Since the NHL and the NHLPA are behaving and negotiating like children the lockout isn't close to ending. So why keep focusing on that? Let's talk a look at some of the guys you should keep an eye on with the Connecticut Whale, since, you know, they will be playing hockey:
Chris Kreider - We may as well start with the easiest selection in this pool. One of the biggest and most hyped prospects the New York Rangers have ever had, Kreider shocked the world last year in the NHL playoffs; scoring five goals an seven points in 18 games. So far Kreider has four goals in two preseason games, including a hat trick. His performance earned him massive praise from both the Whale and Rangers brass. The good news is that Kreider can continue to get professional seasoning against an upgraded AHL league (with the infusion of young talent from across the NHL).
J.T. Miller - It was quite the year for Miller. After surprising some with his brilliant performance in the OHL last year, Miller continues the trend in this year's AHL camp. Miller was fantastic in the preseason games, and earned himself a roster spot in the AHL. Remember, Miller did want to go pro after one year, so this was a goal for him. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to an entire AHL season, but so far so good.
Dylan McIlrath - While McIlrath is still on the shelf for a few more weeks to heal the dislocated kneecap he suffered during prospects camp, he's still going to be a big part of the Whale's defensive corps. The Rangers took McIlrath with the hopes that he would become the next big, nasty defenseman goalies dream of having in front of them. McIlrath made major strides in the WHL the past two years, now it's time to see if he continues that in the AHL.
Marek Hrivik - Hrivik was a pleasant surprise for the Rangers when they signed him to a tryout contract last year. And while he had an underwhelming regular season (he only played in eight regular season games) he made a name for himself in the playoffs. Hrivik scored nine points in nine postseason games. There are expectations for him; let's see if he lives up to them.
Who else are you guys looking forward to seeing? The floor is yours.