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Rangers Need Young Players to be More Than Just Prospects


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I know. Patience is the byword. And I believe in it. I believe it is going to take time for the young guns ? not one of them a top-five pick ? to develop, and I believe in not placing undue expectations and pressure on even the best and the brightest in the pipeline. But once in a while, or maybe even just once, wouldn?t you like to see one of the Yoots burst onto the big stage and unexpectedly claim it?


Just once, could a Daniel Goneau not score eight goals in his first 15 games and then four in 38 over the rest of his NHL career, but instead score eight goals every 15 games of his career, at least maybe for a few years? Just once, couldn?t a Rangers kid just sprint out of the starting blocks instead of being wrapped in the perspective of patience?


This is not, of course, meant to disparage Lindgren, the U of Minnesota lefty who brings calling cards of fiber, character and leadership with him to Broadway. The Rangers are losing nearly every puck battle they manage to create. They are hemorrhaging goals against, having yielded 34 while going 1-6 in their last seven matches and having surrendered four or more in 15 of their 23 contests since Thanksgiving (five or more, eight times!) while going 6-12-5. So the time might be right for the two-time member of the USA World Junior squad who has played well through his first pro season.


The B&D Program (Build & Develop; what else?) is well underway on Broadway and that is unambiguously good news. But devising and even carrying through the strategy were always going to be the easy parts of this necessary reboot following a half-dozen years in which the future was sacrificed in order to try to put a consistently very good team over the top. The tough parts are, A) Choosing the correct young players; B) Developing them correctly; and, C) Did I mention, choosing the correct young players?





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This is Brooks' most cogent article of the year. In short, couldn't we be getting a bona fide breakthrough year from just one of the younger players? I'm surprised and heartened that Button has put Kratsov as No. 1. I'm not surprised or heartened by the fact that he dropped Andersson from 13 to 28 over the past year. It might be nice to see Hajek or Lindgren in the Top 50. I know, it's just one guy's arbitrary list, and various players not on this list will turn out to be studs, but I'll bet the majority of guys who eventually turn out to be studs in this age bracket are on this list now. And as for Vesey and Buchnevich, let's face it, most guys who turn out to be significant NHL players are past where they are by the second half of their third year in the league. As for history, Brooks mentioned the name Daniel Goneau, which we haven't thought about in years, but he could have mentioned any number of a long list of such names, which serves as a reminder that most prospects do not work out, most late First Round picks do not become stars, and neither do contenders' third best prospects, which they get Mr. Gorton to take in packages for current quality NHL players.
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I?ve been saying it for a while now.. they need to move up in the draft. It won?t be cheap but if there?s an opportunity you need to take it. Lack of elite talent has been an issue here since 1994 (at least drafted talent). Or just lose on purpose. Or at least draft some guys with offensive upside instead of going the Anderson route.



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