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
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.
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.
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
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
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.