Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rangers Prospect Summer Rankings.

Over at Sportsology Russ Cohen posted his 2011 New York Rangers Summer Prospect Rankings on Friday.  His rankings have some similarities to many that are out there, but also a few surprises.

Russ’ List:
Chris Kreider, Tim Erixon, Cal Hagelin, Jesper Fasth, Christian Thomas, Ryan Bourque, Dylan McIlrath, J.T. Miller, Steven Fogarty, Oscar Lindberg, Pavel Valentenko

For thoughts on his list and my own list continue after the jump.

The placement of Kreider first on the prospect is nothing new over the past year as he has had the top spot in most every accounting out there.  I would consider moving Erixon ahead of him if doing a rankings list right now because of the combination of Kreider being somewhat underwhelming last season at Boston College and Erixon being NHL ready with excellent upside, but either order is fine.

Carl Hagelin is a player that is underrated when being projected to the NHL and that has him ranked lower than he should be on the Rangers prospect rankings by most, but I don’t see him as the being the next guy in line after Kreider and Erixon.  That place should be reserved for Christian Thomas who has questions about how his size will translate to the NHL, but there are no questions about his ability to be a sniper.  Placing Thomas at 3 and Hagelin 4 makes more sense because Thomas has significantly more upside offensively and has no question about being a potential top six talent.

Possibly the most interesting move by Cohen in this list was placing Jesper Fasth as high as he did.  Fasth looks like another late round steal for the Rangers who was able to put up impressive numbers in the SEL last season and had an excellent WJC, but it is a little early for him to be ranked above Thomas. 

Cohen appears down on Dylan McIlrath by placing him below Ryan Bourque after openly wondering if Bourque would ever be more than an AHL player.  Bourque’s intelligence and understanding of the game will likely allow him to use his skills in the NHL as a third line on the right team.  As for McIlrath, he is never going to be a huge offensive guy from the blue line and for some that will always leave him considered as a bust for where he was picked, but his intimidation is what he was chosen for and his offensive game is improving as he showed at Prospect Development Camp last month.

2011 first round selection J.T. Miller coming in where he did on the list is not surprising, but including 2011 third round selection Steven Fogarty in there is.  Fogarty could certainly be included on the lists in a year as there is excellent upside, but he is years away from being an anywhere near ready.

My personal rankings:
Erixon, Kreider, Thomas, Hagelin, McIlrath, Fasth, Miller, Bourque, Lindberg, Kundratek

Disclaimer: As Jess Rubenstein of The Prospect Park points out frequently, ranking prospects numerically is unfair because each is at a different stage of their development so they cannot be directly compared, so take that into account when looking at any prospect list.