelmed easily to the point it makes more sense for him to stay on the perimeter. His hockey sense is solid to above-average, and offensively his awareness is impressive. He makes lightning-quick decisions—sometimes it even looks like he's rushing it by how quickly he moves the puck. St. Croix's defensive game was bad in the first half, but made some progression in the second half, although I'm not 100% he can stay at the center position.”

Hockey’s Future – “A speedster with soft hands and exceptional puck skills, St. Croix has turned in a determined effort of late. Perhaps considered under-sized in some quarters, the 5'11, 180 pound center brings an offensive flair to the rink that is very similar to what hockey fans in St. Croix's backyard are seeing from the current group of rookie forwards skating with the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.” – “His statistics and achievements speak for themselves, but the essence to St. Croix’s unique game is his style of play. A playmaker and goal-scorer, he believes a big part of his game involves his vision, which contributes to his impressive offensive abilities.   St. Croix is able to set up plays and get passes through the narrowest of lanes, but most importantly he positions himself perfectly to finish the play. At the same time, his vision grants him the confidence to get fancy with the puck and put on a show.” 

ESPN - “ ‘His play fell way off after a concussion in January,’ said one scout based in Western Canada. ‘Right before that he was playing his best hockey of the season. He'd been solid in the first half of the season. If you project him off the first half rather than the end, you can see him the 30s. The final Central ranking [59] isn't really fair. He has a knock on his skating. He's average to just above average on skating. With his skating and his size, he has to be the type of player who'll go into heavy traffic, in the tough areas on the ice. If you look at Martin St. Louis, one of the real strengths of his game, an under-rated part of his success, is his toughness. If St. Croix isn't shy after his concussion, if you've seen him go in traffic and think that's he'll be willing to do that, then the 30s aren't out of the question.’ And as stated before, if you might be in the 30s in this draft, you have a shot at the 20s.  Stockwatch: The better the scouts' memory, the higher his stock rises.”



Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – N/A 

Mike Morreale, – N/A 

Steven Hoffner, – N/A 

Deven Persaud, – N/A – N/A 

Gary Joyce, ESPN – N/A 

Mark Seidel, CBC – N/A 

Hockey's Future - N/A

The Hockey News - N/A


Thoughts: If the Rangers still had a second-round pick, Michael St. Croix might be the type of player they’d think seriously about taking.  The winger is a tad undersized, but he draws rave reviews for his offensive ability.  His skating is strong and his vision and playmaking are definitely notable.  St. Croix might be a bit of a one-dimensional player at this point, but considering the Rangers’ greatest need is skilled offensive wingers, he’d have made a ton of sense for them to look at.  St. Croix would be a reach in the first round, but if New York picks up another top-60 pick at some point, St. Croix might be a steal.

The Rangers took Dylan McIlrath out of the WHL in the first round last year.   They draft from the WHL and OHL with frequency.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >

Rangers Land Tim Erixon: What Does It Mean?

More Erixon Trade Fallout >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >

Spotlight On Wojtek Wolski >

Spotlight On Sean Avery >

Spotlight On Dan Girardi >

Spotlight On Erik Christensen >

Spotlight On Ryan McDonagh >

Spotlight On Vinny Prospal >

Spotlight On Derek Stepan >

Spotlight On Marian Gaborik >

Spotlight On Chris Drury >

Spotlight On Artem Anisimov >

Spotlight On Mike Sauer >

Spotlight On Ryan Callahan >


Draft Profiles:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

Brandon Saad >

Joel Armia >

Nicklas Jensen >

Alexander Khokhlachev >

Tyler Biggs >

Matt Puempel >

Rickard Rakell >

Mario Lucia >

Tomas Jurco >

Dmitri Jaskin >

Phillip Danault >

Rocco Grimaldi >

Ty Rattie >

Daniel Catenacci >

Vladislav Namestnikov >

Nick Shore >

Stefan Noesen >

Boone Jenner >

Matthew Nieto >

Vincent Trocheck >

Colin Jacobs >

Michael St. Croix >


Free Agency:

Plan A: Sign Brad Richards >

Plan B: Trade For A Top Center >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | June 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

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