Category Archives: World Junior Championships

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: JAN. 25 – JAN. 31

Prospect ReportBY: The New York Rangers

Three Stars of the week

  1. Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp registered a goal in all three games during the week (three goals over the span). He tallied the game-winning goal in Seattle’s 2-0 win on Jan. 31 vs. Kelowna. The Rangers’ second round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft extended his point streak to six games (three goals, three assists over the span). Gropp has notched a point in 10 of the last 11 games, registering 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in those contests. Gropp has also recorded a point in 24 of the last 35 games, tallying 37 points (19 goals, 18 assists) over the span. Gropp is tied for the team lead in goals (24), ranks third in points (46), and is tied for fourth in assists (22) this season. Gropp is currently averaging 1.00 points per game in 2015-16 (46 points in 46 games), which would be a WHL career-high (his career-high in points per game entering this season was 0.87; 58 points in 67 games last season).
  2. Pavel Buchnevich, LW, SKA-St. Petersburg (KHL) – Buchnevich tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in three games during the week. The Rangers’ third round pick (75th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft recorded his first goal with SKA-St. Petersburg as part of a two-goal effort in his first game against his former team, Severstal, on Jan. 29. Buchnevich has established KHL career-highs in goals (14), assists (21), and points (35) this season. He has notched six points (two goals, four assists) in his last 10 games, including four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four contests.
  3. Cristoval Nieves, C, University of Michigan (NCAA) – Nieves skated with the Wolverines at Madison Square Garden against Penn State on Jan. 30 as part of the inaugural “Big Ten Super Saturday”. In the contest, the Rangers’ second round pick (59th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft tallied two points (one goal, one assist), recorded five shots on goal, posted a plus-two rating, and was selected as the game’s Second Star while helping the Wolverines earn a 6-3 win. Nieves has recorded 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 20 games this season, and he is tied for third on the team in assists. Dating back to last season, Nieves has recorded 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in his last 43 games, including 35 points (nine goals, 26 assists) in his last 37 games.

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RANGERS: NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: JAN. 11 – JAN. 17

Prospect Report

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: JAN. 11 – JAN. 17

BY: The New York Rangers

Three Stars of the week

  1. Brad Morrison, C, Prince George Cougars (WHL) – Morrison registered his first career WHL hat trick and recorded the game-winning goal on Jan. 16 at Vancouver. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (113th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has notched 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in the last 22 games, including 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in the last 15 games. Morrison ranks third on Prince George in goals (17) and points (37), and is tied for fourth in assists (20) this season.
  2. Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp registered five points (three goals, two assists) in four games this past week. He tallied three points (two goals, one assist), including the game-winning goal, on Jan. 15 vs. Regina. The Rangers’ second round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in 18 of the last 29 games, tallying 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) over the span. Gropp leads Seattle in goals (21), ranks fourth in points (40), and is tied for fourth in assists (19) this season.
  3. Daniel Bernhardt, RW, London Knights (OHL) – Bernhardt registered three assists and posted a plus-two rating during his first three games with London. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (119th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft made his OHL debut on Jan. 13 at Guelph. In his second career OHL game on Jan. 15 vs. Saginaw, Bernhardt recorded three assists in a span of 3:31 and posted a plus-three rating.

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RANGERS: ETEM TRADED FOR JENSEN

rp_new-york-rangers_thumb1.pngRANGERS ACQUIRE FORWARD NICKLAS JENSEN

Rangers also acquire a sixth-round pick in 2017;

Send Emerson Etem to Vancouver

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, January 8, 2016 – New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired forward Nicklas Jensen and a sixth round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Emerson Etem.

Jensen, 22, has skated in 27 games with the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, registering four goals and eight assists for 12 points, along with a plus-three rating and 20 penalty minutes. He has registered a point in 12 different games this season, and he posted a four-game point streak from Nov. 22 at Hartford to Nov. 28 at Portland. Jensen has also posted a plus/minus rating of even or better in 21 of 27 contests in 2015-16.

The 6-3, 202-pounder has skated in 24 career NHL games over parts of three seasons, all with the Canucks, registering three goals and three assists for six points, along with ten penalty minutes. Jensen made his NHL debut on Apr. 1, 2013 at San Jose and he registered his first career NHL assist/point on Mar. 10, 2014 vs. NY Islanders.

Jensen has skated in 166 career AHL games over parts of five seasons, registering 39 goals and 30 assists for 69 points, along with 99 penalty minutes. Last season, Jensen established AHL career-highs in assists (14) and points (28) in 59 games with Utica. He has tallied 33 goals and 61 points in 140 AHL games since the start of the 2013-14 season.

Internationally, the Herning, Denmark native has represented his country in several tournaments. Most recently, Jensen tallied one goal in four games during the 2015 IIHF World Championship. In addition, Jensen has represented Denmark at the IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF U-18 World Championship in his career.

Jensen was selected by the Canucks in the first round, 29th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Etem skated in 19 games with the Rangers this season, registering three assists and two penalty minutes.

CANTLON’S CORNER: MID WEEK REPORT

gerry-150x130BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings 

It’s a busy week thus far in the fastest game on ice.

WJC TOURNAMENT

The gold medal game at the World Juniors Tournament had a Hollywood finish.

Kasperi Kapanen (TorontoAHL), son of former Whaler great Sami Kapanen, became the toast of Finland when he scored at 1:33 of overtime giving Finland the 4-3 win over Russia and the gold medal for his country. Coincidentally, Wednesday is already a national holiday in Finland, now they have another reason to celebrate.

Kapanen’s goal was a gorgeous reverse. Kapanen came up the right wing boards, shifted gears and swung behind the net. Russian goalie, Alexander Georgiev, couldn’t move fast enough to catch Kapanen as he swung around the net and put it into the open space between the netminder and the iron. The goal sent the home country fans, with legendary NHL Finns Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu in attendance, into pandemonium.

For Finland, it was the nation’s fourth gold medal in WJC history and second in the past three years.

The Russians did hold a 1-0 lead for two periods on the strength of a Vladislav Kamenev’s (Milwaukee-AHL/Nashville) goal on Russia’s first shot of the game. Continue reading

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: DEC. 28 – JAN. 3

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NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECT REPORT: DEC. 28 – JAN. 3

BY: The New York Rangers

2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

Three Rangers prospects – Brandon Halverson (United States), Adam Huska (Slovakia), and Aleksi Saarela (Finland) – are representing their country in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

  • Saarela tallied two goals, recorded four shots on goal, and was selected as Finland’s Player of the Game on Dec. 28 against Russia. The Rangers’ third round pick (89th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft recorded a goal on Dec. 30 against Slovakia, and he notched two points (one goal, one assist) in Finland’s 6-5 win against Canada in the Quarterfinals on Jan. 2.

     Saarela is tied for first among all skaters in the tournament in power        play goals (three), is tied for fourth in goals (four), and is tied for              11th in points (six). He has also registered 16 shots on goal and has            posted a plus-two rating in five games thus far in the tournament.

  • Huska made 32 saves and was selected as Slovakia’s Player of the Game on Dec. 28 against the Czech Republic. The Rangers’ seventh round pick (184th overall) in the 2015, NHL Entry Draft made 25 saves on Dec. 31 against Russia and made 49 saves in Slovakia’s Quarterfinals loss against Sweden on Jan. 2.

     Huska finished the tournament with 169 saves in five appearances            (33.8 saves per game). As of the conclusion of the week, Huska led all      goaltenders in the tournament in saves.

  • Halverson stopped all 20 shots he faced in relief on Dec. 30 against Switzerland. In addition, the Rangers’ second-round pick (59th overall) in the 2014, NHL Entry Draft stopped 16 of 17 shots he faced and earned a win on Dec. 31 against Denmark.

     In two games in the tournament, Halverson has posted a 0.65 GAA          and a .973 SV%. In three appearances in the IIHF World Junior                  Championship over the last two years, Halverson has posted a 0.40        GAA and a .980 SV% (50 saves on 51 shots). Halverson is the first              goaltender who was drafted by the Rangers to play in two                              consecutive IIHF World Junior Championships (2015 and 2016)                since Henrik Lundqvist with Sweden in 2001 and 2002. (Note: Al              Montoya played in the 2004 and 2005 IIHF World Junior                          Championships, but he had not been drafted by the Rangers at the        time of the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship)

Emerging From The Pack

  • Ryan Graves posted a three-game assist/point streak during the past week, registering four assists over the span. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (110th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft notched an assist, recorded five shots on goal and posted a plus-two rating on Dec. 29 vs. Providence and he established a single-game AHL career-high with two assists on Jan. 2 vs. Albany. Graves has tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in the last 11 games.
  • Mat Bodie registered a three-game point streak during the past week, tallying three points (one goal, two assists) over the span. He has recorded a point in four of the last five games (one goal, three assists), in five of the last eight games (one goal, four assists), and in seven of the last 12 contests (one goal, six assists).
  • Ryan Bourque tallied a goal/point in each of Hartford’s first two games during the past week (two goals). Bourque has registered a point in three of the last four games (two goals, one assist) and he has notched seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last 13 contests. He is tied for fourth on the Wolf Pack in goals (seven) and ranks fifth in points (15) this season.

Quick Hits

  • Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – The Rangers agreed to terms with Gropp on an entry-level contract on Dec. 31. The Rangers’ second-round pick (41st overall) in the 2015, NHL Entry Draft leads Seattle in goals this season (18). 
  • Keegan Iverson, RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) – Iverson registered two goals on Jan. 2 vs. Spokane. The Rangers’ third round pick (85th overall) in the 2014, NHL Entry Draft has recorded 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in his last 18 games. 
  • Robin Kovacs, RW, AIK (Allsvenskan) – Kovacs tallied the game-winning shot in the shootout in AIK’s 4-3 win against IF Björklöven on Dec. 29. The Rangers’ third round pick (62nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is tied for fifth in Allsvenskan (min. four goals) in goals per game (0.46; 13 goals in 28 games) and he is tied for 11th in the league in goals this season. Kovacs leads all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals and points (21) in 2015-16. 
  • Ryan Mantha, D, Niagara IceDogs (OHL) – Mantha posted a season-high three-game assist/point streak during the past week, registering four points (one goal, three assists) over the span. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (104th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft notched an assist and posted a plus-one rating on Dec. 29 at Sudbury and on Dec. 31 vs. Kitchener. Mantha also recorded two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-two rating on Jan. 2 vs. Ottawa. He has tallied eight points (one goal, seven assists) in the last 11 games, including six points (one goal, five assists) in the last six games. 
  • Brad Morrison, C, Prince George Cougars (WHL) – Morrison tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in four games during the past week. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (113th overall) in the 2015, NHL Entry Draft recorded two points (one goal, one assist) on Dec. 30 at Vancouver. Morrison has notched 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in the last 16 games, including nine points (five goals, four assists) in the last nine games.
  • Cristoval Nieves, C, University of Michigan (NCAA) – Nieves tallied an assist/point in each of the Wolverines’ two games in the Great Lakes Invitational, helping the University of Michigan win the tournament for the 17th time in the school’s history. The Rangers’ second-round pick (59th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft recorded the primary assist on the game-winning goal in the championship game on Dec. 30 vs. Michigan Tech.
  • Sergey Zborovskiy, D, Regina Pats (WHL) – Zborovskiy tallied a point in two of Regina’s four games during the past week (one goal, one assist). The Rangers’ third round pick (79th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft recorded a goal and posted a plus-two rating on Dec. 30 at Prince Albert. After registering 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 71 games during his rookie season in the WHL in 2014-15, Zborovskiy has notched 13 points (five goals, eight assists) through his first 33 games of the 2015-16 season.

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“The last month and a half (has) been his best in junior hockey. He was injured earlier, but he’s gotten his game on track. When he’s on his game, with his talent level, he is a legitimate NHL candidate who we can feel good about in his ability to play for and help the Rangers.” – Rangers Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark on Ryan Gropp (Credit: New York Post)

RANGERS: THREE BLUESHIRT PROSPECTS HEAD TO WORLD JUNIORS

rp_new-york-rangers_thumb1.pngTHREE RANGERS PROSPECTS TO PARTICIPATE IN 2016 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

BY: The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, December 25, 2015 – Three New York Rangers prospects will represent their country in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Brandon Halverson (United States), Adam Huska (Slovakia), and Aleksi Saarela (Finland) will participate in the tournament, which takes place in Helsinki, Finland from December 26 to January 5.

Halverson, 19, has appeared in 21 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season, posting a 9-10-1 record. The Rangers’ second-round pick (59th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has made 30 or more saves in 11 appearances this season, and he has posted a 4-1-0 record, along with a 2.40 GAA and a .928 SV% in his last five appearances with the Greyhounds. Last season, Halverson became the first Rangers draft pick in franchise history to earn 40 or more wins in one season of junior hockey. Continue reading

CANTLON’S CORNER: RYAN GRAVES – A PROJECT THAT IS WORTH INVESTING IN

gerry-150x130Ryan Graves: A Project That Is Worth Investing In

BY: Gerry Cantlon, Howlings

Hartford, CT – Big, young athletes are not complete specimens at age 20 and 21. They still need to adjust to their size and strength. For the Hartford Wolf Pack, defenseman Ryan Graves epitomizes the growth and care when one makes a sizable investment.

Graves stands at an imposing 6’4, 220 lbs., and has shown the agility of a big man reminiscent of Dylan McIlrath, who spent three-plus seasons honing his game with the Wolf Pack.

Graves spent five years playing in the QMJHL, one of Canada’s three major junior leagues where along the way each year, things improved. Eventually, he was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 110th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Graves is a Yarmouth, Nova Scotia native. Yarmouth located on the southern tip of Nova Scotia and where the Atlantic Ocean is a big and significant presence. On the ice, Graves started out for two and half years playing in Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown. Continue reading