Ranger Analysis: Where is the Youth? (Update)

Give the kids a shot! That phrase has been uttered, written, screamed, yelled and talked about ever since the lockout. This off-season has been no exception. Many of you at one point or another have discussed the lack of kids—or home grown talent—on the Rangers. And for good reason, Sather hasn’t exactly agreed with that philosophy of thinking.  But as of this off-season I think Sather has gotten the memo—finally!

Many of you have been complaining that there aren’t enough kids on the roster and that some of the signings shouldn’t have been made because they take spots away from kids. Well let’s take a more in depth look at that statement. Here is what the roster looks like now (with what I think the lines will turn out to be).

Higgins-Dubinsky-Gaborik
Callahan-Drury-Kotalik
Avery-Anisimov-Zherdev?
Brashear-Boyle-Byers?

Extra possibilities: Parenteau

Redden-Rozsival
Staal-Girardi
Gilroy-?

Extra possabilities: Sanguinetti, Heikkinen, Del Zotto, Potter, Sauer

 

Lundqvist
Valiquette

 

With the forwards I am assuming that Anisimov and Byers make the team, it works out for this because if only one makes the team—I have to think at least one makes the team out of camp—we can assume Parenteau will take one of their slots. For defenseman everything works out—can’t imagine the Rangers are giving Gilroy 1.75 a year on a one way contract to play in the AHL and the other slot will be given to a kid. So let’s do a little math now:

Of the forwards 4 of the 12 are home grown, that’s 33%; that’s also assuming that Zherdev is signed if he isn’t then a prospect will likely take his place making it 5 of 12 players. Of the 6 defenseman 4 of them are home grown, that’s 66%; also assuming neither is moved and the spot is given to a kid. And of the goalies 1 of the two is home grown, that’s 50%; this shouldn’t change. If you look at the entire 20 man roster 45% of the players are home grown talents, with all of the factors I wrote above in place.  Now for those of you that think that that still isn’t enough to give Sather a pat on the back for his youth movement let’s look at each player that isn’t home grown and see if a prospect could take their place.  

Marian Gaborik: No prospect can do what he will do day in and day out.  
Chris Higgins: I don’t think any prospect—aside from maybe Anisimov—is going to put up 20+ goals a year.
Chris Drury: Again I don’t think any prospect—aside from maybe Anisimov—might put up 20+ goals a year.
Ales Kotalik: I feel like a broken record. Again no prospect except for maybe Anisimov is going to put up the numbers he will.
Sean Avery: NO prospect can do what Avery does, enough said.
NiK Zherdev: If he is resigned no prospect can do what he does with the puck.  
Donald Brashear:Not even debatable, Brashear is the best fighter in the league, no AHL prospect is even near that status.
Brian Boyle:I suppose you can argue that a prospect can take his place, but he is very skilled and will probably do better than 90% of the prospects in the AHL.
Wade Redden: There might be a slim argument here.
Michael Rozsival:No defenseman in the AHL can do what Rozsival does, sorry but it’s true.
Stephan Valiquette: Best backup in the league, no goalie can do what he does.

So there you have it, I would say maybe two players are replaceable—Boyle and Redden. I would say that Sather has done a great job with the kids, do you agree? Have at it in the comments.

Update: Woah! I can see from the comments that there may be a slight misunderstanding here. I am not trying to say that in Sathers entire tenure he has done well with this particular youth campaign, he really has done well in any campaign but alas. What I am arguing is that in the past two or three years (when I feel he really took giving the kids a shot seriously) he has done a good job. To go from basically 10% home grown talent to 45% in two years is pretty good to me. Yes he is making up for previous mistakes but it had to be done sometime and I think he is doing a pretty good job.

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