Last week, I was speaking with the Hartford Wolf Pack on Twitter regarding their promo night next month, in which they are giving away Dylan McIlrath Bobble-Fists. The organization was happy to provide us with three bobble-fists to give away to our loyal readers here at BSB. The three lucky winners will provide me with name/mailing address, and the bobble-fists will be mailed to the winners after the promo on February 15.
To enter, simply comment on this post once. We can track IP addresses of posters, so don’t comment more than once, or you’ll be disqualified. Three winners will be selected at random and emailed in the next week or so.
Kreider made the jump this year. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
About a year ago, I wrote a post as to why the Hartford Wolf Pack were struggling, and why the Rangers were going to have very few AHL options for call ups. It seems appropriate to update the post for this year, since the Rangers organization is running into the same concern this year. The problem is not poor drafting. In fact it is the polar opposite. The issue is that prospects developed a little too quickly, leaving a gap in the development process.
Believe it or not, quick development can slow the pipeline down temporarily. It’s not a bad problem to have, but it’s a problem nonetheless. Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen three prospects make the jump from the NCAA level to the NHL level with little or no time in the AHL required. It is incredibly rare for that to happen, but Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Carl Hagelin all made significant impacts their first year out of college. No one, not even at the upper management level, expected that to happen.
Therein lies the current issue: without those three needing a little more time, the Rangers were left with a barren AHL team last year. One composed of two or three legitimate prospects that needed time and a lot of AHL/NHL tweeners. The problem extends to this year too, however with a different team makeup.
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The Hartford Wolfpack have announced that forward Andrew Carroll has been demoted to the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. Carroll, a forward, was re-signed by the Pack in July after playing 24 games with the Whale/Pack on a PTO last season.
This move clears roster room for some additional moves. These moves could be clearing room for the eventual return of Jesper Fast, or signing of Brodie Dupont/Shawn O’Donnell, who are currently on PTOs. My gut instinct says that this is clearing room for Fast, who will likely be sent to the AHL once Ryan Callahan returns.
The Hartford Wolfpack have announced that they have signed forwards Shawn O’Donnell and Brodie Dupont to PTOs. Both forwards were invited to camp as non-roster invitees, and outplayed some of the higher touted Ranger prospects. Both earned their PTOs, and will be with the team for a while longer.
The Hartford Wolfpack have cut 14 players from AHL camp. They have assigned four players to the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors (these are guys that are signed to ELC’s by the Rangers), they loaned another four to Greenville (AHL contracts, sent to ECHL), released another three from tryouts (and joining Greenville), and outright released another three. From the press release:
Reassigned by the New York Rangers from the Wolf Pack to Greenville (ECHL):
Defensemen (1): Samuel Noreau
Forwards (3): Josh Nicholls, Chris St. Croix, Jason Wilson
Loaned by the Wolf Pack to Greenville (ECHL):
Goaltenders (1): Jeff Malcolm
Defensemen (2): Charlie Dodero, Mike Marcou
Forwards (1): Andrew Rowe
Released from training camp tryouts and joining Greenville (ECHL):
Forwards (3): Sean Ambrosie, Brandon Hynes, Matt Kirzinger
Released from training camp tryouts:
Defensemen (2): Sam Klassen, Jason Lepine
Forwards (1): Scott Arnold
The Pack now have 24 players remaining in camp:
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The Hartford Wolfpack have announced their training camp roster, with camp set to begin tomorrow (on-ice on Friday). There are currently 30 players (18 forwards, 9 defensemen, 3 goalies) in camp for the Pack, but that number will change as players get cut by the Rangers and cut by the Pack. The training camp roster as of today:
Forwards: Sean Ambrosie, Scott Arnold, J.T. Barnett, Ryan Bourque, Andrew Carroll, Jean-Philipp Chabot, Brodie Dupont, Angelo Esposito, Tyler Gjurich, Brandon Hynes, Kyle Jean, Matt Kirzinger, Josh Nicholls, Shawn O’Donnell, Andrew Rowe, Michael St. Croix, Matt Thurber, Jason Wilson
Defense: Brad Cole, Jace Coyle, Charlie Dodero, Sam Klassen, Jason Lepine, Mike Marcou, Brendon Nash, Samuel Noreau, Bretton Stamler
Goal: Jeff Malcolm, Jason Missiaen, Scott Stajcer
Most of these names should look familiar, but it’s nice to see Brodie Dupont back with the Rangers organization. Also interesting to see Angelo Esposito –famous for being the top prospect sent to Atlanta from Pittsburgh for Marian Hossa– in camp as well.
The battle for forward positions has been the talk of training camp thus far, and several of New York’s youngsters have made strong cases to be on the opening night roster. Chris Kreider, Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Danny Kristo and Marek Hrivik have all impressed, while 2011 first-round pick J.T. Miller hasn’t gotten the opportunity due to injuries. With Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan out for the first chunk of the season, one or more of these players will likely be thrust into significant roles come October 3rd.
Chris Kreider has been skating with Brad Richards and Rick Nash for much of camp and it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be locked into a top-six role at the start of the season. But after Kreider, the roster battle is still ongoing. Read more »
The Pack added another depth forward today, signing Andrew Rowe to an AHL contract. Rowe went undrafted out of Michigan State, and landed with the Flyers organization (Philadelphia Phantoms) in 2010. Rowe bounced around the AHL and ECHL for two years while with the Flyers organization, with the ECHL time spent with the Greenville Road Warriors (Rangers ECHL affiliate). Rowe has 94 AHL games (15-9-24) and 78 ECHL games (35-45-80) under his belt.
Rowe will be a depth player for the Wolfpack. Since this is an AHL deal, he does not count towards the 50-contract limit for the Rangers.
The Wolfpack continue to add defensive depth, this time inking three-year pro Brendon Nash to an AHL deal. Nash has appeared in 128 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal’s system) and San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers system), putting up a line of 11-38-49. Nash has also appeared in a pair of NHL games with the Canadiens without registering a point. The 6’3, 206 lb defenseman (left-handed shot, 26 years old) was a graduate of Cornell before joining the Canadiens farm system in 2010.
Since this is an AHL deal, Nash does not count against the 50 contract limit and cannot be called up to the Rangers. Expect Nash to compete for a top-six role in Hartford.
Wolfpack GM Jim Schoenfeld added to the goalie depth of the organization by signing Yale goalie Jeff Malcolm to an AHL deal. Malcolm was a key piece for Yale as they made their Cinderella run to the NCAA Championship. In 30 games this past season, Malcom went 20-6-2 with a 2.24 GAA and a .919 SV%. The 6’2, 185-lb goalie will compete with Cam Talbot, Jason Missiaen, and Scott Stajcer for the goalie spots in the AHL and ECHL.