The Hartford Wolf Pack have recalled forwards Michael St. Croix and Josh Nicholls from the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. In 10 games in the ECHL, St. Croix has a line of 2-4-6, tied for fourth on the team in scoring. Nicholls has a line of 2-2-4 in 16 games.
Posts tagged: Michael St. Croix
The Ranges have announced that they have returned winger Michael St. Croix to the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. St. Croix was called up to the AHL a few weeks back and did not register a point in seven contests. The once highly touted winger is still in his first pro season, but two separate demotions to the ECHL have led to many questions about St. Croix’s one-dimensional game.
A demotion (or two) to the ECHL does not spell the end of a prospect’s career (see: Thomas, Tim). However, St. Croix is going to need to round out his game in all three zone before he re-establishes himself as a legit prospect.
The Hartford Wolfpack announced today that forward Michael St. Croix has been promoted to the AHL from the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors. St. Croix was initially cut by the Wolfpack during AHL training camp earlier this month. In one game with Greenville, St. Croix notched a goal and an assist.
To make room for St. Croix, the Pack demoted
forward defenseman Brendon Nash to the ECHL.
The 2013 draft is now in the books and the Rangers have added five more youngsters to their prospect system. Let’s take a look at where all the prospects stand heading into the offseason.
On the cusp
After bursting onto the scene during the 2012 playoffs, Kreider struggled out of the gate with the CT Whale to start the 2013 season. He joined the Rangers following the lockout, but never earned major minutes under coach John Tortorella and was frequently sent back and forth from New York to Connecticut. Still the crown jewel of the Rangers’ system, Kreider should be handed a much bigger offensive role next season under Alain Vigneault.
Miller’s quick climb up the ladder to New York was extremely impressive and though his 2012-2013 season was cut short by a wrist injury, he should also have a job to lose in September under Vigneault. Miller’s game is very much a work in progress – he was guilty of some horrible defensive mistakes and didn’t contribute much offensively, but Miller looked like he belonged in the NHL. He’s proven to be a very quick study all along and will be expected to continue his growth as a Ranger next season. Read more »
Acting GM Jeff Gorton is on record as saying the Rangers plan to be aggressive on the trade market to try to improve the club by the April 3rd trade deadline. Marian Gaborik is obviously the biggest name being floated in rumors, but it’s difficult to find a good fit and it’s probably more likely than not that Gabby finishes the season with the Blueshirts. That said, it’s common knowledge that New York would like to add a top-four defenseman and a top-nine forward to help replenish the depth that was lost during the offseason and has crippled the team all season.
With so many teams still in playoff contention in this lockout-shortened season, trade prices appear to be sky high, even for rentals. So who could New York offer in trade packages over the coming weeks outside of Gaborik?
Per Renaud Lavoie, the Rangers have signed prospect Michael St. Croix to an entry level deal:
The deal is great for both sides. St. Croix has the potential to be a fantastic scorer in the league, especially considering how he has dominated the WHL. As Lavoie noted, the deal is for $575,000 annually with a $270,000 signing bonus, for a cap hit of $665,000. This also means that St. Croix can play in the AHL in the event of a lockout (if he doesn’t stick with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL).
As the offseason turns to August, and the rosters begin to take shape, the attention turns away from those with guaranteed roster spots and towards the many prospects within the system that are all competing to be that sleeper in camp. Last year Stu Bickel was that sleeper, and Carl Hagelin was the mid-season call up that many expected he would be. This year there aren’t as many spots open for kids, but there is still a spot or two available for a kid who impresses.
With Tim Erixon traded to Columbus, the prospects on defense with a real chance to make the club are few in numbers. In fact, you can really say that only Dylan McIlrath has a legitimate shot at making the club, although he likely needs a full season at the AHL level.
As for forwards, the list is significantly longer. That said, it is a certainty that the Rangers will not rush their prospects just for the sake of saying they have a rookie on the club (outside of Chris Kreider of course). There are a few kids that will need to turn in fantastic camps in order to even have a longer look come the preseason.
Fuss about Fogarty?
2011 third-round pick Steven Fogarty didn’t get a whole lot of attention this year because of the rise of Chris Kreider and stunning point total of Michael St. Croix, but the Penticton Vee had a monster season in his own right. Fogarty will attend the University of Notre Dame next year where he’ll be more in the spotlight. I’ll bet he’s the surprise prospect we’re all discussing this time next year and there will be brief discussion of his chances of making the team in 2013. He still needs a couple more seasons of development, but Fogarty may put himself on the fast track sooner than we were led to believe.
Lightning acquire Lindback
I don’t think Tampa Bay’s acquisition of goalie Anders Lindback got enough attention last week. Remember, the Lightning were one win away from the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals before falling apart this season, in large part due to lackluster goaltending. Lindback is relatively unproven, but in a small sample size he has shown the potential to be a solid starter. He could be the difference between a lottery pick and a playoff berth for Tampa.
Nashville will undoubtedly unearth a couple of All-Stars with the draft picks they received from Tampa, but the Lightning did well to hold on to their two first-rounders (#10 and #19 overall). I think the trade also marks the end of Dwayne Roloson’s NHL career and it opens the door for Toronto to get Roberto Luongo.
Before Friday’s draft it’s a good idea to take stock of what the Rangers already have in the system. If New York follows suit, then the Blueshirts will pick the best player available regardless of position. However, it’s worth evaluating where the team’s strengths lie, starting with a status update for the organization’s forwards.
J.A.M. burst onto the scene in 2011-2012 with a surprisingly strong showing at the Traverse City Tournament in September and he was only just getting started. Ryan Bourque’s old teammate with the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts earned a one-year contract with the Whale and made the most of the opportunity. He battled for the team points lead all season and finished with 64 (24 goals, 40 assists), tied for the team lead and good for third among AHL rookies. Audy-Marchessault still faces an uphill climb to the NHL thanks to his (listed) 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame, but he is much closer to achieving his dream than he was a year ago. The bad news is that J.A.M. may not even be Rangers’ property come July; the 21-year-old is an unrestricted free agent and may prefer to sign with a club that could better use his services. It’s hard to see exactly where Audy-Marchessault fits in the prospect depth chart and he’d likely garner several other offers following his banner year. GM Glen Sather will surely offer J.A.M. a contract, but the rest is up to him.
Bourque was one of the last cuts at training camp but disappeared for the first chunk of the season with Connecticut after suffering a concussion in his third game. He drew little attention the rest of the way because of his irrelevant offensive production (six goals and eight assists in 69 games), but suddenly Bourque was in the spotlight again as the Whale began its playoff run. Bourque was one player that noticeably raised his game in the postseason and even contributed a bit more offensively with two goals and an assist in nine postseason games. It’s tough to imagine Bourque being much of a scorer at the NHL level, but he has a very well-rounded game, is a terrific skater and is a major pest on the forecheck, qualities that could endear him to the Rangers’ coaching staff sooner than some of the organization’s more touted prospects. Bourque’s confidence is surely higher after a strong late season push and since he was one of the last cuts last year, it stands to reason that he could push very hard for a bottom-six role in New York next year.
When we last checked in on Rangers prospect Michael St. Croix, he was on his way to the WHL Finals. He and his Edmonton Oil Kings were to face the offensive juggernaut Portland Winterhawks in the Finals, and what an epic series it was. Seven games later, St. Croix and the Oil Kings were crowned the WHL champions, following a 4-1 victory over Portland in the final game. St. Croix had a goal and an assist in the game.
St. Croix had one amazing postseason for the Oil Kings, finishing tied for the team lead in scoring with a line of 7-12-19 in 20 playoff contests. In the WHL Finals, St. Croix played at a point-per-game pace, finishing with two goals and five assists.
Edmonton advanced to the Memorial Cup tournament, along with the host city Shawinigan Cataractes (QHJHL), the OHL champion London Knights, and the QMJHL champion St. John Sea Dogs. Action begins tonight when Edmonton takes on Shawinigan. Edmonton will also face St. John on Monday, and London on Tuesday.