After a first day featuring on-ice fitness testing on Monday, Rangers prospects were able to take the pucks out of the buckets and get down to some hockey at the team's Development Camp Tuesday at the MSG Training Center. Three on-ice sessions took place Tuesday---two group practices and a scrimmage, with the same schedule set for Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday there will be just one final, regulation scrimmage.
Brady Skjei, the Rangers first round pick in the 2012 Draft, joined the 30 other prospects on Tuesday after missing Monday's initial session when he took care of some personal business back home in Minnesota. Skjei is among a group of top Rangers prospects on hand, a list which includes fellow first-rounders Dylan McIlrath (2010) and JT Miller (2011), along with Christian Thomas, Jesper Fast, Michael St. Croix, and fellow 2012 selections Boo Nieves and Calle Andersson.
"I am just trying to make a good first impression," said Skjei on Tuesday. "After this I'm going off to college (University of Minnesota), and whenever I feel I'm ready to make the next step, I will. The coaching staff there is really behind you. If they think you are ready to move on they'll drive you to the airport. But I'm not looking too far ahead."
As for the first scrimmage of this five-day camp on Tuesday, the White Team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Blue Team 5-3. Among the highlights:
- Andrew Yogan, the Rangers 4th round pick in 2010, took the puck hard to the net and jammed in the first goal of the scrimmage in the first of two periods played.
- Boo Nieves, the Rangers 2nd round selection this past weekend, showed off his much-talked about slick-skating moves prior to scoring the Blue Team's second goal of the opening period.
- Goaltender Scott Stajcer, the Blueshirts 5th round pick in 2009, looked very sharp in backstopping a shutout period of hockey for the Blue Team, making a glove save on JT Miller's penalty shot in the process.
- Calle Andersson, the defenseman chosen in the 4th round three days ago, was very involved offensively for the Blue Team, and scored from in tight in the second period.
- Swedish forwards Jesper Fast---who skated on a White Team line with Miller and Michael St. Croix---and Oscar Lindberg both had their moments in the scrimmage. Fast was in with speed on the forecheck consistently and showed a willingness to play physically, while Lindberg wristed a shot into the back of the cage from a few feet inside the blueline during the second period.
- Kyle Jean, who scored 12 goals and totaled 24 points in 39 games at Lake Superior State University last season and is in camp on a tryout basis, scored twice for the White Team---including a quick shot over the shoulder of goalie Gabe Grunwald from left wing.
- Grunwald, the son of New York Knicks General Manager Glen Grunwald, allowed all five goals scored by the White Team in relief of Stajcer.
"I'm tired, they're really working us hard, which is a good thing," noted Thomas of the camp's on-ice practice and scrimmage and off-ice work in the weight room. "It's good to be a veteran of this camp now and know what to expect, and be there to help out some of the younger guys. But I hope this is my last one. I'm hungry to make that next jump and no longer be just a prospect. I want to make a run at making the (NHL) team."
Thomas and his fellow prospects will conclude their day Tuesday with an evening boat cruise around Manhattan with Rangers fans and staff. Full coverage of the boat cruise can be found Wednesday right here on BlueshirtsUnited.com