I asked Bob over at Habs Eyes on the Prize, the SBNation blog for the Montreal Canadiens, for his thoughts on the players the Rangers acquired today. Bob and his readers are not at all happy, as you might imagine, but Bob is a good guy, and was nice enough to provide the following scouting report:
In Higgins, you guys are getting a tireless worker, whose worse habit is trying to do too much in one shift. He has a tendency to wear himself down physically by hitting everything all the time, whether neccessary or not. He's a injury prone busybody, and his strength is puck cycling and putting shots on net. He's far from a sharpshooter, but he's solid when it comes to creating scoring chances. It's not uncommon to see him fire between five and eight shots on net on a good night, but come up empty handed. He's an honest player. You, the Ranger faithful, and Torts will all appreciate him. He's an extremely likeable kid.
Oh yeah, and Higgins tradionally kills the Islanders. He's from there, and it shows when he plays on Long Island in front of family. I think he might even be a PPG player in Nassau. He couldn't have been traded to a better placefor himself, IMHO.
In Ryan McDonagh, I believe you are getting the Canadiens best defensive prospect. He has been described as having Chelios - like (that's a 22 year old Chelly - BTW) fluidity in his skating and his game. I've seen him play only twice during the WJC, and he seemed way overemployed and badly paired in one game, unspectacular but poised in the other.
Valentenko is a bit of unknown quantity to me. I've not seen him play, but he was voted the Hamilton Bulldogs rookie of the year in 007-08.
Janik is a journeyman at best. He capably filled in on a couple of occasions for Montreal, and at times looked like he could be a sound 6th D if he calmed down.
If this doesn't make your monkey wiggle, nothing will. Thanks Bob for coming through for us.