It's been a busy day for the New York Rangers, with the first real day of Prospects Camp taking place and Chris Drury not being placed on waivers. So let's dive right in, starting with the camp:
Dylan McIlrath, the 10th overall pick in 2010, was the strongest player on the ice as he led White to an 8-3 win over Blue this morning at the MSG Training Center. McIlrath, known more for his defense and physical play, had a goal and two assists as he displayed a nice shot from the right point. RW Jesper Fasth had two goals for White. Right wing Christian Thomas had a goal and an assist for Blue. The game was played in two, 20-minute halves. White led 5-1 at the break, with those goals coming against G Scott Stajcer.
There has been a ton of analysis over the defensive game that McIlrath brings to the table for the Rangers, especially the physical skills he poses. However, because his offensive numbers in the WHL (just 23 points in 62 WHL games last season) aren't jaw-dropping, people automatically assume there isn't an offensive side to his game.
That's simply not true. By the same token though, don't put too much though into the goal and two assists he levied today during the scrimmages. The scrimmages are four-on-four and certainly seem to have an offensive feel to them. McIlrath did play the power play a little bit for Moose Jaw this season, and his offensive game is something that he might start to develop. He already has a booming shot, which has been clocked at 90 mph and will only get faster as he gets stronger and fills out his frame.
Join me after the jump for more analysis.
Christian Thomas also hit the scoresheet with a goal and an assist. It should be noted that Thomas' goal was off a penalty shot (no power plays in the scrimmage) and his assist came off a Ryan Bourque goal to make it 8-3. Thomas is one of the favorites to get a good hard look in camp this pre-season, so it's good to see him scoring (which is why the Rangers wanted him to go pro so badly this season).
My three stars: Jesper Fasth (two goals, assist), Dylan McIlrath (goal, assist), Christian Thomas (goal, assist). Could make case for Carl Hagelin (who missed wide stick side with a penalty shot) in there, and perhaps Shane McColgan, who was buzzing. Pashnin, like last year, hit anybody nearby, and was gassed near the end of his shifts. Big D Samuel Noreau struggled. Again, all this waaaaaaaay early to determine anything.
Fasth, the Rangers' 6th round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, was very noticeable offensively during the scrimmages. He notched seven goals and nine assists in 37 SEL games this season, and there have been whispers (albeit preliminary one's) that the Rangers may have a legitimate steal on their hands.
I was also happy to see Shan McColgan (the Rangers' fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft) making some ripples as well.
Another player to keep your eyes on is fourth round selection Michael St. Croix. I've talked to a few draft experts who have told me that if St. Croix can get his game together next year, he might be a major steal for the Rangers. As it is, he scored 75 points in 68 games in the WHL this season.
More on camp tomorrow, where there will be another scrimmage at 11:30 a.m.
Onto the Drury update.
As you all know Drury was not placed on waivers today, however, that does not mean he isn't a buyout candidate. Our good friend Dave Shapiro has a really good analysis of the situation over at Blue Seat Blogs. Here is what Dave had to say:
Update 2:45pm: I seem to have mis-spoke here. Since Drury has a NMC, he is allowed 24 hours to make a decision to waive the NMC to be placed on waivers for the buyout. Today could have been the official notification. Drury can still be placed on waivers tomorrow and be bought out on Thursday. The deadline of notification is Thursday at 5pm. Meaning the Rangers technically have a few more days.
So the ride continues. The general consensus is that Glen Sather wants to buy Drury out, but there have been so many reports saying so many different things, at this point, we're no smarter than we were yesterday.
Thoughts on all this guys?