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Rangers Prospect Report: 03.18.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

Three Stars of the Week

Jake Elmer agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Mar. 15, and he registered three points (one goal, two assists) in two games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL) during the week. The 6-1, 190-pounder finished the regular season with a WHL career-high 18-game point streak (19 goals, 16 assists over the span), including a nine-game assist streak. Elmer established WHL career-highs in several categories in 2018-19, including goals (39), assists (42), points (81), plus/minus rating (plus-26), shorthanded goals (seven), shots on goal (253), and game-winning goals (eight). Elmer led the WHL in shorthanded goals, tied for ninth in game-winning goals, tied for 12th in goals, tied for 13th in points, and ranked 15th in shots on goal this season. In addition, Elmer received three of the Hurricanes' team awards in 2018-19: Three Stars Award, Fan Favorite Award, and Community Relations Award. Lethbridge begins the first round of the 2019 WHL Playoffs on Friday, Mar. 22 against the Calgary Hitmen.

Morgan Barron tallied two assists/points and recorded 10 shots on goal in three games during the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals, helping Cornell defeat Union, two games to one, and advance to the ECAC Hockey Semifinals in Lake Placid. In addition, Barron was named to the All-Ivy League First Team and was named a finalist for the ECAC Hockey's Best Defensive Forward award in 2018-19. The Rangers' sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has tallied 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games this season. Barron has registered a point 17 of the last 22 games, and he has recorded 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) over the span. Barron has tallied a point in 22 of 32 games in 2018-19 (Cornell has posted a 15-5-2 record in games which he has recorded a point this season). He leads Cornell in several categories this season, including goals, points, power play goals (six), and shots on goal (141). Barron also ranks second on Cornell in assists and ranks fourth in plus/minus rating (plus-nine) in 2018-19. He ranks third in the NCAA in shots on goal per game this season (4.41). Barron is currently one of 14 NCAA freshmen or sophomores who are averaging at least 1.00 points per game this season. Cornell plays Brown in the ECAC Hockey Semifinal on Friday, Mar. 22.

Tarmo Reunanen registered two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-two rating in his final game of the regular season on Mar. 14 against Ilves, and he also recorded two points (one goal, one assist) while making his Liiga playoff debut on Mar. 16 against JYP. The Rangers' fourth round pick (98th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft tallied 25 points (six goals, 19 assists) in 58 games with TPS during the regular season in Liiga in 2018-19. Reunanen, who turned 21 years old on Mar. 1, 2019, led Liiga defensemen who were in their U21 season or younger in goals and points, and ranked second in assists during the regular season in 2018-19. Over the last 10 seasons (since 2009-10), Reunanen is one of five defensemen in Liiga who recorded at least 25 points in either their U21 season or younger (along with Sami Vatanen, Esa Lindell, Ville Pokka, and Sami Niku). He also ranked 12th in Liiga in average ice time during the regular season (21:14), and he ranked second among players who are in their U21 season or younger in the league in average ice time.

Quick Hits

  • K'Andre Miller was named a finalist for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award in 2018-19. The Rangers' first round pick (22nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft registered 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) and posted a plus-seven rating with the University of Wisconsin in 2018-19. Among NCAA freshmen defensemen who have skated in at least 25 games this season, Miller ranks first in assists per game (0.65) and points per game (0.85). In addition, in the 26 games Miller played with Wisconsin this season, he was on the ice for 37 of the 76 goals the team scored (48.7%).

Here is how Miller, who finished the 2018-19 season with 26 games played, compares to other defensemen recently selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft through their first 26 career games in the NCAA:

FIRST CAREER 26 NCAA GAMES - DEFENSEMEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAYER

SEASON

GP

G

A

P

Miller

2018-19

26

5

17

22

Werenski

2014-15

26

7

14

21

Matheson

2012-13

26

6

12

18

Trouba

2012-13

26

8

9

17

Hanifin

2014-15

26

4

11

15

McAvoy

2015-16

26

2

12

14

  • Nils Lundkvist finished the 2018-19 regular season in the SHL with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and a plus-seven rating in 41 games. The Rangers' first round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft led SHL defensemen younger than 20 years old in assists and points this season (in addition, the 18-year-old also recorded more assists and points than any other SHL defenseman younger than 20 years old in 2018-19). Over the last 30 seasons in the SHL (since 1989-90), Lundkvist is one of 14 defensemen younger than 19 years old who have recorded at least 10 points in a season, and his 10 points in 2018-19 were tied for the 10th-most by an SHL defenseman younger than 19 years old over the span.
  • Joey Keane recorded two assists, both of which were primary assists, and posted a plus-one rating on Mar. 16 at Saginaw. The Rangers' third round pick (88th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft finished the 2018-19 regular season with 39 points (eight goals, 31 assists), a plus-11 rating, and 103 penalty minutes in 66 OHL games with Barrie and London. Keane ranked eighth in the OHL in penalty minutes this season, and he was one of only five OHL players who recorded 39 or more points and 100 or more penalty minutes in 2018-19. He also ranked 10th among OHL defensemen in shots on goal (181) and ranked 14th among OHL defensemen in power play assists (14) this season. London begins the first round of the 2019 OHL Playoffs on Friday, Mar. 22 against Windsor.
  • Nico Gross registered three assists/points and posted a plus-four rating in three games during the week, including two assists on Mar. 13 vs. Kingston. The Rangers' fourth round pick (101st overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft finished the 2018-19 regular season with 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) and a plus-19 rating in 56 OHL games with Oshawa. Gross established OHL career-highs in assists, points, and plus/minus rating this season, and he ranked third on Oshawa in plus/minus rating in 2018-19. Oshawa begins the first round of the 2019 OHL Playoffs on Friday, Mar. 22 against Peterborough.
  • Riley Hughes notched an assist in each of Victoria's two games this week in the Second Round of the BCHL Playoffs. The Rangers' seventh round pick (216th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded seven assists/points in six games thus far in the 2019 BCHL Playoffs. Hughes is tied for first in the BCHL - and leads all BCHL rookies - in assists thus far in the playoffs this year. In addition, Hughes is tied for third among BCHL rookies in points in the playoffs this year. He registered 58 points (24 goals, 34 assists) in 53 regular season BCHL games in 2018-19; he ranked fourth among BCHL rookies in goals and assists, and tied for fourth among BCHL rookies in points during the season.
  • Patrik Virta tallied a goal and posted a plus-one rating while making his SHL playoff debut on Mar. 16 against Vaxjo. The Rangers' seventh round pick (207th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft finished the SHL regular season with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 37 games with Orebro, and he recorded a point in 10 of his last 18 regular season contests (five goals, five assists).
  • Tyler Wall's 2018-19 season with UMass-Lowell ended on Mar. 17, the school was defeated by Boston University in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Wall appeared in two of three games during the Hockey East Quarterfinals, posting a 1-0-0 record, along with a 2.39 GAA and a .913 SV%. The Rangers' sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft finished the 2018-19 season with an 11-7-3 record, along with a 2.09 GAA, a .921 SV%, and 4 SO in 22 appearances, and he allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of his 22 appearances. Wall currently ranks 12th in the NCAA in GAA and is tied for ninth in the NCAA in shutouts this season.
  • Tyler Nanne's 2018-19 season with the University of Minnesota ended on Mar. 16, as Minnesota was defeated by Notre Dame in the Big Ten Semifinal. He recorded 13 points (five goals, eight assists) and a plus-two rating in 38 games in 2018-19, including five points (two goals, three assists) in the final eight games.

Emerging From the Pack

  • Vinni Lettieri tallied a point in all of Hartford's three games during the week (two goals, two assists), including two points (one goal, one assist) on Mar. 13 vs. Binghamton. He extended his point streak to five games (six goals, three assists), and he recorded a goal in each of the first four games of the streak. Lettieri has registered a point in 12 of the 15 games he has played with the Wolf Pack since he was assigned to Hartford on Feb. 13 (11 goals, eight assists over the span). He has recorded 46 points (23 goals, 23 assists) and 165 shots on goal (3.75 shots on goal per game) in 44 AHL games with the Wolf Pack this season. Lettieri leads the Wolf Pack in goals, points per game (1.05), and shots on goal, and is tied for third on the team in points in 2018-19. In addition, he has established AHL career-highs in assists, points, and shots on goal this season, and he has tied his career-high in goals (he has recorded 23 goals in 44 games this season after tallying 23 goals in 55 AHL games in 2017-18). He is also tied for 19th in the AHL (min. 10 games played) in points per game this season.
  • Adam Huska made 25 saves and earned the first professional/AHL win of his career while appearing in the second professional/AHL game of his career on Mar. 16 at Utica. The Rangers' seventh round pick (184th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Mar. 9, and he was signed by the Wolf Pack to an Amateur Tryout (ATO) agreement on Mar. 9. Huska has made 25 saves in each of his two AHL appearances with Hartford. Prior to beginning his professional career, Huska appeared in 69 career collegiate games over three seasons (2016-17 - 2018-19) with the University of Connecticut, and he made 30 or more saves in 27 of those 69 career appearances (39.1%). 
  • Ryan Gropp tallied a point in all of Hartford's three games during the week (two goals, two assists), including two goals on Mar. 16 at Utica. He extended his point streak to four games (two goals, three assists over the span). In addition, Gropp has registered a point in six of the last seven games (five goals, three assists), and he has recorded 13 points (seven goals, six assists) over the last 19 games.
  • Ville Meskanen recorded two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning goal, on Mar. 16 at Utica. He has registered 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 60 AHL games with the Wolf Pack during his first professional season in North America in 2018-19. 
  • Tim Gettinger registered two points (one goal, one assist) on Mar. 13 vs. Binghamton. The Rangers' fifth round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 56 games with the Wolf Pack in his first AHL/professional season in 2018-19. Gettinger leads Hartford rookies in goals, assists, and points this season. 
  • Sean Day tallied two assists and posted a plus-two rating on Mar. 16 at Utica. Day has registered four assists/points in his last five games and nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last 13 games.
  • Gabriel Fontaine tallied a goal and registered four shots on goal on Mar. 15 at Syracuse. The Rangers' sixth round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in four of his last eight games (three goals, one assist). Fontaine has established AHL career-highs in assists (14) and points (23), and has tied his AHL career-high in goals (nine) in 2018-19.

Quotebook

"He has elite speed and ability in one-on-one battles, which will translate well at the professional level. He is a versatile player who can play in any situation and on both special teams units." - Rangers Amateur Scout Steve Konowalchuk on Jake Elmer

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