Prospect Pool: Wolf Pack Finishing Strong
By Matt Calamia
Each week, BlueshirtsUnited.com will update Rangers fans on what the organization's prospects have done statistically over the past seven days for their respective teams in the AHL, ECHL, NCAA, CHL and European leagues. For a full listing of all prospect statistics, click here.
Despite being eliminated from the postseason, the Hartford Wolf Pack are playing some of the best hockey of their season, winning two out of three games this past week and seven of their last eight overall, including a seven-game win streak. Hartford has two games remaining in their season.
Leading the way was forward J.T. Miller, who notched two goals and two assists in three games, with both goals coming in the team’s 7-2 win over St. John’s this past weekend. Miller is tied with Oscar Lindberg for the team lead in points with 43, despite playing 32 fewer games. Miller has split time between Hartford and the Rangers this season, and has posted 15 goals and 28 points in just 41 games.
Speaking of Lindberg, he too had a strong week with a goal and an an assist in three games. The young Swede has 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in 73 games played with Hartford this season.
Not to be out-done by either Miller or Lindberg, forward Danny Kristo continued his impressive freshman year of pro hockey with two goals and two assists in three games, including back-to-back multi-point games against St. John’s. The 23-year-old leads the team with 24 goals, and is tied for second in points with 42 in 63 games.
Forward Marek Hrivik added two goals this week, giving him 12 on the season. He has 25 points in 72 games.
Skjei Reaches NCAA Title Game
Rangers 2012 first-round pick Brady Skjei and the University of Minnesota’s season came to an end this weekend, after the Gophers were defeated by Union College, 7-4. A day prior, Skjei picked up an assist on Justin Holl’s short-handed goal with less than a second left to defeat the University of North Dakota to advance to the title game.
Skjei had three assists in the four NCAA Tournament games, and finished his regular season with six goals and five assists for 11 points in 35 games.
Playoffs Continue in CHL
The postseason is into its third week in the Canadian Hockey Leagues, and the Rangers have three players still battling. Starting in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, 2013 fourth-round pick Ryan Graves and Val-d'OR have advanced to the QMJHL semi-finals after beating Drummondville, 4-2. Graves registered one assist in the six-game series and picked up four PIMs. Overall, Graves has one assist in 10 playoff games.
Shifting to the Ontario Hocke League, Rangers prospect Troy Donnay and the Erie Otters swept the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to advance to the OHL semis, where they'll take on the Guelph Storm. Donnay picked up a goal and an assist in the four-game series.
Lastly, Mackenzie Skapski and the Kootenay Ice are up 3-2 in their series with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League. Skapski continues to have an up and down postseason with the Ice. After appearing in the first four games against Medicine Hat, Skapski was pulled in Game 4 after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and did not play in Game 5.
Big Week in the ECHL
The Rangers’ four forward prospects playing for the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL all had strong weeks, led by Kyle Jean who notched four assists in four games. The 24-year-old has four goals and 12 assists in 24 points in Greenville this season.
Josh Nicholls recorded two goals and two assists, giving him 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points in 63 games, while Michael St. Croix registered a goal and an assist to give him 48 points in 53 games with Greenville. Andrew Yogan scored one goal, to give him 15 points in 16 games.