Gordie Clark, the Rangers Director, Player Personnel, is in town this week to conduct meetings with the club's amateur scouting staff---meetings that will focus on evaluating both current Blueshirt prospects, as well as youngsters the team may have interest in for the 2012 NHL Draft.
"It's great for the scouts to see the big club because most of these guys do not get that opportunity to see the Rangers, or any other NHL teams, play since they are so focused on the amateurs," Clark explained as his scouts watched the Blueshirts work out at the MSG Training Center.
Before heading off to his meetings, Calrk provided a thumbnail update on several of the organization's top prospects and how they are playing so far this season.
- JT Miller (first round, 2011): 13-26-39 in 33 gp for Plymouth in OHL; also played for United States at World Junior Champinships: "That U.S. team underachieved, but we were happy with JT. He did not have a great tournament, but he was consistent, and was above average. And he's having a good year at Plymouth. He's playing a hard game."
- Chris Kreider (first round, 2009): 13-11-24 in 21 gp for Boston College; "They had a number of top players leave school and are not as strong as they had been previously, so that has changed (Kreider's) role. He is counted on to score now, and he's producing. I've talked to him about his work along the boards, and protecting the puck---things other than scoring that will make him an NHL player---and then I go back to his games and see how he's improved on those things I told him. That tells you a lot about the player."
- Dylan McIlrath (first round, 2010): 2-11-13, 74 pim in 30 gp for Moose Jaw in WHL; "Mike Strothers is the new coach in Moose Jaw, and he's a perfect fit for Dylan. He's a former NHLer who is a great example for Dylan because he played the same game and he knows what it is to be a pro. McIlrath is playing very hard, mean, and simple now---exactly what we want."
- Tim Erixon (Flames first round, 2010, acquired in summer trade): 2-17-19 in 19 gp with Connecticut Whale in AHL; "I think it's great how his season has gone. He's gotten a taste of what he needs to work on in the NHL---he needs to get stronger because our game is so physical and he needs to adjust to the daily grind and fight through it. But his head and hands are great---he's a point-per-game player in the AHL. He's going to be a good one."
- Christian Thomas (second round, 2010): 18-19-37 in 29 gp for Oshawa in OHL; "He is really coming on now, almost at 20 goals after all he's been through being hurt and suspended."
- Michael St. Croix (fourth round, 2011): 25-42-67 in 42 gp for Edmonton of the WHL; "He's a smart, smart kid with a lot of talent. It's all about this summer for him---he needs to get that extra step, and then who knows with him? He is an interesting kid for us, for sure."
Share your thoughts below on Gordie's thumbnails of some of the top Blueshirt prospects this season.