Joey Crabb

December Prospect Review

The season is at the mid-way point for many of the prospects in the Rangers system.  The highlights of the past month included a gold medal at the World Juniors for Nigel Dawes and a return to form from Brandon Dubinsky..   


 On The Rise
Joey Crabb
8GP 4-5-9 12PIM
20GP 7-8-15 18PIM
Crabb’s performances over the past month have drawn plenty of praise.  In a pair of televised games between Minnesota and Colorado College, Crabb was close to being the best player on the ice for the Tigers and perhaps the Gophers too.  It seemed as if he was in on almost every play and picked up a couple of goals for his trouble as the two teams split the results. 
Nigel Dawes
3GP 1-0-1 4PIM
28GP 18-9-28 14PIM
4GP 1-3-4 6PIM – WJC
To a large extent, Dawes was overshadowed by many of the other players on the Canadian roster in this year’s World Juniors.  After leading his team in scoring last year (including two goals in the final), Dawes has been relatively quiet this year on a squad that has been decimating their opponents.
Brandon Dubinsky
13GP 5-10-15 29PIM
35GP 11-16-27 85PIM
Last year’s leading point getter for the Winterhawks finally awoke from his offensive slumber in December.  While Portland, along with Dubinsky have struggled through much of the year.  The recent play of the 2004 2nd rounder will go a long way to helping them turn their season around.
Philippe Furrer
5GP 1-1-2 4PIM
30GP 3-3-6 14PIM
4GP 0-0-0 6PIM – WJC
We’ve managed to find out a whole lot more about Furrer in the past month, and the majority has been good.  After seeing him play in the World Juniors, and hearing about his desire to play college hockey in the US it’s clear that Furrer has recovered from last year’s season long injury.  The talented defenseman has managed to work his way up the depth chart for Bern and was one of the top blueliners for Switzerland at the World Juniors, playing in all situations. 
Alexandre Giroux
15GP 7-4-11 6PIM
33GP 12-5-17 35PIM
After being a passenger for much of the first two months of play, the lanky winger has finally appeared to find his scoring touch.  While certainly not an offensive dynamo, Giroux nevertheless has worked himself into the goal scoring league for the Wolf Pack and has found a way to contribute.
Jarkko Immonen
7GP 3-2-5 2PIM
33GP 13-19-32 16PIM
The beat goes on for Immonen.  Currently ranked third in scoring for the Finnish league, Immonen remains the offensive leader for JYP and is frequently represented in the three stars of the game, twice as the first and twice as the third star in games played last month. 
Maxim Kondratiev
5GP 1-1-2 29PIM (RUS)
24GP 2-6-8 49PIM
Kondratiev appears to be enjoying his time playing for second placed Lada Togliatti.  The young Russian defenseman has put together an impressive +11 rating in just 11 games, though he did serve a one game suspension following an unknown game incident. 
Rick Kozak
9GP 4-1-5 18PIM
21GP 7-1-8 51PIM
A trade at the beginning of December has brought about a rejuvenation in Kozak’s game this season.  After falling out of favor with the struggling Blazers, the hot-tempered winger has found a home in Prince Albert.  Kozak started his stint with his new team with 3 goals, an assist and a +6 rating in his first five games.
Jason Labarbera
10GP 9-0-0 .942 1.51
23GP 17-4-1 .942 1.57
Despite being pulled in a game, Labarbera did not lose through the month of December, a month in which he dominated both in regulation and in the shootout.  Last year’s AHL MVP actually got better and was one of the reasons the Pack has been able to make a run at the high flying Manchester Monarchs.  
Henrik Lundqvist
5GP 3-2-0 .923 2.02
23GP 17-5-1 .935 1.77
December perhaps wasn’t the best month for Lundqvist, but compared to many other prospects he still remains one of the brightest stars in the Rangers organization.  The young Swede continues to be amongst the leaders in the Elite League for save percentage (3rd) and goals against average (2nd).  
Dominic Moore
15GP 4-8-12 4PIM
35GP 7-21-28 22PIM
After a lull, Moore is well and truly back in the thick of things.  The second year pro now leads the Wolf Pack in assists and points and is among the leaders for plus/minus.  Perhaps more importantly, Moore is starting to regain the effectiveness that should see him through to another shot in the NHL.
Lawrence Nycholat
15GP 2-11-13 21PIM
34GP 5-16-21 46PIM
We’ve been wondering when we’d start to see Nycholat contribute offensively, and as it turns out it was the month of December.  After a slow start where his defensive partner Bryce Lampman stole the spotlight, Nycholat has rocketed into prominence with his offense.
Darin Olver
6GP 1-9-10 4PIM
18GP 5-14-19 16PIM
Fans of the Wildcats have continued to support Olver despite his offensive struggles this year.  The hard working centerman has found it difficult to find the back of the net, but impressed in his one televised game last month, scoring the only goal for his team (and for the month of December) in the game.  Olver has been playing in all situations and is often the go-to guy in the face-off circle.
Jakub Petruzalek
5GP 1-3-4 6PIM
29GP 14-22-36 24PIM
4GP 1-1-2 0PIM
The 2004 9th round draft pick continues to impress.  Petruzalek has continued his point a game pace and won selection to the Czech team for the World Juniors, picking up a goal and an assist through the first phase of the tournament.  The 5’9″ winger has now returned to Ottawa to continue playing with fellow Czech and linemate Lukas Kaspar.
Corey Potter
5GP 0-0-0 23PIM
11GP 0-1-1 41PIM
The Spartans’ season has been awful this year, but the play of Corey Potter has been one of the bright spots.  The junior defenseman has managed a +5 rating and remains the defensive leader for Michigan State.
Dylan Reese
6GP 2-3-5 4PIM
15GP 4-5-9 10PIM
The talented blueliner appears to be hitting his stride for the Crimson of Harvard.  After missing almost half of last season and an opportunity to play for the gold medal US World Junior team, Reese has established himself as the offensive leader on the blueline.  
Billy Ryan
5GP 1-1-2 4PIM
18GP 3-7-10 22PIM
Although he registered just two points in the month of December, Ryan continues to be one to watch.  One of the more offensively gifted players in the Rangers stable, the young freshman has been working hard this year and is creative in the offensive zone.
Craig Weller
15GP 1-6-7 37PIM
35GP 6-6-12 61PIM
Weller appears to be slowing down a little, but with the blueline in Hartford struggling some nights to ice a healthy six, he has been moved back somewhat permanently to defense.  The move has helped the Pack, but has of course put a dent in Weller’s offensive production. 
Chad Wiseman
15GP 7-4-11 7PIM
35GP 11-12-23 20PIM
In the early part of the season, Wiseman was getting plenty of chances but struggled to finish them.  In December that changed, as he got his offense somewhat on track
 Holding Steady
Ivan Baranka
7GP 1-2-3 4PIM
33GP 4-8-12 34PIM
4GP 0-1-1 4PIM – WJC
Little news to contribute on Baranka’s performance over the past month.  Offensively he continues to add points and his performances at the World Juniors went largely unwatched by the Rangers faithful.    
Dane Byers
10GP 2-4-6 46PIM
34GP 3-5-8 110PIM
Okay, so maybe we were a little hard on Dane last time around.  The physically minded forward has been part of the turnaround in form for the Raiders who managed to play .500 hockey in December…a marked improvement. 
Ryan Callahan
5GP 1-2-3 10PIM
32GP 16-11-27 53PIM
4GP 1-2-3 0PIM – WJC
We at OTG got our first look at Callahan during the World Juniors and we were both impressed and disappointed.  Disappointed because it appears that he’s not going to be the top line forward we’d hoped he might be, but impressed at his effort, particularly his work ethic and his willingness to battle through the net.  There’s a chance he could develop into a poor man’s Adam Graves and that’s what we’ll be looking for.
Lee Falardeau
16GP 5-3-8 6PIM
27GP 10-6-16 12PIM
Falardeau continues to resist using his body as much as many observers would have liked to see.  The former Michigan State forward has shown glimpses of the play that got him drafted as a 2nd rounder, but his play has been inconsistent for the suddenly struggling Checkers.
Bruce Graham
10GP 2-4-6 11PIM
40GP 21-16-37 40PIM
November was Graham’s month…December was certainly not a disaster but represented a return to more of a supporting role for the Wildcats offense.  The towering center managed just two goals in December and heads into the new year in a bit of a lull offensively. 
Mike Green
11GP 3-3-6 4PIM
33GP 7-13-20 30PIM
Not much news on Green, his statistics have been fairly consistent and he appears to be being used as a two way forward with penalty killing responsibilities and limited power play time. 
Nate Guenin
6GP 0-3-3 10PIM
19GP 1-5-6 66PIM
Ohio State slipped into second place in the NCAA and are ranked 10th nationally as of Monday.  Guenin has been a key piece for the Buckeyes, but after last year the expectations are high.
Dwight Helminen
15GP 0-4-4 4PIM (AHL)
10GP 4-4-8 0PIM (ECHL)
25GP 4-8-12 4PIM
Impressive after his initial call up, Helminen has slipped back into a role player with the Wolf Pack in the month of December.  A hot start to the month, gave way to steady play as he adjusted to the higher level.
Kim Hirschovits
5GP 1-2-3 2PIM
32GP 5-8-13 41PIM
A light schedule for HIFK has perhaps helped Kim escape from prospect purgatory for the moment, but the young Finn could do a lot more to garner attention in the coming month..
Ryan Hollweg
15GP 2-2-4 37PIM
33GP 4-3-7 66PIM
Hollweg continues to be a fan favorite in Hartford with his chippy style of play.  Hollweg continues to show a willingness to get involved, and is not afraid to drop the gloves.
Chris Holt
5GP 1-4-0 .894 2.93
17GP 8-8-1 .897 2.93
It was a disappointing month for the Mavericks and for Holt.  Four losses in five outings and a game in which he came into the net just 39 seconds into the match after his backup gave up two quick goals, were not the highlights Holt and the Mavs had hoped for.
Marcus Jonasen
9GP 4-4-8 12PIM
34GP 13-10-23 39PIM
A better month from the 20 year old captain of the Tri-city Americans.  His 23 season points rank him fifth on the team, while he’s tied for the team lead with 13 goals. 
Lauri Korpikoski
5GP 0-0-0 2PIM
25GP 0-2-2 10PIM
4GP 2-0-2 4PIM – WJC
Despite seeing his playing time reduced for TPS since coming back from a knee injury, Korpikoski has nonetheless brought some favorable comments in the past month.  The young Finn has been representing his country at the World Juniors and impressed obsevers with his work and talent level.
Bryce Lampman
12GP 0-3-3 8PIM
31GP 5-6-11 38PIM
A bad back kept Lampman out of a handful of games last month and perhaps curbed his effectiveness a little.  While not as impressive as earlier in the season, Lampman continues to be one of the go-to guys on the Pack blueline.
Lucas Lawson
8GP 0-3-3 13PIM
22GP 1-6-7 21PIM
Continuing his role as the 13th forward, Lawson has found plenty of playing time in the last month.  The defensive minded winger has also managed to find a way to chip in the odd assist and has been the perfect bench call-up as the Pack has battled through injuries. 
Steven MacIntyre
5GP 0-0-0 13PIM (AHL)
12GP 0-0-0 63PIM (ECHL)
30GP 0-0-0 115PIM
With Gillies and Grenier down, as well as a number of blueliners the Pack turned to MacIntyre to provide some muscle.  While not overly gifted talent-wise, MacIntyre has contributed as an enforcer and played within his abilities for the most part.
Jeff MacMillan
15GP 0-3-3 14PIM
34GP 1-4-5 29PIM
Steady would be the best description for the Pack’s plus/minus leader.  MacMillan has made little in the way of a positive impression, but has found a way to contribute to one of the better teams in the AHL.
Jan Marek
7GP 3-1-4 2PIM
27GP 5-12-17 14PIM
The addition of Petr Nedved and Jan Hlavac as well as injuries have impacted Marek’s performances this year.  Still the 25 year old (December 31st) Czech has managed to find ways to keep the offense ticking over.  We would have liked to see Marek do a little more given his age and experience.
Al Montoya
4GP 4-0-0 .902 2.41
18GP 13-4-1 .896 2.55
4GP 2-1-0 .901 2.28 – WJC
It hasn’t been an impressive year by any means for the 2004 1st round pick.  Montoya has struggled with his consistency despite his impressive record.  Questions abound as to whether his focus isn’t there this season after last year’s gold medal in the World Juniors and ensuing 6th overall selection in the draft.
Jonathan Paiement
9GP 0-9-9 20PIM
37GP 4-34-38 116PIM
Paiement’s offense largely comes from the power play and is perhaps helped along somewhat by some of his more offensively gifted teammates.  Certainly he could do little more statistically, but his play has not overly impressed observers who consider him an outside shot at the NHL despite the numbers. 
Petr Prucha
6GP 1-0-1 6PIM
33GP 1-7-8 14PIM
Prucha finally got his first goal of the season last month, but failed to make the Czech team for the ROSNO cup and continued to see limited offensive ice time.  Still, reports continue to suggest that he has been contributing on the defensive side of the pck and working hard. 
Roman Psurny
8GP 3-2-5 0PIM
34GP 11-13-24 27PIM
Psurny has been playing in all situations for the Tigers and has made a positive impression on those who’ve seen him play.  In December he continued his steady offensive production and contributed on the penalty kill when called upon.  A fairly slight winger, the biggest knock on him is a lack of strength. 
Rory Rawlyk
15GP 1-3-4 10PIM
30GP 4-8-12 45 PIM
Rawlyk continues to draw mixed reviews in Charlotte and has watched as three of his teammates have been called up to the Hartford blueline ahead of him.  Still wanting a little on defense, the lanky Rawlyk will need to improve his all round game if he wants to make the most of his career. 
Martin Richter
4GP 0-0-0 6PIM
27GP 3-3-6 18PIM
Injuries shortened the month for Richter, who managed just four games last month.
Ken Roche
4GP 0-1-1 4PIM
16GP 2-5-7 29PIM
Things have settled down a little for Roche in the past month.  A light schedule certainly hasn’t helped, but Roche has not been much of a factor in the handful of games that were played during December.
Juris Stals
11GP 4-3-7 4PIM
19GP 7-3-10 15PIM
Stals has had a moderately successful stint with Charlotte, but still has remained inconsistent.  With the Checkers struggling after a hot start, the Latvian could certainly be doing more to push his cause.
Jake Taylor
15GP 0-1-1 46PIM
22GP 0-3-3 79PIM
Taylor’s solid play as a third pairing d-man for the Pack has come at an important time for the club.  The towering blueliner has remained healthy and played within himself as he continues to learn the professional game  
Fedor Tyutin
8GP 1-0-1 6PIM
20GP 3-2-5 24PIM
Playing for the struggling St Petersburg club should give Tyutin plenty of experience on defense, but unfortunately for us there’s little to share in terms of progress other than his statistics. 
Layne Ulmer
8GP 1-4-5 2PIM
27GP 3-8-11 11PIM
His offensive game continues to come around despite missing several games to injury last month.
Stephen Valiquette
6GP 3-3-0 .928 1.91
13GP 7-5-1 .938 1.75
There appeared a point where Valiquette couldn’t buy a win in the past month.  Still the Hartford backup battled back and made the most of his opportunities, the highlight perhaps the 1-0 shootout loss to Lowell back on December 3rd where Valiquette made 40 saves during regulation and overtime, and then followed it up with 12 shootout stops before losing the game on the 53rd shot he faced.
 On The Decline
Zdenek Bahensky
6GP 0-1-1 0PIM
26GP 7-10-17 41PIM
After a sharp slip in production, it was probably not surprising that Bahensky failed to make it onto the Czech squad for the World Juniors.  After spending several days at the Czech camp, he was granted leave to return home and visit his family and friends and returned to the Blades line-up this week.
Jozef Balej
12GP 2-3-5 6PIM
31GP 5-11-16 25PIM
Balej continues to struggle this season, though it appears he’s over the worst of it.  The young winger finally ended a lengthy goal drought in December with a nice goal from a sharp angle, before adding another later in December.  It is still hoped that Balej will be able to recapture his form from last year where he was scoring at almost a goal a game pace..
Brandon Cullen
6GP 2-1-3 14PIM
13GP 2-4-6 48PIM
Cullen’s struggle with injuries continued through December, again missing several games.  In his limited action Cullen has been both a fan favorite and a contributor, but with this the last season in his contract, he may be playing for his career this season.
Ivan Dornic
11GP 0-0-0 2PIM
19GP 0-1-1 7PIM
After returning to his native Slovakia, Dornic has continued to see his stock drop.  The young centerman failed to register a point with Bratislava before dropping from the line-up altogether.
Rob Flynn
5GP 0-0-0 4PIM
13GP 0-3-3 2PIM
Just when things appeared as if they might be looking up slightly, Flynn once again became a healthy scratch in December.  The grinding forward has little to differentiate himself from other players, and appears destined to be a minor leaguer at best. 
Jordan Foote
0GP 0-0-0 0PIM
13GP 1-1-2 6PIM
Michigan Tech has struggled this season, and the successive failures have forced Foote out of the line-up altogether.  The free-skating winger failed to appear in a single game for the Huskies in the entire month of December.
Ilya Gorokhov
8GP 2-0-2 8PIM
35GP 4-6-10 26PIM
Again, not much to report on this aging Rangers prospect playing in Russia
Sven Helfenstein
4GP 0-1-1 4 PIM
24GP 8-6-14 14 PIM
Helfenstein’s stock continues to drop as his hot start has become a thing of the past.  In recent games Helfenstein has found himself separated from his more offensively gifted line mates.
Matt Kinch
10GP 0-3-3 2PIM
21GP 1-5-6 12PIM
Without a first hand account of how he’s playing, all we can go on is his modest offensive numbers and a plus/minus that continues to fall.. 
Aarto Laatikainen
5GP 0-1-1 4PIM
31GP 5-5-10 20PIM
It appears that November was a false alarm.  Laatikainen’s production slipped back to more modest levels in December and he was moved down to the third defensive pairing…not a particularly positive sign.. 
Greg Moore
5GP 0-0-0 2PIM
21GP 7-3-10 8PIM
We didn’t expect Moore’s hot offensive start to continue, but in some recently televised games we’ve barely noticed him on the ice.  The veteran leader for the Maine Black Bears continues to play in all situations, though his effectiveness has lessened as the season has gone on.
Garth Murray
15GP 1-1-2 48PIM
15GP 1-1-2 48PIM
After finally returning from a pre-season injury, Murray has been slow to make an impact on the Wolf Pack.  The physical winger has certainly contributed with his fists and body, but the lack of offense has been a disappointment to date.  Murray will either need to ratchet up his defensive play or find a way to get his offense going. 
Ales Pisa
7GP 0-1-1 12PIM
26GP 3-5-8 57PIM
Pisa continues to be hidden away in Russia with little news 
Mike Walsh
4GP 1-0-1 4PIM
15GP 1-5-6 18PIM
His play hasn’t been as bad as the results, but with Walsh this year was supposed to be all about results.  The 2002 5th round pick has simply had difficulty finding the back of the net.
Dan Blackburn
Injured in 2003
Blackburn has continued to struggle to return from a nerve injury suffered while lifting weights in the Summer of 2003.  He recently reported to Charlotte, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to play at a competitive level again. 
Blair Betts
3GP 2-1-3 0PIM
16GP 5-4-9 4PIM
The run of injuries to Blair Betts continued in the month of December, with yet another serious shoulder injury.  Betts elected to have surgery and will almost certainly miss the rest of the regular season, but may be back in time for the playoffs.  The injury marks the third time that Betts has had surgery on his shoulder. 
Trevor Gillies
7GP 0-0-0 61PIM
24GP 0-1-1 140PIM
A puck off the foot has put a significant dent in Gillies’ season, and just went the tough guy was starting to get praise from his coach.  Gillies suffered a broken bone and will be out for a significant part of the remainder of the season.
Martin Grenier
2GP 0-2-2 14PIM
8GP 0-3-3 45PIM
Grenier finally returned from a thumb injury suffered in a fight earlier in the year, only to re-injure his thumb and succumb to surgery.  The rugged defenseman could miss much of the remainder of the season with the injury, though he may be able to return in March.
Hugh Jessiman
0GP 0-0-0 0PIM
4GP 1-1-2 6PIM
After suffering an ankle injury and the resulting surgery, it appears that Jessiman will not be back before the end of the season.
David Liffiton
9GP 0-0-0 15PIM
24GP 0-0-0 41PIM
A shoulder injury cut short an impressive start to his pro career, but he should be back in early January.  Liffiton has continued to impress on the Hartford blueline, playing both a physical game and showing his ability to move the puck up ice. 
Thomas Pöck
3GP 0-1-1 2PIM
12GP 0-3-3 6PIM
A high ankle sprain suffered early in the month of December has kept Pöck out of the line-up for the past four weeks.  It is hoped that the young Austrian will be able to return to the line-up early in January and try to get his season back on track.
Richard Scott
Injured in 2003
Remains out of action with concussion like symptoms
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