I didn’t get a chance to post my thoughts for either of the final 2 games due to scheduling issues, so I’ll just throw out a quick review of all the players of note.
Tim Erixon: Tim Erixon looks mighty close to being NHL ready. A very cerebral player he seems to never make a poor decision with the puck, whether it’s just dumping it out along the boards when no pass is there, or threading the needle to set up a scoring opportunity. He seems to be very adept at looking one way and passing tape to tape in a completely different direction. While he doesn’t seem to be afraid of the physical contact, he looks pretty scrawny out there, and underdeveloped in terms of muscle mass, and it’s not like the lack of muscle makes him a blazing skater, far from it, he’s simply an average skater. He’s going to need to be quicker, and to get stronger, but the brains and hands are most definitely NHL ready.
Dylan McIlrath: An utter disappointment in nearly every facet. I wanted to see hitting. I saw him get outmuscled consistently. I wanted to see the supposed booming shot, I saw no such thing. I wanted to see the excellent skating, I saw a kid with horrible balance. The only aspect of McIlraths game that seemed polished is his fist punching. And he’s not going to use that as an entry point to the NHL. This kid is at a minimum of 3 years away, and he may be more like 4 or 5 years away if ever.
Blake Parlett: He was injured the last few games so it’s not fair to judge him on those, but in his other games he looked outstanding out there. Very smart player in all zones, excellent puck carrier, good vision, good offensive instincts, good defensive instincts. Kid looks like he’ll be a top pairing defenseman in Hartford almost guaranteed.
JT Miller: Absolutely outstanding. Aside from Ryan Bourque and possible Christan Thomas, no other Ranger forward even remotely stood out the way this kid did. I can see why the Rangers love him so much. He seems to be equal parts Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. Even though he’s just 18, he actually looked the most ready for the NHL game with his size, speed, and offensive instincts. Honestly it wouldn’t surprise me one iota if he was a late camp cut. But the Rangers will probably play it safe and send him down right away.
Ryan Bourque: If he was 3 inches taller, and 15 lbs heavier he would be a top 3 prospect in the Rangers organization. Hustle, hockey IQ, hands, instincts, it’s all there. This kid has the entire package…..except for his body. It would not surprise me if Ryan never plays in the NHL, and that’s a crying shame, because the kid is very talented, and plays the New York Rangers style of hockey to a T. However against the bigger, meaner defenseman, he’s going to get ROCKED, and he already has a history of concussions.
Carl Hagelin: By far and away the most disappointing forward. He was one of the oldest forwards in the tournament and didn’t really do all that much except for 1 really nice wrister. He’s a smart player, but I dont see anything in his game that leads me to believe he’ll make this club this year. I’ll have to say I was dead wrong thinking he had a spot to lose. Based on this tournament he isn’t even on my radar.
Shane McColgan: Superb offensive instincts, and is feisty as hell. I really liked what I saw from him. Looks to be good in the offensive zone, but once again, size my be the issue.
Michael St. Croix: Didn’t show much at all in any of the zones. Kinda had a Nigel Dawes type series in that I honestly had no idea he actually suited up and played.
Christian Thomas: Probably would have been the leading point scorer if his teammates could learn to finish off his passes. His 1 goal was fairly disappointing, actually his lack of shots on goal was the most disappointing thing, but his playmaking, speed, hustle…it was all there. I think him being a liability in the defensive zone is very overstated. Sure he had that giveaway at the end of the Carolina game, but that was really just a fluke thing, don’t put too much stock into it. Thomas may have an outside chance at making the Rangers depending on his camp….he does need to get bigger and stronger though, that much is clear.
Andrew Yogan: Very impressed with his game. Looked like a pretty talented kid there, with some good hands. Kind of reminded me a little of Frolov to be honest. Strong on the boards, finds himself in good scoring position, and was unable to finish. Too bad he got injured, would have liked to have seen more.