Prospect Pool: Strong Start for Skjei in NCAA Tournament

By Matt Calamia

Each week, BlueshirtsUnited.com will update Rangers fans on what the organization's prospects have done statistically over the past seven days for their respective teams in the AHL, ECHL, NCAA, CHL and European leagues. For a full listing of all prospect statistics, click here.

Rangers 2012 first-round pick Brady Skjei and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers have advanced to the Frozen Four in the NCAA tournament. Skjei, a defenseman, picked up two assists and was a plus-3 in Minnesota’s 7-3 win over Robert Morris in the opening round, and followed it up with a plus-2 rating, one shot and one blocked shot in the Gophers’ 4-0 shutout over St. Cloud State.

The top-ranked Gophers will take on North Dakota on April 10 in Philadelphia, with the winner facing either Union or Boston College on April 12 in the National Championship game.

Skjei finished the regular season with six goals and five assists for 11 points in 35 games.

Fogarty, Notre Dame Ousted
Rangers 2011 third-round pick Steven Fogarty and the University of Notre Dame were eliminated in the first-round of the NCAA tournament by St. Cloud State, 4-3, in overtime.

Fogarty finished his regular season with three goals and eight assists in 31 games.

First-Round in the CHL in the Books
All four of the Rangers’ Canadian Hockey League prospects qualified for the postseason in their respective leagues, but only two remain after the opening round.

In the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, 2013 fourth-rounder Ryan Graves and Val-d’Or advanced to the second-round after sweeping Acadie-Bathurst in the opening round. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Graves finished with one assist in the four games.

Val-d’Or takes on Drummondville in the second-round.

Rangers 2013 third-round pick Anthony Duclair was unable to play in Quebec’s five-game loss to Rouyn-Noranda in the first-round of the QMJHL playoffs. Duclair, who scored 50 goals and 99 points in 59 regular season games, sustained an injury and missed the final month of the season.

In the battle of Rangers 2013 draft picks, Kootenay goaltender Mackenzie Skapski prevailed over Calgary’s Adam Tamebellini, though it was Tambellini who posted the better numbers. Kootenay won the series in six games, but it was Tambellini who stole the show, posting five goals and four assists in the six games. Skapski struggled in the opening four games, losing two and not finishing a third. Skapski, who finished the regular season 28-20-2-2, posted a 5.25 goals against average and a .832 save percentage in four games.

The Ice will take on the Medicine Hat Tigers in the second round.

Lastly, defenseman Troy Donnay finished pointless in Erie’s five-game win over Saginaw in the first-round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. The Otters will face the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the second-round.

Pair of Shutouts for the ‘Pack
After not posting a shutout for the first five-plus months of the season, the Hartford Wolf Pack blanked Bridgeport in two consecutive games this weekend in a home-and-home, both David LeNeveu between the pipes.

On the season, LeNeveu is 6-7-0-2 with a  2.90 goals against average and an .891 save percentage.

Leading the way offensively this week was Ryan Bourque, who registered two goals and two assists in the team’s three games. For the season, the 2009 third-round pick has 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points — all career-highs — as well as a team-leading plus-16 rating.

Defenseman Conor Allen posted a goal and two assists over three games as he continues to impress in his first professional season. The 24-year-old has six goals and 23 assists in 63 games.

Danny Kristo scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season, while Michael Haley had three assists. Marek Hrivik had a goal and an assist in three games as well.

Earlier in the week, Hartford recalled goaltender Jasaon Missiaen from Greenville (ECHL) where he went 14-4-0-1 with one shutout.

(Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota)