Friday, May 6, 2011

Rangers Sign 2009 5th Round Pick Roman Horak

The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with 2009 fifth round pick Roman Horak on an entry level contract.  In 64 games with the Chiliwack Bruins of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season he scored 26 goals and had 52 assists, which were career highs.

Horak is a center who is very good on faceoffs, defensively responsible and very dangerous while shorthanded.  His offense continues to develop and those who initially saw him as a fourth or checking line center are now seeing more offensive upside to his game.  He will compete for a spot next season, but is likely to spend the year in the AHL with the Connecticut Whale.

Stepan Continues To Shine For Team USA Despite 4-3 Loss to Canada

Derek Stepan’s tremendous World Championship continued today with a goal and an assist for Team USA against the more talented Team Canada group.  Stepan was one of the few American players that did not seem to be overmatched by the Canadian talent. 

During the third period, as we saw numerous times during the regular season, Stepan stepped up in the big moment and scored the game tying goal with just 8:43 left in the game.  Canada has been dominating play and just gone from down 2-1 to leading 3-2 with the game seemingly over before Stepan made the big play.  The goal came from a beautiful give-and-go with Blake Wheeler off the right wing wall which ended with Stepan being open in the slot to score the power play goal.  His assist came during the second period on Mike Komisarek’s point shot that gave the USA squad a 1-0 lead in the game.  The assist was his fifth of the tournament. 

Stepan continued to be the best player for Team USA in the tournament and now he has a total of one goal and five assists in the four games.  This kind of performance as the number one center for the national team against this kind of competition is a tremendous boost for Stepan on the heels of his very good rookie season.  With his work ethic look for Stepan to come back even stronger next season.

On the disappointing side Chris Kreider was clearly over-matched today against the NHL talent of the Canadian roster and was used very sparingly the last couple of periods of the game.