The other day i listed that Derek Stepan was number 44 in the hockey's future rankings of prospects and many correctly due to EG being ahead of Stepan in the team rankings that he should be in the top 25 and he is at number 18.
18. Evgeny Grachev, LW – New York Rangers
Height: 6'4, Weight: 220
Selected by the NY Rangers in the third round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Grachev was considered to be a steal by organization brass. The OHL Rookie of the Year for 2008-09, Grachev adjusted well to the North American game and was very impressive in Rangers training camp. Currently a member of the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack, Grachev got off to a slow offensive start this season. However, his size, strength and scoring ability make Grachev’s success seemingly inevitable. Expect him to compete for a roster spot in New York next fall.
There are some around here who look at his numbers in Hartford and are off the bandwagon that was so heavy in training camp that it broke an axle. Personally i am not worried about Grachev suddenly being a bust, but maybe what is happening is people are taking a step back from the unreasonable expectations that he was going to come in here and save us on Day 1. I still believe he will become a 30+ goal scorer but it may take a couple years and he continues his development and while i dont disagree that he will once again compete in camp for a roster spot i believe he starts next year and maybe even ends it in Hartford.