Vitaly Kravtsov New York Rangers
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Ranger prospects continue their camp and experience of NHL life in New York City. Hear from the players and see who fared well in the first inter-squad scrimmage.

The Brett Howden Spotlight

Lost in all the fuss over this offseason is the acquisition of center Brett Howden.

Howden, who felt these first days were actually his first as a New York Ranger (despite being traded in February), is still very much alive in the battle for centers 1-4 on the big club. Howden is blessed with size, skating ability and a “chip” on his shoulder after dealt a crushing blow a few years ago.

He sure felt right at home heading into New York City, growing up a huge fan of the hit TV show “Friends.”

Howden is coming off a monster Junior Hockey season with 75 points in 49 WHL games and is also only a year removed from a short stint in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch where he tallied three goals and one assist in five games.

Howden also recorded two assists in three playoff games that season. That experience alone gives him an upper hand on most at this development camp.

Speaking of Experience ...

Lias Andersson feels he is much more ready to compete for a spot this season as opposed to last year due to his cup of coffee with the big club.

It’s been a whirlwind ride for Andersson, from competing in the Men’s World Championships for Gold medal-winning Sweden to training to make the Rangers.

Inter-squad Scrimmage

The Rangers held the first team scrimmage today with Team Blue taking the win by way of a shootout. Dawson Leedahl, who split last season between the AHL and ECHL, started things off for Team Blue with an early goal.

Shortly after, defensive prospect Libor Hajek tallied a goal of his own for Team White to tie things up.

Finnish prospect Ville Meskanen tallied two goals for Team White and momentarily gave them a 3-2 lead. But Team Blue stormed back to tie things up quickly, and Filip Chytil ultimately gave Team Blue a 4-3 lead.

Prospect Gabriel Fontaine provided the highlight of what could be the entire week, channeling his inner Nikita Kucherov on this nifty shootout move.

Fontaine is supremely skilled but hasn’t quite been able to put things together even at the Junior level. However, this move is surefire evidence of the skill this kid has.

The visit to MSG

Led by Hockey Operations Adviser Brian Leetch, the prospects got their first taste of what the world’s most famous arena had to offer. The prospects sat in the locker room, toured the facilities and were shown a movie on the scoreboard screen.

What the players had to say

The Rangers posted interviews with several more prospects today including defenseman Simon Kjellberg, who was drafted in this year’s sixth round.

… as well as third-round draft pick, defenseman Jacob Ragnarsson from Sweden.

Big defenseman Libor Hajek did not beat around the bush when asked about his intentions for next season. The left-handed defenseman was quick to answer that he wants to make this team right out of the gate.

That wraps up day three news from prospect development camp. Stay tuned for any more information regarding camp or free agent news with free agency starting soon.

Also, at least we know Vitaly Kravtsov is a dog guy.

Neal Purcell has a tremendous passion for New York Rangers hockey and the sport of hockey in general. A graduate of SUNY Cortland in Upstate NY, Purcell coaches both a high school hockey team and a travel team in the winter. Purcell is also a part of a small family business in the Central New York Region.