New York Rangers prospects
Bruno Rouby, ESNY Graphic

The New York Rangers prospects have had an eventful week. Some good, some scary but all display how bright the team’s future is.

Frank Curto

The New York Rangers prospects experienced an interesting week in their respective leagues. They have scored some great goals, made some fantastic saves, and even gave Ranger fans quite a scare plus a little in between.

There has been enough talk this season of who will be traded, are the playoffs a possibility, and why is head coach David Quinn going with seven defensemen again? Sometimes, it’s just enjoyable to hear about how the future Rangers are doing in Russia, college and around the globe.

Let’s take a look at the players who will hopefully be wearing the red, white and blue sweaters on Broadway in the near future.

Vitali Kravtsov

Vitali Kravtsov is having a great season playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL. He scored his eighth goal of the season on Monday.

The Rangers first-round pick, ninth overall, in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft now has 13 assists for 21 points in 45 games played for Traktor. His 21 points this season are tied for the ninth-most in a season by a player younger than 20 in the history of the KHL. He is tied with Artemi Panarin of the Columbus Blue Jackets (for the time being).

Kravtsov currently leads KHL players younger than 20-years-old in goals (eight), assists (13), and points (21) this season. Traktor has a record of 26-31 on the season and with the playoffs in doubt, could there be a chance of Kravtsov heading to North America now instead of the beginning of training camp next season?

Rangers fans will have to wait and see what general manager Jeff Gorton decides to work out with Kravtsov’s camp, but regardless of that decision he will be in New York sooner rather than later.

Igor Shestyorkin

Igor Shestyorkin stopped 27 of 28 shots today to earn his 22nd win in 26 appearances this season with SKA. He has appeared in 26 games with 1.19 goals against average along with a .949 save percentage.

The Russian phenom has earned a win in each of his last eight appearances, 8-0-0, 0.75 goals against average with a .966 save percentage and, three shutouts. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Shesterkin has posted a 77-9-4 record, along with 1.53 goals against average, a .939 save percentage, and 23 shutouts in 93 KHL appearances.

His numbers might be a little inflated due to the lack of true competition by some teams in the KHL, but even as that may be, his numbers are outstanding.

SKA St. Petersburg is currently in first place in the Bobrov Division in the Western Conference of the KHL with a record of 44-13.

This should be Shestyorkin’s last season in the KHL as it is anticipated that he will compete for the backup position behind Henrik Lundqvist next season. It is not a sure thing as Rangers current backup, Alexandar Georgiev has been serviceable as Lundqvist’s understudy this season for New York.

K’Andre Miller

K’Andre Miller, a defenseman at the University of Wisconsin, has had an outstanding freshman season under former Rangers head coach Tony Granato.

Miller has appeared in 26 games for Wisconsin, recording five goals with 22 points including two power play goals.

The Rangers’ first-round pick, 22nd overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft had 17 points and was plus-11 through the Badgers’ first 18 games of the season. He was named the HCA National Rookie of the Month for October and December.

His season had a scare during a game against Ohio State on Saturday. Miller, skating coast to coast, lost his edge and took a nasty fall hitting the boards with his left leg. He will be re-evaluated next week, but for the time being, is just said to be very sore. It appears a major injury was avoided.

Miller won a silver medal for Team USA in the 2018 World Junior Championships held in Vancouver this past December.

Morgan Barron

Morgan Barron was drafted in the sixth round, 174 in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers. The center is in his second year at Cornell University. In 23 games this season, he has recorded 121 goals with 27 points.

The Cornell player leads the team in scoring and has at least one point in 12 of his past 13 games.

Nils Lundkvist

Nils Lundkvist was the Rangers’ first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft recorded three goals with seven assists for 10 points in 33 games played.

Lundkvist also played in the World Junior Championships for team Sweden, scoring one goal with two points in five games.

Nils Lundkvist leads all Swedish Hockey League defensemen younger than 20 in points in 2018-19. Over the last 3 seasons, he is one of only three SHL defensemen younger than 19 to tally at least nine points in a season.

Joey Keane

Joey Keane was the 2018 third round, 88th overall, selection by New York Rangers.

Joey Keane has split time in the OHL this season playing 29 games for the Barrie Colts and 21 games for the London Knights following his trade in late December.

In 50 games, the 19-year-old defenseman has scored six goals with 33 points total.

The prospects may be young, but all have been contributing to their respective clubs. Kravtsov and Shestyorkin will be playing on Broadway sooner than the others, but all have promising careers ahead in the National Hockey League.

The success these players are having this season is the reason the organization is able to keep the rebuilding process on track.

Patience is something past Rangers teams have not shown regarding prospects growth in the organization. This new way of thinking now will get the Rangers back to its winning ways creating the winning environment fans are expecting.

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