2012 New York Rangers Prospects: Boo Nieves Edition

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 23: Cristoval Nieves, 59th overall pick by the New York Rangers, talks during day two of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Today will continue Russ Cohen's contributions on Blueshirt Banter, this time about Boo Nieves the New York Rangers second round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

For those of you who don't know, Cohen is an author http://www.amazon.com/Russ-Cohen/e/B0034P5DNC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_2 who can also be read at www.sportsology.info. You can also follow him on Twitter @sportsology.

Below the jump is Russ' story.

When the Rangers selected Cristoval Nieves out of Kent H.S. in Connecticut nobody was that surprised. He's a local kid who the team had plenty of chances to scout and the reports were solid.

"I always thought it could be the Rangers," said the Baldwinsville, NY native.

From my analysis on Nieves after the draft:

The left winger is a smooth, fluent skater with nice speed bursts. His hockey speed is faster than most defenseman at his level. He is capable of splitting a defense or he can setup in the slot trying to use his size. His stick and puck skills are solid but could use some improvement and he needs to have more of a sniper approach but the raw skills are there.

His high school numbers were off the chart with a career average of 1.63 points per game. However, when he played for the Indiana Ice of the USHL his production dropped to .77 points per game with only two goals. Cleary the jump did affect him so it will be interesting to see how he does in his freshman season in Michigan.

"They have a lot of tradition. It's like no other and they have Red Berenson," he said adding two big reasons and there were more. He also talked about a current Ranger winger who was a captain at Michigan.

"I will be wearing his number next year (12)."

Looking down the road the Rangers could have some size and speed with Chris Kreider and Nieves leading the charge in a new NHL that has gotten bigger, faster and more skilled in the past few years and the Rangers draft picks have reflected that.

His nickname of "Boo" is an interesting one and he explained that with a smile.

"When I was younger they called me "Bugaboo" but when I got older it wasn't working for me," he said.

The 59th overall pick in 2012 knows how to chase down a loose puck, which is part of his job responsibilities. And if you ask him what's the best part of his game he will quickly shoot back, "I'd say my speed is the top part of my game. "

When asked if he has Hagelin speed he answered, "No, I don't think so."

But he didn't rule out being faster than him in the future by saying "maybe" and that shows he's not going to settle for what he has now and he will continue to try and improve his game.

At 6-3, 184 he'll need to add a bit more muscle and he'll have to get a bit tougher to play in the NHL someday. He has all of the other tools and traits so give him at least four years to see him at MSG.

For those of you who don't know Cohen is an author http://www.amazon.com/Russ-Cohen/e/B0034P5DNC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_2 who can also be read at www.sportsology.info. You can also follow him on Twitter @sportsology. Russ also just wrote a new book, which you can find here: http://www.sportsology.info/The-Winter-Classic-the-NHLs-Savior.

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