Guest blogger: Sioux … who are the Rangers’ best prospects?


(Editor’s note: Sioux didn’t offer this up as a guest blog, but rather as a topic of conversation. I thought it was a terrific topic, and as I started to try to write the post, thought, what the hell? Why not just use Sioux’s e-mail as a post? So I did. Good job, Sioux!)

(Also: Now’s the time to volunteer for guest blogs. We’ve got about three weeks before camp opens and plenty of days of chatter to fill. Drop me an email at
Who are your TOP Prospects for the Rangers? If you look at the names that are signed, the Rangers have 37 prospects out of the 50 contracts.

Has the competition ever been this deep before, for the prospects coming into this preseason. Ten or more could skate for a Blueshirt on opening night. Take a look at the list – the cupboard is stocked! How do you rank them? The next in line to make the team (i.e. Miller), or their “Top Potential” even if it takes years to get there (Duclair/Buchnivich) ?

This year all eyes are on Miller. Is this the year he makes the team as a starting center? Who replaces Richards as a center for Marty St. Louis & Hagelin’s line? AV called him out last year, he needs to be more of a PRO on and off the ice. Nothing will be handed to him. You almost have to give him the No. 1 prospect number coming into this year as the most watched prospect, with No. 2 going to Hayes after all the hype in signing him.

If Miller isn’t ready you would think Oscar Lindberg has to be right on his heels. After leading the Wolfpack in scoring last year and the Sweden elite league MVP the year before. Could this “horse race” be any closer? Or does Lombardi steal the spot out of camp?New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers

I’ll group the next three together. Kevin Hayes, Ryan Haggerty, Danny Kristo, all played four years in college. All can score. Hayes & Haggerty signed for two years, and Kristo for another year then a RFA. Hayes comes in with all the hype over the summer, as the second coming of THE KREIDER. He sure looks like he’s built for the NHL. He played on the best line in college last year, and was up for the Hobey Baker Award. His linemate Johnny Gandreau won the award. Some thanks would have to go to Hayes, right? This reminds me when Ryan Duncan won the award in 2007, playing on the same line with Toews & Oshie. Ryan has to share that award with T.J & Johnny.

The next two prospects that will help the Rangers, that should be in your Top 10 would be Anthony Duclair & Pavel Buchnivich. At 19 years of age when do they start to get real consideration, next year? Or will they have to go through the “Pack PRO-cess” first? THE DUKE put up 99 points last year, tells me he’s ready to play AHL minutes right away. Buchnivich is really an unknown outside of the games he’s played against team USA, so it’s tough to judge how close he is to playing for the Rangers.

McIlrath and Connor Allen lead the way on the Blueline for the Wolfpack. Allen with 31 points, and McIlrath with 17, I’m not sure who is ahead of who here. Both have different jobs on the Wolfpack. I could see McIlrath getting minutes if the Rangers need toughness. If there is a weakness on the team it will be the lack of GRIT & JAM to use a few of Wicky’s words.

Dan Boyle, Lee Stempniak and Tanner Glass were signed to fill in the voids from last year’s departures. Boyle will help the Power Play, Stemp could ride shotgun to D. Moore, and Glass is the Grit that replaces Dorsett/Carcillo.

Matthew Lombardi & Chris Bourque are a couple of vets that will be role players if needed. But Bourque is only 28 he isn’t considered a prospect, but its hard not to like his numbers in the AHL 26-66 for 93 pts in 2012 and getting 51 NHL games the last 5 years.

Rumors of Ryan Malone getting a PTO, does he steal a spot from someone above?

How would you rank the prospects if you had to give them a number?

2- Hayes
3- Fast
4- Lindberg
5- Kristo
6- Allen
7- McIlrath
8- Skjei
9- Duclair
10- Buchnivich

Perhaps Skjei, The DUKE, & Buch could have a higher prospect number, but they won’t be in lineup to help the Rangers THIS year.

How would you rank them?


Photos by Getty Images.


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  1. nice post Sioux.

    I agree Miller should be #1.

    Hayes, i have never seen. Its hard to place a college guy ahead of a top AHL guy. I think Fast and Lindberg get the nod there.

    I think i put Skjei next, ahead of Allen and McIlrath. I know another year at Minnesota for Skjei, but i think the other two spend the whole year in Hartford.

    kristo…I only saw a few AHL games. I don’t see the NHL flash there….but another year of pro hockey will shed some light…maybe he just needs a little more seasoning.

    Duclair and Buchnevich have that flash…I know, at least 2 years away….. but I am psyched!

  2. I think I am more excited about training camp than the regular season. Definitely the most exciting training camp in years…sure wish we had a Hard Knocks tv crew following the team thru camp….

  3. Hayes sure looks like the second coming of THE Kreider. If he can score goals I think he takes Pouliot spot on Zucc line. NOW If he can play a physical game as a true power forward and lay some hits with his size …..OH BOY!

  4. Very well done Sioux. The only player you left out, IMO is bodie. Something tells me we are going to hear from him

  5. There’s no “second coming of THE Kreider”. Let’s get that clear. That specimen only comes around every millennium.

    But HAYESMAKER is guaranteed to be better than Kentucky Fried Poulet. Come to think of it, even my grandmother would be an upgrade.

  6. Good job again Siox really wetting my appetite for the season.Does Miller do all this growing up in one summer?If not ready, is He trade bait down the road?

  7. Good morning, boneheads!

    Looks like we are back to normal, thank goodness!

    Very nicely done, Sioux. Good read. I think you need to separate forwards and defensemen in order to have a better view of their prospects.

    There is one more prospect that may make some noise. 19 yr old Ryan Graves who is on ELSR contract and will be sent done in order for NY to go under 50 contract limits. 6-4, 220, 4th round pick, stay home physical D-man who is exceeding scouts’ expectations at this point of his development.

  8. John Milewski on

    Excellent post. Ranking prospects is such a tough game, particularly when most of us just don’t have enough first-hand information to really know what we’re talking about. I’m one of those eternally optimistic Ranger fans that find a way to get excited about each coming season. So much of the success equation for many of these prospects has more to do about the mental game than physical attributes. I have little doubt that players like Miller (from what we’ve seen) and Duclair (from lots of score sheet data and highlight videos) have the physical skills to succeed at the highest level, but I don’t know how to measure the x-factors (personality, commitment, hockey sense, conditioning, etc.) from a distance. That’s why a lot of can’t-miss prospects miss. I think of it as the Zach Thomas factor. Remember him… too small inside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins. Physically, he was overmatched, but he made it work through smarts and hard work. I’m just hoping one of these guys (Haggerty?, Duclair?, Buchnevich?) proves to be a true sniper. It’s been a long time since we had a true natural goal scorer.

  9. Good job, Sioux. We bust your onions talking about college kids, but you probably have more insight than most posters.

    I think we’re mostly jaded as Rangers fans when it comes to prospects because they hardly ever seem to pan out. But, I think that’s more of a generalization than reality. Even though they’ve traded several, they’ve actaully developed quite a few NHL players (though admittedly, not much top line talent).

    Should be interesting to see how these guys turn out.

  10. BDL – Haggerty & Bodie would slot just out of the top 10 in my opinion, at 11 & 12.

    Buchnivich plays in the KHL as a 19 year old, plays for his country internationally, and was drafted in the 3rd round. Skjei & Duclair are a year away, but both could be top AHL players this year if they were 20yrs old. Technically DUKE could make the jump, but he isn’t jumping over Hayes.

    All of a sudden the Rangers are stocked with NHL talent, but only 2 spots available. You would think the Wolfpack would be an AHL power house this year, with everyone skating for a promotion.

    If the Rangers have a weakness, it’s their ability to score a BIG goal when needed. 3 overtime goals, or late 3rd period goals would have made this team Stanley Cup Champions.

    Who ever has the hot hand should play. You score you stay.

  11. Granted I am a Rangers fan, but I think that is a nice grouping of Top 10 Prospects. BTW, great job Sioux!

    However, it seems that outside Rangers nation our organization doesn’t get high marks (especially pre Purple Hayes). I think a lot of them comes from this group not having that “wow” star factor that other prospects have.

    What the list does have are 10 players who should be able to make a contribution at the NHL level – even if it is as part of the bottom half of the roster.

    Depending on how Brandon Halverson and Igor Shesterkin develop in goal during the first half of the year, the Rangers systems should be drawing a lot more praise and attention.

    I see this as a big year for Miller. We know that he found his way into AV’s chateau bow-wow, but circumstances are set for him to succeed. The Blueshirts need someone who can be a physical presence in the middle and that could be Miller. If not, he will make an attractive trade chip at the deadline or at the draft.

    While I can see why Fast would be 3rd, I have a feeling that by the end of the year he is fighting to stay within the Top 10 – not because of anything he did wrong but more what the likes of Duclair, Buchnevich and Adam Tambellini do right.

  12. I don’t think Kristo is going to jump over Hayes for a Blueshirt to start the season, but if there is an injury to one of our goal scoring wings he could fill that void.

    If and when he gets a call up to the big leagues, I hope he hits a homerun!

    If not the Rangers, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if he got a chance to score next to Brock Nelson for the Islanders, Corban Knight for the Flames, or Rocco Grimaldi for the Panthers.

  13. That’s the best youtube video I could find of my prospect.

    Now post yours for your prospect!

  14. Sioux bite you’re tongue man,Not cool if he plays for the icelanders.Cant stand that frikin team.

  15. NYR – FYI – they are all centers he playing in college with.

    I have a BLAKE jersey when he was an islander. The year he was a ALL STAR for the Islanders. Even I couldn’t put the jersey on, but I was happy that he had success in the NHL. Same with Parise & Zajac for the Devils. Not my favorite team by any means. I have to give props to Brock Nelson, if he has a game winning goal against my favorite team.

    However, I’m a realist as much as an optimist. Kristo is going to get a shot in the NHL someday. IF not a Ranger, it really wouldn’t bother me one bit if he scored 30 goals and 30 assist riding shotgun with a Sioux Center.

    I really only hate ONE team in hockey :)

  16. i’m surprised sioux’ post wasn’t just KRISTO KRISTO KRISTO


    Looking forward to seeing how the youngsters do in camp… i think our only shot at a good year is if a couple of these guys make the jump and make big contributions.

    if we’re seeing a lot of lombardi, glass, and lee (i was invisible playing with sid the skid) stempniak i think we’re gonna be in for a long year.

    i’m hopeful that miller makes the jump this year, guy can obviously put the puck in the net… he did it like a pro in the ahl and has shown flashes in the nhl. also hopeful for hayesmaker as we sorely need another big body.

  17. Kristo update

    Toews update

    Oshie update

    Duncan update

    Grimaldi update

    Nelson update

    Knight update

    Where is the Frattin update? We got jipped.

  18. Without reading this Guest Blog I assume that Sioux’s answer was “ALL OF THEM” because he is the single most positive person ever.

  19. From pollyanna to suicidal. This place covers the whole spectrum.

    It’s a good blog…and thorough.

  20. As soon as I read the guest blog topic, thoughts of “Well, it is definitely not Kristo” popped up in my head right away.

  21. iC – I don’t think so either. Hayes is! But I gave Miller #1 because he already has 60 games in as a Blueshirt, with the 4 he has in the playoffs.

    Kristo will have to get lucky to get the call. That said, I would NOT be surprised if he is the leading scorer for the Wolfpack again.

    Have a SIOUXper day, I’m off to Vegas with the kid.

  22. Carp – I need 2 Miller blue name plates.

    Mrs Sioux & I have to replace our Gaborik Jerseys.

    True Story – Mrs Sioux was a Miller, before a Sioux :)

  23. Booby – FYI he’s back with the Leafs this year. So there is a chance he will get he game winning goal against us. He was the leading scorer for the Sioux 2 yrs before Kristo. (With Brock Nelson, following Frattin)

  24. Manny – NOT enough!

    That’s why I think the one that scores should stay!

    It must be earned, before it’s given.

  25. Stranger Nation on

    *KRISTO UPDATE!?!?!*

    How is he not ranked #1? Have you lost your marbles? This kid can score, flat out snipe. He has the best hands in Hartford with a Marchand like nose for the goal. He is a ‘can’t miss’ kind of talent that only comes around once every generation.

    1 – Miller – give him a pacifier and change his diaper
    2 – Hayes – soft and slow, the wanna be THE, maybe call him the AN
    3 – Fast – ‘Manos de piedra’; Jan Erixon-like touch, can barely lift puck
    4 – Lindbergh – FO specialist, too small, MIA like his baby
    5- Kristo – combo of Adam Graves and Brett Hull
    6- Allen – AHL lifer, won’t see the inside of MSG without a ticket
    7- McIlrath – can barely bend his knees, dumb as a stump, 2nd career in MMA
    8- Skjei – can’t spell it right, how cares? He is a bust, another soft college boy
    9- Duclair – over hyped, how long before his stock drops like a stone?
    10- Buchnivich – a Russian flight away from purgatory, buy a vowel already.

  26. Jt miller will be moved in
    A package for bobby Ryan at trade deadline.

    Our kids aren’t good hence why we always lean on vets.

  27. Sioux, heck of an email. Pretty fair assessment. Thanks.

    Stranger, great post, you sir, are in mid season form.

  28. _1 – Miller – give him a pacifier and change his diaper
    2 – Hayes – soft and slow, the wanna be THE, maybe call him the AN
    3 – Fast – ‘Manos de piedra’; Jan Erixon-like touch, can barely lift puck
    4 – Lindbergh – FO specialist, too small, MIA like his baby
    5- Kristo – combo of Adam Graves and Brett Hull
    6- Allen – AHL lifer, won’t see the inside of MSG without a ticket
    7- McIlrath – can barely bend his knees, dumb as a stump, 2nd career in MMA
    8- Skjei – can’t spell it right, how cares? He is a bust, another soft college boy
    9- Duclair – over hyped, how long before his stock drops like a stone?
    10- Buchnivich – a Russian flight away from purgatory, buy a vowel already._

    SN – *Grand Slam* touch them all!

    Now there’s a top 10 list to beat!!!

  29. Booby – This is for you buddy :)

    I like what Greene says in this quick interview. About how the coaches help him GROW UP & hold him accountable.

    Sounds like something Miller would have learned, had he not “skipped school”. Ha!

    Have a Siouxper Holiday weekend!!!

  30. Sioux
    Nice job. We bust your onions a lot because you deserve it ;)

    Mrs Wicky was a miller before she was a Wicky ;)

  31. Robby Bonfire on

    tomb –

    Kristo turned 24 in June. Too late to develop into anything beyond “journeyman.” Plus, he is listed at 5-11, which means he might be 5-10. Too old, too small, tomb. He should not be in this organizations plans, beyond “AHL filler.”

  32. Robby Bonfire on

    I rate three future Rangers as bona fide prospects who stand head and shoulders above the rest of the motley crew of hopefuls –
    Hayes, DuClair, and Skjei.. That’s it!

  33. But wait! There’s even more! Order now and receive TWO bottles for the price of one. Just pay extra handling on the free bottle. If, after having tried this product, you have thoughts of suicide, or have committed suicide, call your doctor immediately, or have someone call for you.

  34. Roster lists Hayes as 225, one pound lighter than The Kreider. Send donuts or eclairs to Hayes to change this listing and take some pressure off Kreider.

  35. bull dog line on

    rough day.took my son off to college, just got home a little while ago, and the Mrs. just lost it.

  36. The only player worth the price (any price) of admission is THE KREIDER.

    All others, with perhaps the exception of HAYESMAKER, are chump-change no-talents.

    Face it.

  37. Boyler text to Carcillo: “Forgot to take 10 gallons can of pomade axle grease and curling iron from locker. ‘Preciate you forward to Tampa Lightning facilities, COK, c/o WBoySouth.

  38. Hang tough, Bull Dog. Like ilb said, takes time. Heck, now I get upset when my kid comes home. :)

  39. Bulldog my boy leaves on Saturday I’m excited for him, I wonder how long it will take before he is lost in Wicky’s wilderness

  40. Nice post, Sioux…you’re 2 for 2! I would move Connor Allen up a little, though…will see what the year brings. Could be interesting. A lot of low-priced veteran talent to sift through, as well. Looking forward to mid-season and the shake out.

  41. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    excellent post. looking forward to seeing these guys in action. I am actually a fan of the preseason.

    Anyone looking forward to NHL15. Doc and Edzo announcing.

  42. I know I’m getting way ahead of myself but anyway I spin the Staal situation leads to the rangers letting him walk after this year. The rangers aren’t going to trade him before the season starts and the Rangers won’t get anything worth to trade him at the trade deadline and they won’t be able to be within the cap with Stepan, Hagelin and MSL contracts due for extensions so the right move is to let his contract play out. I guess there is a small chance they could resign Staal if the cap went up and msl took a heavy team discount or not resign MSL so it looks like this will be Staal’s last year in a ranger uniform.

  43. Ms Pimp made me wake up and go to Ulta. Is there worse punishment?

    I expect to find Poulet looking for stuff here.

  44. A wise man by the name of Branch Rickey once said: “It’s better to get rid of a player a year too soon than a year too late.” I fear this could be Staal’s “year too late” season. Hope I’m wrong.

  45. Woke up in Vegas this morning what are the odds on our boys winning the cup?

    If you had to pick a team today which one do you pick?

  46. The cap situation is not in his favor, but that is going to go up. It depends on what MSL is going to need to play next year.

  47. I think they’ll try to resign Staal sooner rather than later. And if it doesn’t seem probable, for whatever reason, they’ll trade him for the best available offer. Letting him play his contract out wouldn’t be the best business decision.

  48. I look at our first line and I say, man, these guys should light it up. Start lighting!

    Miller is not a center. Time to play him on wing and see what he can do.

  49. And I fear that Staal, already too much of a poke check artist, if without a new contract, will play even less aggressively, eschewing injury.

  50. Sather could extend Staal and give him the C. We all know MD is getting it, but it is a possibility.

  51. Nash, Step, Kreider. Light it up! While we’re all still alive. If you got ’em, smoke ’em!

  52. Took junior to Vegas for his 21 Bday. I highlyrics recommend the exotic sports racing. If you like to drive fast cars, wide open.

  53. You know coos, and I don’t mean to brag at all but, I’ve been making so much money driving, I might just rethink doing nursing…driving for me is a lot less stressful, much more cleaner and the schedule is flexible.. I’m tellin’ you!

  54. Where in holy hell is everybody?

    Jay Mohr is playing standup at a theater nearby next month. I’m tempted to go and just holler “Whyzerman!” Then leave.

  55. R.I.P. Carol Vadnais, Rangers D when I began covering the team. Good guy, underrated defenseman, tough. Always picture him with a cigar.

  56. Seriously, Carp. You didn’t see me post about it last month? She loved me so much, she requested me twice ;)

    I drove her all day both times.

  57. To be clear, my 8:57 was in response to a gibberish post, that has since been deleted. It in no way refers to any of the posts prior or since.

    You know I think you all rule!

  58. Alex Nunn ?@aj_ranger 6h
    Igor Shesterkin again named player of game for Russia. 2/2 for him. Stopped 41 of 43 shots today & 73 of 76 over weekend. Excellent. #NYR

  59. When the Rangers made the finals in 1979, I remember Carol Vadnais warning the young Rangers who were known for overdoing the night life to take advantage of the opportunity they had by playing for the Cup. A real NHL lifer, he struck me as a real professional during the Ranger teams of the mid 70’s when he was surrounded by some less than average talent. Also recall Bill Chadwick riding him pretty good when he was a Bruin only to later apologize when he found out that Vadnais wife was battling a serious illness. Seemed like a good guy, what shame he’s gone at too young an age.

  60. 2014 Rangers – 214 goals, 364 assists, 809 PIM

    1979 Rangers – 346 goals, 539 assists, 1200 PIM

    Unless I’m missing something

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