by Patrick Hoffman on 09/14/10 at 04:00 PM ET
Michael Morreale of NHL.com wrote a piece on NHL.com today about three New York Rangers who are performing well and turning heads at the Tarverse City Prospects Tournament: Evgeny Grachev, Derek Stepan and Ryan Bourque.
For the team and its fans, this is certainly welcome news. If you look at the teams who have had the most success recently, you will see that they have done it from within. They have grown their prospects, kept lines together and relied on what they had in the organization to get the job done.
Rangers’ GM Glen Sather needs to think this way because these kids are the team’s future, for better or worse. Done should be the days of signing over-price free agents and instead, Sather should look inside the organization for the tools that he needs for this team to be successful.
In the article, Morreale reports that Stepan, Bourque and Grachev have combined for 4 goals, 4 assists and a + 3 rating in two games while also pounding the net with 15 shots.
All three players are a work in progress but there is no denying what they may be able to bring to the Blueshirts in years to come. Hartford Wolf Pack coach Ken Gernander said the following about each player to NHL.com:
“Ryan is excellent on the forecheck and with creating turnovers and recovering loose pucks,” said Ken Gernander, the coach of the Rangers’ AHL team, the Hartford Wolf Pack, and also leading the club’s prospects here. “It remains to be seen (if they earn NHL time this season), but they’re showing themselves very well in this (Traverse City) tournament and that’s what we’re looking for right now.”
“Derek has a real good overall game,” Gernander said. “He sees the ice so well both offensively and defensively.”
“He scored 2 goals in our first game (in Traverse City) and had a good start to the tournament, but we hope he can bring that every night,” Gernander said. “It’s all part of learning to become a professional.”
It’s certainly nice to know that the Blueshirts have a lot in the pipeline in terms of talented youngsters. Hopefully, head coach John Tortorella and Sather will figure out how to give these players’ a chance in the near future.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.