How far will the Rangers get this season?

Say Hello To The Prospect's 2014-2015 Season
No need to wait until September hockey is back

Ryan Mantha (NHL Media)

Ryan Mantha (NHL Media)

What are you people talking about no New York Rangers hockey until September 18th?  Then please allow me to introduce you to the 2014-2015 New York Ranger’s prospect hockey season as it started earlier this week when the teams of the QMJHL opened training camp this week.

For the Rangers that meant forward Anthony Duclair (2013 3rd) and defensemen Ryan Graves (2013 4th) and Daniel Walcott (2014 5th) reported to their respective teams to begin training for the upcoming season. The QMJHL also opened exhibition play Friday night but none of the three prospects saw action.

As for the other two junior leagues, they will see their teams start opening training camps over the next couple of weeks. The Ranger prospects also are getting ready to report to the Rangers for the annual Traverse City Prospect Tournament on September 10th or 11th.  Right now there are nine prospects who are eligible to play in the juniors.

At the same time of those same nine prospects, five could also play for the Hartford Wolfpack either because of their age or draft status. For now it is easier to watch these prospects playing for their junior teams so that is exactly what we will do.

Ryan Mantha

It took all summer but Ryan Mantha finally signed with the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. The 6’4 224 lb. defensemen choose the juniors over playing for North Dakota in the NCAA. Mantha (whose twitter handle is @Rmantha4) looked at where he would be getting the most playing time and choose to play for Marty Williamson’s IceDogs.

It is a very good situation for Mantha as the IceDogs are a young team moving into a brand new arena so Mantha will be given plenty of opportunities to play in just about every situation. 

Kevin Hayes

While people are going crazy because 2010 first round pick Kevin Hayes did not sign with the Chicago Blackhawks, I am not one of them. Sometimes you need to ask some questions rather than simply hand over a NHL contract to a kid.

Hayes is a 6’3-6’4 center/right wing who yes had a monster season for Boston College last season going 27-38-65 in 40 games but one does have to wonder how much of that was due to playing with Johnny Gaudreau who has been one of college hockey’s best players for the past three seasons? I am not saying that Hayes is a bad player but rather the rush to toss money at players is what gets teams in trouble.

I am sure Jeff Gorton and Gordie Clark who live in the Boston College area already know the answers but I want to know if the rumors about Hayes at times being a problem child are true? I very much dislike rumors but when you get multiple rumors then that is a warning sign that says slow down.

If Hayes is looking strictly for a chance to play right away (one reason why he did not want the Blackhawks) then he will be looking at a Calgary where his buddy Gaudreau is signed to play. If this is about the Blackhawks trading his brother away then that is really petty.

Don’t expect Florida (where Hayes’ brother is) to sign him as they had problems getting him to sign this off-season.  I get nervous when a player is a one season wonder (hello Hugh Jessiman) or wants to walk right in and be given a spot (hello Pavel Brendl).

Not wanting to play for a legit Stanley Cup contending team raises all sorts of warning signs because if you are picking a bottom rung team like a Calgary because you will get to play then odds are you will also get to lose too.

I will pass on Hayes until he starts saying the right things because so far it has been all the wrong things I am hearing.


Posted by Jess Rubenstein | August 16, 2014 at 02:19 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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