Rangers top prospects progress report – the Hamden Journal
Second of two parts
The organizational infrastructure is in place. The talent too. As the next wave of prospects prepares to hit Broadway, Director of Player Development Jed Ortmeyer has provided the Post with a progress report on the crème de la crème of Rangers.
Hartford’s Big 3 on ‘D’
The Blueshirts are expected to be on the hunt for a physical right-back as the March 21 trade deadline approaches, but before they try to deal for someone like Josh Manson from Anaheim, would the team give the opportunity to Braden schneider, who is in his first professional hockey season and won’t be 21 before September?
“It’s a question way above my pay level in terms of timing and moves made and who makes those calls,” Ortmeyer said of the 19th overall selection in the 2020 Draft the Rangers traded for. to select. “But as an organization we think the best players are going to play, and if someone is willing to go and we think he can help us win games then I guess he would be next. man.
“I could not put a timeline on it because I do not have this information and I am not taking over [general manager] Chris Drury’s job, but in terms of getting the best team on the ice, if it’s time for someone in Hartford to take a look and it helps us win games, I think management would do their best for the organization.
Coming Tuesday to Post Sports +: Larry Brooks takes his roster of Rangers prospects one step further. Not yet a Sports + member? Try it now.
Matthieu robertson, the 49th overall in the second round of 2018, is also 20 years old. The 6-foot-4, 201-pound, also in his first professional hockey season, was paired mostly with the 6-2, 210-pound Schneider.
“Consistency is the most important thing you want to see from young prospects, being able to come to the rink every day and take care of your responsibilities on and off the ice while having the big picture,” said Ortmeyer. “[Robertson] is big, he skates well, he handles the puck quite well.
“He worked hard in his offensive play to get over the blue line, pass the pucks and be efficient that way. For its size and the way it skates, it is not one-dimensional. He could fill any role that would be necessary in your alignment, could be a Swiss Army knife to go up and down.
Zac Jones, 21, of course, played 10 games for Rangers at the end of last season after leaving UMass. He’s had a great camp in the NHL, but the skillful 5-10, 172-pound southpaw will likely have to make his way to college which already includes smaller guys like Adam Fox and Nils Lundkvist.
“I think there is a little disappointment [that he is not in New York] but if there is no disappointment then we have the wrong guy, right? Ortmeyer asked rhetorically. “To Zac’s credit, his attitude never changed. He’s coming to the ice, he’s got a smile on his face, he wants to work hard, he’s good at training and he played really well at Hartford.
“He wants to play 25 minutes and in all situations, and I know he would want to be in New York. But Zac also sees the value of getting those minutes and working on his game so he’s ready when the time comes. He understood it. It shows in his attitude and in his playing.
“There are some things you can’t get by in professional hockey that you might do in college hockey when it comes to things like boxing,” Ortmeyer said. “As a little guy you have to learn to do it away from the net rather than the net. There are things you learn as you play against bigger bodies, more mature, hungry pro hockey players. It is the value of Zac who spends this time in Hartford.
“He’s good offensively and makes plays that you can’t really teach. He scored a power play goal the other night as he moved from coast to coast to tie the game. It was just a special piece that shows how talented Zac is. If we can improve on all these other aspects, his attacking game becomes even more valuable. “
When this year is n ° 1, Brennan Othman, was fired at Flint after a strong first Rangers training camp, the winger vowed to dominate his league. And that’s what he did, tied for third in the OHL with 20 goals and tied for 10th with 37 points in 24 games at the age of 18, even though he was snubbed for a spot on Canada’s squad for the World Juniors.
“His state of mind is in the right place. He uses that as a motivation to improve, ”said Ortmeyer, who visited Othmann last week. “He scores points, has a great shot and has a knack for finding the back of the net. But what I really love that it translates that you can’t teach is its competition.
“He’s ready to block the shots, he finishes his hits, he wants the puck on his stick all the time, almost at fault. He is very passionate about victory and achievement. You can’t teach it. Whether you call it swagger or determination, if you add that to his natural ability to score, there’s something really special about it.
“It’s going to take a while for her to mature physically and add strength to her [6-0, 180] framework, but once he catches his hockey skills, the sky is the limit.
Will cuylle, selected 60th overall in 2020 with the chosen LA pick for Lias Andersson, will represent Canada at the World Juniors after scoring 18 goals in 22 games for Windsor. The 6-4, 210-pound winger picked up where he left off after an exceptional Ranger camp after having the advantage of playing for the Wolf Pack last year under unique COVID protocols.
“We wanted him to come back, to be a man among the boys and to be physically dominant and successful offensively,” Ortmeyer said of the 19-year-old. “He’s got a big, heavy shot and we wanted him to use it and get that confidence that comes with scoring goals while also building on the habits he was able to establish last year at Hartford, like the backcheck responsibly, the finishing controls, the stick position and details like that. Was excited. “
The Prodigal (Maybe?)
It was Ortmeyer who brought up the name, unsolicited, when asked if there had been a prospect he had not yet been asked about. “Kravtsov? ” he said. “I’m pretty excited about it.”
It would of course be the winger Vitali Kravtsov 21, the ninth overall selection of 2018, who has been here, returned home, returned here, returned home again and is now assigned to KHL Traktor Chelyabinsk with perhaps one last chance to play for the Rangers.
“I think he’s got a lot of talent,” Ortmeyer said. “We want to see him do well. He’s still one of our guys and we want to be a resource for him and be there for whatever he needs. We hope he has a great season, and what happens next is obviously above my pay level. “