Nate Guenin

November Prospect Review

It took us a few extra days to get this month’s prospect review assembled, but we hope that it’s not too late.  Once again we’ve taken a look at the Rangers prospect pool and attempted to grade them of their performances over the last month.  Included are their statistics for the month, plus those that they have aggregated over the season.   


 On The Rise
Blair Betts
7GP 2-2-4 2PIM
13GP 3-3-6 4PIM
Some might question why we chose to put Blair Betts amongst the players on the rise.  He missed six games with injury in the past month and registered just two goals, but that would be overlooking the effort and defensive skills that the hard nosed forward brings to the Pack. 
Ryan Callahan
11GP 4-3-7 8PIM
27GP 15-9-24 43PIM
It’s official now, Callahan will be part of the US team who will look to defend their gold medal this January.  The 2004 4th round draft pick was one of just 12 players named to team USA and continues to impress observers with his hard work ethic and willingness to drive to the net
Nigel Dawes
10GP 6-1-7 8PIM
28GP 18-9-28 14PIM
Like Callahan, Dawes will represent his country this winter in the World Junior Championships and will hope to repeat last year’s impressive performance.  The 5’8″ left winger continues to rack up the goals and was among the three stars of the game several times in the month of November.
Bruce Graham
12GP 9-7-16 11PIM
30GP 19-12-31 29PIM
After a so-so start, the 2004 2nd round pick has finally found his stride, becoming the offensive leader for the Moncton Wildcats.  A frequent selection amongst the three stars of the game in the past month.  Perhaps more promising is reports that he is starting to use his size to his advantage.  
Nate Guenin
5GP 0-2-2 41PIM
13GP 1-2-3 56PIM
Aside from a lost weekend against the Mavericks, Ohio State has been one of the stronger teams in the CCHA.  Guenin once again has been a big part of that as the leading defender on the blueline.  With plenty of edge to his game (include a one game suspension), “Nasty” is once again showing his potential pro credentials.
Dwight Helminen
3GP 0-1-1 0PIM (AHL)
10GP 4-4-8 0PIM (ECHL)
13GP 4-5-9 0PIM
Helminen’s stint in the ECHL didn’t last long.  The former team mate of Jed Ortmeyer and Al Montoya quickly rose to prominence on Charlotte and was considered by some observers to be one of their best players.  His promotion to Hartford occurred soon after and he made a strong debut in his first AHL start.
Jarkko Immonen
7GP 3-5-8 10PIM
26GP 10-17-27 14PIM
Reports out of Finland continue to praise Immonen’s play this season.  Despite centering the second line for JYP, Immonen is ranked third in scoring in the league, just one point behind the two leaders. 
Aarto Laatikainen
8GP 4-1-5 0PIM
26GP 5-4-9 16PIM
For whatever reason, the Espoo Blues defender found his scoring touch in November, putting up numbers that are comparable to last year’s solid performances.  Still considered a long shot to make the transition to North America, Laatikainen nevertheless has been a consistent contributor for his home town Blues. 
Jason Labarbera
9GP 4-4-1 .950 1.78
13GP 8-4-1 .942 1.61
Labarbera let in just 16 goals in his 9 games in November and yet managed just a 4-4-1 record, a result of an anemic Wolf Pack offense that provided little in the way of support.  Despite the tough going, last year’s AHL MVP continues to be the anchor in the Hartford net. 
Bryce Lampman
13GP 3-3-6 17PIM
19GP 5-3-8 30PIM
Few would have predicted that Lampman would be amongst the top goal scorers on the Pack, 19 games into the season.  But that is just where the young defenseman sits.  Playing in all situations as the nominal number one pairing (with Nycholat), Lampman has assumed more responsibility since Tyutin and Kondratiev left for Russia.
David Liffiton
6GP 0-0-0 16 PIM (AHL)
5GP 0-0-0 8 PIM (ECHL)
15GP 0-0-0 22 PIM
The departure of the two Russian defensemen has opened up the door for Liffiton to make an impression at the AHL level.  A defensive minded blue liner who does not shy away from using his body, has slotted in nicely to the Pack line-up and has been a solid player in his own zone, moving the puck well. 
Henrik Lundqvist
8GP 6-1-1 .934 1.80
23GP 17-5-1 .935 1.77
The beat goes on for Lundqvist.  The young netminder continues to impress, including praise for his performance in the Karjala cup for Sweden.  
Jakub Petruzalek
8GP 3-5-8 4PIM
24GP 13-19-32 18PIM
Few of the Rangers draft picks have turned the heads as much as 2004 9th round pick Jakub Petruzalek.  The rookie continues to not only score but to impress those who’ve seen him play in person.  There are still questions as to whether his age (19 years old) and line mate (Kaspar) have helped contribute to his strong start in North America, but it’s hard to argue with what he’s done so far.
Corey Potter
6GP 0-1-1 18PIM
6GP 0-1-1 18PIM
Clearly the leader on the blueline for Michigan State, the Spartans struggled with Potter out of the line-up.  Now that he’s back, bringing his edge with him, Rick Comley’s team may finally find a way to begin winning again.
Ken Roche
8GP 2-4-6 4PIM
12GP 2-4-6 25PIM
Roche and BU both got off to a slow start, but the left winger and the team in general has been coming on in recent weeks.  Paired with captain Mike McConnell and rugged winger Ryan Weston, Roche has picked up his level of play and also gets time on the first team power play with MacArthur and Bourque, two of the team’s offensive leaders.
Billy Ryan
6GP 0-4-4 14PIM
13GP 2-6-8 18PIM
Ryan continues to impress as a freshman for the Maine Black Bears.  A late addition to the roster, Ryan has continued to keep pace offensively and remains one of the Rangers more promising prospects from this year’s draft.  Continues to be one to watch
Jake Taylor
2GP 0-0-0 4PIM (AHL)
5GP 0-1-1 23PIM (ECHL)
11GP 0-2-2 33PIM
Along with his team mate David Liffiton, Taylor is of course taking advantage of the return of Kondratiev and Tyutin to Russia.  Still the rugged defenseman has drawn praise from his coach before suffering a broken orbital bone in practice off of a wayward shot by the very same Ryan McGill.
Stephen Valiquette
5GP 2-2-0 .938 1.53
7GP 4-2-0 .942 1.52
In some ways Valiquette has been more impressive than Labarbera this season and has made coach McGill’s task just that more challenging.  Still Valiquette remains the backup in Hartford and will need to continue his strong play if he hopes to wrest the starting job from AHL MVP Jason Labarbera
Craig Weller
13GP 5-0-5 18PIM
19GP 5-0-5 24PIM
Despite splitting time between forward and defense, not to mention some of that time at forward in a fourth line role, the former Kootenay Ice defender has found a way to generate offense.  After a slow start, Weller has battled back into prominence earning ice time and power play time (he leads the Pack with 3 power play goals). 
 Holding Steady
Zdenek Bahensky
11GP 1-3-4 29PIM
26GP 7-10-17 47IM
Bahensky continues to draw interest after his hot start, but his offense has cooled down somewhat in November, with just one goal in eleven games.  No doubt we’ll see more of the young Czech as the season progresses
Ivan Baranka
11GP 2-2-4 10PIM
26GP 3-6-9 30PIM
The steady blueliner continues to some extent to fly under the blueline.  On the defense first Everett Silvertips, Baranka’s contributions can easily be overlooked.   
Joey Crabb
8GP 2-1-3 6PIM
12GP 3-3-6 6PIM
The Tigers are once again ranked among the nation’s best teams, but Crabb is still looking to find his scoring touch.  Playing on the second line for Colorado College, Crabb also gets plenty of power play time and will need to up his offensive output.
Brandon Cullen
5GP 0-2-2 18PIM
7GP 0-3-3 34PIM
An injury cut short Cullen’s playing time this past month, but the rugged forward continues to play his game.  The question has always been his durability, here’s hoping this fan favorite can battle back once again.
Brandon Dubinsky
8GP 2-3-5 16PIM
22GP 6-6-12 56PIM
Last year’s leading scorer for the Winterhawks continues to lag behind in terms of offensive production.  A severe finger injury sustained by a slash caused him to miss a handful of games, but the rugged forward is now back and playing again.  Appears to have realized that staying out of the penalty box helps his game this past month.
Lee Falardeau
11GP 5-3-8 6PIM
11GP 5-3-8 6PIM
There are promising signs coming out of Charlotte with respect to Lee Falardeau.  The right winger managed a hat trick in November and has started to show signs of both offense and physical play, something that had been lacking last year with Michigan State of the NCAA.  There’s still plenty of work to do for the rangy forward, but an injury or two could see him make his AHL debut.
Rob Flynn
7GP 0-2-2 2PIM
8GP 0-3-3 2PIM
Flynn continues to get consistent playing time which is an improvement over last year, but the grinding forward still has done little to change our minds on his ultimate role as a pro. 
Philippe Furrer
8GP 0-2-2 4PIM
25GP 2-2-4 10PIM
Once again there’s little to go on with respect to Furrer, in terms of playing in the Swiss National Liga, Furrer has yet to miss a game and has contributed the odd point or penalty minute. 
Trevor Gillies
11GP 0-0-0 41PIM
17GP 0-1-1 79PIM
Gillies continues to play his role of enforcer for the Pack, a role that is largely his alone with Martin Grenier out with injury.  Could still perhaps avoid a few penalties here and there, but for the most part takes someone with him to the box.
Mike Green
8GP 1-3-4 6PIM
22GP 4-10-14 26PIM
Green continues to be a secondary offensive contributor for Nurnberg of the German league. 
Sven Helfenstein
9GP 3-2-5 2 PIM
24GP 8-6-14 10 PIM
The odd goal, and assist has kept Helfenstein in the “holding steady” category, but a scoring slump in the latter part of November may signal the end to his best start of his career.
Ryan Hollweg
13GP 1-0-1 16PIM
17GP 2-1-3 29PIM
He’s not expected to be an offensive leader and largely brings energy to the Wolf Pack line-up and yet we still were hoping for more than a solitary goal and a -4 rating for the month of November.  The one plus for Hollweg is that he has forced his way into the line-up after being on the bubble coming out of camp.  Still when you watch Pack games, Hollweg is always one of the most noticeable players on the ice.
Chris Holt
6GP 2-3-1 .900 3.00
12GP 7-4-1 .899 2.93
The fairytale beginning to the Mavericks’ season is over, but Holt continues to battle for the surprising Mavs, including winning the CCHA defensive player of the week after shutting out Ohio State 4-0 and coming back the following night to hold the game to a 4-4 tie.  In all Holt stopped 65 of 69 shots faced. 
Marcus Jonasen
13GP 4-3-7 15PIM
25GP 9-6-15 27PIM
We’re still waiting for Jonasen to explode offensively, but in playing all positions and leading the Tri-city Americans there is more than just offense to his game.
Maxim Kondratiev
6GP 0-1-1 12PIM (RUS)
7GP 0-3-3 4PIM (AHL)
19GP 1-4-5 20PIM
It was disappointing to see Kondratiev leave the Wolf Pack, particularly after seeing how raw his talent was.  In returning to Russia, Kondratiev will no doubt face better competition, but will perhaps miss out on some of the skill development and familiarization with North America that will benefit his career in the long term.
Lauri Korpikoski
6GP 0-0-0 4PIM
20GP 0-2-2 8PIM
A knee injury forced Korpikoski to miss some games, but the break for the Karjala cup allowed him to come back with TPS late in the month.  The 2004 1st round pick continues to play in the SM Liiga and that is a positive.
Lucas Lawson
10GP 1-2-3 4PIM
14GP 1-3-4 8PIM
Lawson has earned himself the spot of 13th forward with the Pack and has been inserted into the line-up whenever there’s an injury or a player is rested.  The former University of Maine winger has perhaps not carried his training camp form into the season, but he remains a level ahead of where he was last year 
Steven MacIntyre
1GP 0-0-0 9 PIM (AHL)
8GP 0-0-0 17 PIM (ECHL)
13GP 0-0-0 28 PIM
His one game appearance in the AHL probably showed that he wasn’t quite ready for the step up, but he continues to play his aggressive and fan pleasing game in Charlotte.
Jeff MacMillan
12GP 0-0-0 11PIM
18GP 1-0-1 4 PIM
The veteran defenseman has become a reliable defender for the Pack, but continues to struggle offensively.
Jan Marek
8GP 1-5-6 2 PIM
20GP 2-11-13 12 PIM
There’s been a steady improvement in Marek’s numbers in November after an injury interrupted first month to the season.  The departure of several high profile players from the Czech Extraliga to Russia will no doubt also help his cause. 
Al Montoya
6GP 4-2-0 .878 3.00
14GP 9-4-1 .891 2.69
Montoya was no doubt one of the first names to be selected again for the US national team after last year’s gold medal performance.  But the Rangers first overall pick in this year’s draft has not been on top of his game in terms of stopping the puck.  The Michigan netminder has been at times brilliant and at others inconsistent.  It’s fair to say that not all the blame is on him, but he needs to step his level of intensity up.
Dominic Moore
13GP 1-7-8 14PIM
19GP 3-13-16 18PIM
It might seem a little unfair to put Moore in the “Holding Steady” section, but while he has continued to add assists the former Harvard star has struggled to find the back of the net, registering a solitary goal in November.  Moore’s intensity has also dropped from his early season high where he centered the most productive line with Balej and Wiseman
Greg Moore
7GP 2-1-3 2PIM
16GP 7-3-10 6PIM
While his game hasn’t slowed down, his offensive production hasn’t.  Moore continues to be a leader on the Maine roster at both ends of the ice. 
Lawrence Nycholat
13GP 2-4-6 21PIM
19GP 3-5-8 25PIM
Nycholat is beginning to show once again some of the passion that he displayed last year.  It’s not a coincidence that his offensive numbers have responded in positive terms either.  He still has a ways to go before he reaches the level that saw him make his NHL debut last year, but he continues to improve.
Darin Olver
6GP 4-2-6 4PIM
12GP 4-5-9 12PIM
The numbers for Olver look impressive, but it’s fair to say that last year’s offensive leader for Northern Michigan has not been at the top of his form.  4 of his 6 points came in a weekend match-up with lowly Michigan Tech.  Observers have said the effort is there, but his finishing hasn’t been.
Jonathan Paiement
10GP 0-6-6 39PIM
28GP 4-25-29 96PIM
After vaulting into the forefront with a red-hot offensive start to the season, Paiement is settling back into his role as a veteran defenseman for the Maineiacs.  The 19 year old blueliner’s production has slowed from it’s breakneck pace but he continues to be given plenty of ice time.
Petr Prucha
8GP 0-4-4 6PIM
27GP 0-7-7 8PIM
The goals haven’t been coming, but Prucha has spent his time working hard defensively as more highly thought of team mates have gotten the lion’s share of the offensive opportunities.  Prucha did also represent the Czech Republic at the Karjala Cup, largely due to his performances in the World Championships earlier this year. 
Roman Psurny
13GP 3-3-6 9PIM
26GP 8-11-19 27PIM
Another of the CHL rookies who had a strong start and has slowed down in recent weeks.  Psurny has remained relatively anonymous on a Medicine Hat team that started the season as the hottest team in the WHL and there’s no doubt that the team success benefited the young Czech. 
Rory Rawlyk
11GP 3-3-6 14PIM
15GP 3-5-8 35 PIM
The veteran laden Checkers have made it to the top of the ECHL and Rawlyk has definitely been a beneficiary and a contributor to that success.  The lanky blueliner continues however to draw mixed reviews in terms of where his potential lies.   
Dylan Reese
8GP 2-1-3 4PIM
9GP 2-2-4 6PIM
Harvard has been a moderate surprise this season so far, including knocking off the #1 ranked Boston College program in the month of November.  Their offensive leader on the blueline, Dylan Reese has certainly contributed to that success and may be on the verge of breaking out in his sophomore season.  
Martin Richter
4GP 0-1-1 2PIM
23GP 3-3-6 12PIM
Martin Richter appears to be benefiting from the addition of NHL quality players to the Czech extraliga.  The one time Wolf Pack defender has contributed some timely offense in the last month and has also managed a +8 while performing his duties.
Juris Stals
4GP 0-0-0 7PIM
4GP 3-0-3 4PIM
Stals spent much of November on the sidelines after being called up by the Wolf Pack.  The Latvian native impressed early in his season with the Checkers and drew a call-up, but did not eventuate in a start for Hartford.  Now back with the Checkers, Stals will be looking to catch up once again.
Fedor Tyutin
5GP 0-1-1 6PIM (RUS)
7GP 2-0-2 2PIM (AHL)
18GP 2-2-4 16PIM
Tyutin clearly looked a level above the other players in the AHL and no doubt that played a large part in the decision of Rangers management to allow the young Russian to return to his home country to play with St Petersburg.  Unlike Kondratiev, Tyutin has already established himself in North America and will be simply looking for a higher level of competition. 
Layne Ulmer
13GP 2-3-5 2PIM
19GP 2-7-9 9PIM
Ulmer appears to have finally found some offensive touch after a slow start to the season.  One of the handful of players to have played in all 19 games so far for the Pack, Ulmer appears to be coming around.
Mike Walsh
6GP 0-5-5 6PIM
11GP 0-5-5 14PIM
It’s fair to say it hasn’t been the start to the season that Walsh and Notre Dame had hoped for.  After scoring 12 goals last season, the Junior left winger has yet to find the back of the net though it hasn’t been through lack of trying.
Chad Wiseman
13GP 1-6-7 7PIM
19GP 4-8-12 13PIM
There’s no doubt that Wiseman is getting the chances to score, he is second on the team in shots on goal and always seems to be getting breakaways.  The problem with Wiseman remains his finishing.  Just one goal in the thirteen games in the last month and just four with quarter of the season in the books.
 On The Decline
Jozef Balej
13GP 1-4-5 14PIM
19GP 3-8-11 20PIM
It’s fair to say that Jozef Balej is in a slump.  After a hot start with line mates Wiseman and Moore, Balej has struggled to do much offensively, including missing on a penalty shot opportunity mid-way through the month.
Dane Byers
7GP 0-0-0 26PIM
24GP 1-1-2 64PIM
The Raiders and Byers continued to struggle in the month of November, and the play that got Byers selected in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft has for much of the time been absent from his game. 
Ivan Dornic
0GP 0-0-0 0PIM
8GP 0-1-1 5PIM
After falling out with Portland over his limited ice time and not finding any takers in a trade, Dornic has returned to his native Slovakia, where he will eventually suit up for Slovan Bratislava of the Extraliga. 
Jordan Foote
7GP 0-0-0 2PIM
6GP 1-1-2 4PIM
A defensive minded forward on one of the worst teams in the WCHA is not going to be an easy road for a freshman.  The free skating Foote has found little opportunity to contribute to team success on a team that has been lacking success as a whole.
Alexandre Giroux
12GP 4-0-4 22PIM
18GP 5-1-6 29PIM
Expected to be one of the offensive leaders on the Pack this year, the former 8th round draft pick potted four goals in the month of November, but was an inconsistent contributor for the most part.
Ilya Gorokhov
7GP 0-2-2 4PIM
27GP 2-6-8 18PIM
Once again, not much to report on Gorokhov other than his statistics 
Kim Hirschovits
10GP 1-2-3 33PIM
27GP 4-6-10 39PIM
It appeared briefly in October that Hirschovits might be finding his offensive touch, but a lost month in November has put the 2002 6th round pick back in the “disappointing” column.
Matt Kinch
8GP 0-2-2 6PIM
21GP 1-5-6 12PIM
Kinch continues to struggle offensively in what should have been relatively easy competition for the former Calgary Hitmen blueliner. 
Rick Kozak
10GP 3-0-3 27PIM
12GP 3-0-3 33PIM
The rugged winger returned from suspension and has had some moderate success, but Kozak continues to find ways to end up in the penalty box.  The month ended with the announcement that Kozak had once again been traded, the third time in his WHL career. 
Ales Pisa
6GP 0-0-0 41PIM
26GP 3-5-8 57PIM
Not much news on Pisa other than the lack of offensive production 
Thomas Pöck
12GP 0-3-3 6PIM
12GP 0-3-3 6PIM
There are plenty of expectations on Pöck after last year’s NHL debut and a season with UMass that saw him nominated for the Hobey Baker award.  But after missing the start of the season due to injury, the Austrian native has been slow to demonstrate his offensive ability.
Dan Blackburn
Injured in 2003
More bad news for Blackburn who continues to make his way back from nerve damage in his shoulder.  The next evaluation will be done on Blackburn around Christmas this year, meaning he won’t return this calendar year and may have the season in jeopardy once again. 
Martin Grenier
1GP 0-0-0 0PIM
6GP 0-1-1 31PIM
Missed all but one game of the month due to injury, is expected to return in December
Hugh Jessiman
2GP 0-1-1 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.
Garth Murray
Injured in training camp
Murray has had a string of injuries since turning pro in 2002, his bad luck continued this week with a broken thumb that will keep him out 4-6 weeks and is likely to cause him to miss 4-6 AHL regular season games 
Richard Scott
Injured in 2003
Remains out of action with concussion like symptoms
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