NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 23: Dylan McIlrath #73 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils during a rookie game at the Prudential Center on September 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Although the 2012 NHL Entry Draft isn't even upon us, the New York Rangers are evaluating all of their prospects to get a better idea of where the team's weaknesses are in the farm system. This way, when the Rangers take the podium, they'll have a better idea of where they're going to go in the draft.
This was a big year for some Rangers prospects, mainly Michael St. Croix, who finished his season in the WHL with 105 points in 72 games before adding 19 points in 20 playoff games. Considering the biggest knock on St. Croix was his playoff performance (only a single goal in four playoff games last year) -- something that allowed him to fall to the fourth round -- this was a huge step up for him. The Rangers' brass has to be smiling from ear to ear with his development.
Another fantastic outburst was from last year's third-round pick Steve Fogarty. The young forward (who is committed to play at Notre Dame next year) scored a whopping 81 points in 60 BCHL games last year.
Join me after the jump for more.
Christian Thomas, last year's dark-horse to make the team out of camp, had a bit of a regression. After scoring 54 goals and 99 points last year, Thomas was suspended for 10-games this year and didn't hit his groove until the end of the season. Either way, he still put up 34 goals and 67 points in 55 and should be an interesting candidate in this year's camp.
I'm not going to include Tim Erixon on this list, since he spent some times with the big club and seems slated for a starting role next year. Dylan McIlrath still seems to be a year away, and as a defensive defenseman his stats probably won't tell you the full story anyway (23 points in 52 games, 127 penalty minutes).
Anyway, who are you guys most excited about? Someone above? Someone I didn't name?
The floor is yours.