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2005-06 Prospect Recap: Greg Moore

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

RW, Maine (NCAA)/Hartford (AHL)

Greg Moore is a proven winner.

He led the United States to gold as the assistant captain at the 2003 World Under-18 Championship tournament, captained the Maine Black Bears to two Frozen Four appearances, and has been nationally recognized for his actions both on and off the ice.

Selected by Calgary in the fifth round of 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Moore came to the Rangers, along with Blair Betts, in a March 6, 2004, trade for Chris Simon and a 2004 seventh round draft pick. That deal, made just before the NHL trading deadline, was part of a wider rebuilding effort focusing on the team's future -- a future in which the 22-year-old Moore could play a big role.

"Greg is a real solid guy," Head Coach Tom Renney says. "He's a good fit for us and he instinctively has what it takes to play at a higher level."

Those instincts served him well during his four years at the University of Maine.

"My college career went really well," says the native of Lisbon, Maine, who tallied 64 goals and 40 assists for 104 points in 144 career games. "Last year I had the type of season I was looking for (28 goals and 17 assists for 45 points in 42 games), and that's what hockey's all about. With the hard work I put in the first three years before that, and to get to the Frozen Four again last year, not a lot of teams get a chance to even do that once, and during my four years I got to go twice. I'll definitely look back at the four years as a positive and that I accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish."

Moore had an impressive stint with Hartford after completing his NCAA eligibility last season. In two regular-season games with the Wolf Pack, he notched one goal and one assist for two points, along with two penalty minutes, and was plus-four. He played well enough to earn a regular spot on the postseason squad, notching two goals and five assists for seven points and six penalty minutes in 13 games.

"Playing in Hartford at the end of the season was an invaluable experience and it couldn't have gone any better than it did," Moore said. "The team and the coaching staff were real good to me, and made the transition comfortable. I came in and they gave me an opportunity to play in the two regular-season games that were left, and I was fortunate enough to stay in the lineup throughout the whole playoffs and put up more points than I would have expected myself to attain."

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound right wing, who graduated with a double major in Kinesiology and Physical Education, is a hulking presence on the ice who also boasts a soft touch around the net. With his wide body, he protects the puck extremely well, and goes to the corners with reckless abandon. Even more impressive, he is a natural leader who performs with grit, hustle, and heart on both ends of the ice.

"The kid is built like a tank and plays the typical power forward game," said Renney. "He naturally has a good center of gravity, so he is very sturdy on his feet. You don't see him on his butt very often at all. He shoots the puck extremely well, can really read the game and is a very good thinker. You'll never see him stand still. He plays the game at a good pace."

Moore also considers himself a power forward in that he focuses on "driving wide and getting to the net."

"I'm good at controlling the puck down low in the offensive zone, especially along the boards and winning battles," said Moore. "I think for the size that I have I am pretty fast once I get up to full speed on the rush, driving to the net. I also think I have a lot of power on my shot, so I like to get a quick and heavy one off any chance I get."

Both of Moore's goals in the AHL playoffs were game-winners.
Although Moore's physical game turns heads, people also can't stop talking about his character. Even though he has enjoyed success at every stage of his career, he maintains a strong sense of where he comes from and has a great appreciation for all those who have been there for him throughout his life.

"My first AHL goal was great, and so were all the Frozen Fours, but the goal I scored with the Wolf Pack in Portland near my hometown is the highlight of my career," he said. "I had a lot of friends and family there, and for them to see me score that goal, it was pretty special."

Despite all his success in 2005-06, Moore believes he can be even better next season.

"I am working on a lot of areas because I know I can always improve. I am focusing on my hands and stick handling ability," he said. "I am trying to get leaner and more explosive and faster in my first three strides so I can keep up with the pace of the game at the next level. Obviously my goal has been to play in the NHL since I was a little kid. The sooner the better, and I hope to think I can make it this year."

~ Ricky Henne

RW Maine (NCAA) 42 28 17 45 47 12 0 5
Hartford (AHL regular season) 2 1 1 2 2 0 1 1
  Hartford (AHL playoffs) 13 2 5 7 6 0 0 2
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