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Rangers Radar: Libor Hajek’s debut

Hajek makes his NHL debut, Gilmour pots another goal, and Kravtsov and Traktor make an early exit from the KHL playoffs

Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s time for another installment of Blueshirt Banter’s Rangers Radar, where we put the spotlight on trends in performance and production and collect notes on players on the New York Rangers and the Hartford Wolf Pack, as well as Rangers prospects playing elsewhere.

New York Rangers

  • Rookie defenseman Libor Hajek (37th overall, 2016 Draft) skated 17:35 in his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens. He registered a shot in each of his first three games in the NHL after averaging 1.24 shots in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
  • February was Kevin Shattenkirk’s most productive month as a Ranger since November 2017. In the month of February, Shattenkirk had seven assists in 13 games. He’s now up to 22 points in 58 games in his second season in New York.
  • Alexandar Georgiev’s 31-save losing effort against the Dallas Stars was the goaltender’s fourth loss in his last five starts. Georgiev has posted a .926 save percentage since the beginning of February despite allowing six goals in a game against the Penguins and four goals in a game against the Lightning in that window.
  • Ryan Strome has nine points — seven of which have been primary — in his last 12 games with the Rangers. Mika Zibanejad and Tony DeAngelo are the only two Rangers who have notched more points in that window.
  • Since coming over in the Kevin Hayes trade, Brendan Lemieux has drawn three penalties at 5v5 for the Rangers. He has one goal, 11 shots on goal, and six hits in his first three games with New York.

Hartford Wolf Pack

  • Darren Raddysh (undrafted) earned the primary assist on John Gilmour’s 17th goal of the season last Saturday. It was Raddysh’s first point with the Wolf Pack since joining the team after the Peter Holland trade. It’s also worth noting that Raddysh has picked up 12 PIM in his first six games in Hartford.
  • In addition to scoring a goal on Saturday, John Gilmour (198th overall, 2013 Draft) picked up two assists — one of which was primary — to notch his fourth three-point game of the season. He’s now third among all AHL defensemen in points with 43 in 60 games this year.
  • Ryan Gropp (41st overall, 2015 Draft) picked up the second two-goal game of his AHL career against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday. Gropp’s second goal won the game in overtime for the Wolf Pack. He now has seven goals in 47 games this season and four goals in his last 13 games.
  • Goaltender Brandon Halverson (49th overall, 2014 Draft) has posted an .874 save percentage in his last six appearances. Halverson was pulled from a game early for the first time this season last Friday in Hartford’s 5-1 loss against the Springfield Thunderbirds.
  • Beginning with this Friday’s game against the Penguins, there are 10 remaining regular season games for Hartford.

Other Rangers Prospects

  • The Rangers signed defenseman Joey Keane (88th overall, 2018 Draft) to an entry-level contract on March 2, 2019. Keane had 17 points in 32 games after being traded to the London Knights on Dec. 28. He had 44 points in 62 games last season with the Barrie Colts.
  • Vitali Kravtsov (9th overall, 2018 Draft) had two secondary assists and 12 shots on goal in four postseason games before his team, Traktor Chelyabinks, was eliminated from the playoffs. Kravtsov was fourth among Traktor’s forwards in average ice time (16:35 TOI/GP) in the postseason.
  • Goaltender Igor Shesterkin (118th overall, 2014 Draft) was given a one-game suspension after earning 25 penalty minutes for tripping Kaspars Daugavins 15:34 into the second period of Game Three between SKA St. Petersburg and Spartak Moscow. Shesterkin had an .853 save percentage after starting in Games One and Two of the series.
  • Yegor Rykov (132nd overall, 2016 Draft) is one of three skaters on HK Sochi to collect three points in the 2019 playoffs. The former New Jersey Devils prospect has notched three assists in five games for HK Sochi after picking up six assists and three goals in 47 regular season games.
  • K’Andre Miller (22nd overall, 2018 Draft) has been out of Wisconsin’s lineup for six-straight games due to his lower-body injury. Despite missing eight games — Miller missed two games earlier in the season while at the 2019 World Junior Championships — he’s still tied for fourth on the Badgers in points.
  • UConn goaltender Adam Huska (184th overall, 2015 Draft) has lost his starting goaltending job to freshman Tomáš Vomáčka, a Nashville Predators prospect. Huska has an .896 save percentage in his junior season — the worst of his collegiate career to date. The Slovakian netminder allowed five goals on 27 shots in his most recent start.

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