Monday, November 29, 2010

Rangers Prospects Ethan Werek and Christian Thomas Left Off Canadian WJC Invite List

Today the Canadian World Junior camp roster was announced and there was some reason for hope that a couple of Rangers prospects would get an invitation to the festivities.  The two main hopefuls for the New York Rangers were 2009 2nd round pick Ethan Werek and 2010 2nd round pick Christian Thomas.  Werek was at the camp over the summer so he probably had a better chance to make it, but he still needed a strong push in November and he just did not get that.  Overall for the month Werek had a respectable 5 games 4 assists performance in his 11 games, but he was held scoreless in four of his last five games before this announcement and that probably sealed his fate. 

Christian Thomas was a long shot coming into the year, especially considering he was not invited to the camp over the summer but his spectacular play this season with 18 goals and 16 assists in just 22 games was thought to put him in the running.  Overall in November Thomas numbers were down sans an incredible two game stretch in which he netted 5 goals and had 5 helpers on his way to OHL and CHL player of the week.  In his other 8 games this month he only had 2 goals and 5 assists and as Jess Rubenstein astutely as always pointed in a tweet:
His size I suppose is being one factor, he struggled against the Russians in the SSS is another
Do not take the lack of inclusion for either of these players as a statement on their future abilities with the Rangers as both are very talented and playing very good hockey.  The Canadian ranks are very deep as we see every year and this does not mean you should think any less of these players because they did not make it.   Werek is still someone I envision as a potential top 6 forward in the NHL and Thomas a tremendous sniper down the line.  Missing out on the experience is a negative in that playing against the best makes you better, but with both expect them to continue their hard work and development for the bigger picture of being a Ranger.

The Rangers are expected to have four prospects in the World Junior Championships this year with Ryan Bourque and Chris Kreider playing for team USA as they look to repeat; Jesper Fasth (2010 6th round pick) playing for the Swedes and Roman Horak (2009 5th round pick) representing the Czech Republic