Marek Hrivik, who many speculated would get a long look at camp (well, under normal camp) is out with a concussion. This could be one of the reasons why Hrivik may not be invited to the Rangers mini-camp this year. However with camps set to occur during the AHL season, and lasting only a week, it is unlikely that the Rangers would call up the majority of Connecticut’s roster. Chris Kreider and Matt Gilroy are the only two who have left the Whale at the moment, and there’s no reason to believe anyone else will leave for mini camp.
In other news, the Whale have officially signed forward Shayne Wiebe to an AHL contract. Wiebe had been with the Whale on a PTO since November 17, when he was called up from the Greenville Road Warriors. In 14 games since his call up, Wiebe has a pair of assists and two PIMs. While with the Road Warriors, Wiebe had a line of 7-5-12 and 10 PIMs in 12 games.
Obviously we have no idea yet whether there will be a 2012/13 NHL season starting on time, a training camp or a pre-season. Hey, right now we have no idea whether there will be regular season play at all. Regardless, there are plenty of prospects in the organisation that offer legitimate intrigue. Whether they will be fighting for NHL jobs, making waves with the Connecticut Whale or sent back to junior/college there is still plenty to keep an eye on. A few intrigue me more than others.
With Tim Erixon traded, eternal patient Michael Sauer still hurt and Dylan McIlrath doing his best to provide Sauer with some company in the treatment room the Rangers defensive depth looks shakier – both short and long term – than it had done just six months ago; all this despite an envious top four at the NHL level. Enter Skjei.
Unfortunately for Skjei, the aforementioned issues at the defense position for the Rangers may mean more of a spotlight shining on the Wisconsin prospect than he may have hoped/expected. Thanks to a promising evaluation camp for Team USA this summer, many eyes will be on Skjei to see how he develops within the powerhouse Wisconsin programme.
Skjei is possibly the most important prospect in the entire organisation – assuming you take it for granted that Chris Kreider has ‘graduated’ to the Rangers full time. The Rangers need Skjei to develop well. Not just because he’s a first round pick but because the club need some defensive prospects to step up in the near future. His season will be interesting to follow.
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One of the most frequently asked questions this offseason after, “is Rick Nash a Ranger yet?” has been, “who the heck is Kyle Jean?”
The answer is simple: he’s the latest gem uncovered by Gordie Clark and New York’s superior scouting staff, which has developed something of a Midas touch over the last couple of years.
It wasn’t long ago that the Rangers were completely incapable of even getting a high first-round pick right. But now, Clark and company are unearthing NHL caliber prospects not just through the draft’s later rounds, but even from the ranks of those that have long been completely ignored throughout their junior careers.
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The Rangers are beginning to make waves with their prospects and ATO candidates. Just a day after announcing the signing of Jesper Fast, the Rangers have announced that they have agreed to terms with UFA winger Marek Hrivik. Hrivik earned a lot of press coverage when he exploded in the AHL playoffs, leading Connecticut in goals (5) and points (9) in nine playoff games.
Hrivik will likely join the Whale for next season as well, but he’s a player you should keep your eye on. He could provide some nice scoring depth in the future. The press release is after the jump.
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Just who is Marek Hrivik, and have the Rangers (via the Whale) found another steal? Let’s get the basics out of the way. Hrivik is a Slovakian winger (the Rangers seem to have had some recent success with that part of the world, no?) and stands at 6’1 and weights around 190lbs. Hrivik went undrafted but was a highly productive player in the QMJHL for Moncton.
In three full years the winger scored 26, 38 and 29 goals respectively and over that three year period was a point per game player. Perhaps tellingly, just like he’s now doing for the Whale, Hrivik has always seemed to excel come playoff time as his 26 points in 29 junior playoff games suggest.
It’s not a surprise that he’s commanding the interest of the Rangers. While his introduction to pro-hockey was modest (1 goal in 8 regular season games after joining the Whale) Hrivik earned rave reviews for his play and has now backed that up in the playoffs as the Slovak has exploded in to a dynamic force for the Whale. With 5 goals and 8 points in 7 games Hrivik is leading the Whale as they too look for a deep playoff run to coincide with the parent Rangers.
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Yesterday, Larry Brooks made some noise in the Ranger community when he mentioned that the Rangers are looking to sign Marek Hrivik, an undrafted free agent who signed an ATO with the Connecticut Whale. In the AHL postseason, Hrivik had four goals in the Whale’s sweep of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hrivik is certainly intriguing, and his success in the playoffs is worth noting.
However, all this talk about calling him up is, well, stupid. Hrivik isn’t even signed, he’s on an ATO. If he signs, he would be signed for next year, not this year. You can’t call up someone on an ATO to a professional club. He wasn’t on the reserve list either, meaning there’s no way he can play. The reason why Chris Kreider was able to play was because the Rangers placed him on the reserve list, thus giving them an opportunity to sign him for the current season.
Long story short: Hrivik simply cannot play for the New York Rangers. Case closed.
But, this “news” brings me to a different point. Do the Rangers really need to call someone up right now?
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The Rangers and Connecticut Whale have announced that they have signed forward Marek Hrivik to an ATO with the Whale. Hrivik played with Moncton of the QMJHL, where he averaged roughly a point per game over his three years with the Wildcats. The 20 year old winger would still be eligible for an overage year in the QMJHL.
The press release is after the jump.
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