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Rangers Prospect Report 1.11.16

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

Three Rangers prospects – Brandon Halverson (United States), Adam Huska (Slovakia), and Aleksi Saarela (Finland) – represented their country in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Saarela registered the primary assist on the game-winning goal in overtime in the Gold Medal Game on Jan. 5 against Russia. The Rangers’ third round pick (89th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft registered seven points (four goals, three assists) and posted a plus-two rating in seven games during the tournament while helping Finland capture a gold medal. He tied for first among all skaters in the tournament in power play goals (three).

At least one Rangers prospect has helped his country win the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in three of the last four years and in four of the last seven years (Saarela – 2016; Anthony Duclair – 2015; J.T. Miller – 2013; Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque – 2010).

Huska led all goaltenders in the tournament in saves (169), even though he only appeared in five games (Huska averaged 33.8 saves per game in the tournament).

Halverson posted a 0.65 GAA and a .973 SV% in two appearances in the tournament. In three appearances in the IIHF World Junior Championship over the last two years, Halverson posted a 0.40 GAA and a .980 SV% (50 saves on 51 shots).

Emerging From the Pack

Mat Bodie tallied an assist/point in each of Hartford’s three games during the week (one goal, four assists), and he posted back-to-back multi-point games on Jan. 9 vs. Bridgeport and Jan. 10 vs. Albany. Bodie notched two assists and posted a plus-three rating on Jan. 9, and registered two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning goal in overtime, and posted a plus-three rating on Jan. 10.

Bodie extended his assist streak to five games and his point streak to six games (two goals, six assists, plus-seven rating over his six-game point streak). He has also registered a point in seven of the last eight games (two goals, seven assists over the span). He is tied for the team lead in assists (14) and ranks fifth on the Wolf Pack – and leads team defensemen – in points (17) this season. Bodie also ranks second on Hartford – and leads team defensemen – in plus/minus rating in 2015-16 (plus-five).

Nicklas Jensen tallied a goal, registered four shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating while making his Wolf Pack debut on Jan. 9 vs. Bridgeport. Jensen, who was acquired by the Rangers from Vancouver on Jan. 8, recorded six shots on goal over the two games he played with Hartford during the weekend.

Adam Tambellini registered two points (one goal, one assist), including an assist on the game-winning goal, led all skaters with six shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating on Jan. 9 vs. Bridgeport. The Rangers’ third round pick (65th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in the last nine games and is tied for second on the Wolf Pack in goals (nine) in 2015-16.

Ryan Graves was selected to represent the Wolf Pack in the 2016 AHL All-Star Game. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (110th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has registered 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 37 games thus far during his rookie season in the AHL.

Quick Hits

Daniel Bernhardt, RW, London Knights (OHL) – Bernhardt committed to and entered into an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Standard Player’s Agreement with the London Knights on Jan. 8.

Pavel Buchnevich, LW, SKA-St. Petersburg (KHL) – Buchnevich tallied his first assist/point with SKA-St. Petersburg and recorded three shots on goal in 15:36 of ice time on Jan. 6 against Vityaz.

Steven Fogarty, C, University of Notre Dame (NCAA) – Fogarty registered two points (one goal, one assist), recorded five shots on goal, and posted a plus-three rating on Jan. 8 vs. Western Michigan. The Rangers’ third round pick (72nd overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft is tied for third on the team in goals (seven) and ranks fifth in points (14) this season. 

Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) – Gropp established a single-game WHL career-high with three assists, recorded the primary assist on the game-winning goal in overtime, and posted a plus-three rating in Seattle’s 3-2 win against Everett on Jan. 9. The Rangers’ second round pick (41st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in 15 of the last 25 games, tallying 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) over the span. Gropp is tied for the team lead in goals (18) and ranks fourth on Seattle in points (35) this season (36 games played).

Brandon Halverson, G, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) – After representing Team USA in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Halverson stopped 34 of 36 shots he faced on Jan. 8 against Erie. The Rangers’ second round pick (59th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has made at least 30 saves in 12 of his 21 OHL starts in 2015-16.

Keegan Iverson, RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) – Iverson tallied two assists and posted a plus-two rating on Jan. 9 vs. Kamloops. The Rangers’ third round pick (85th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has registered four points (two goals, two assists) in the last five games and 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in the last 21 contests.

Robin Kovacs, RW, AIK (Allsvenskan) – Kovacs tallied a shootout goal on Jan. 8 against Almtuna. The Rangers’ third round pick (62nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft leads all players younger than 20 years old in Allsvenskan in goals (13) and points (21) this season.

Ryan Mantha, F/D, Niagara IceDogs (OHL) – Mantha registered two points (one goal, one assist) on Jan. 6 at Hamilton. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (104th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft extended his assist/point streak to four games (two goals, four assists over the span). He has tallied ten points (two goals, eight assists) in the last 14 games.

Brad Morrison, C, Prince George Cougars (WHL) – Morrison tallied three assists/points in three games last week. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (113th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has notched 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in the last 19 games, including 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games. Morrison ranks third on Prince George in points (34) and is tied for third in assists (20) this season.

Cristoval Nieves, C, University of Michigan (NCAA) – Nieves registered two assists in each of the Wolverines’ two games last week. The Rangers’ second round pick (59th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft extended his assist/point streak to four games (six assists over the span), and he has tallied a point in six of his last seven games (two goals, eight assists) and in eight of his last ten contests (three goals, nine assists).

Igor Shesterkin, G, SKA-St. Petersburg (KHL) – Shesterkin made 23 saves and earned his fifth consecutive KHL win on Jan. 6 against Vityaz. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has posted a 5-1-0 record, along with a 2.49 GAA, a .919 SV%, and 1 SO in six KHL appearances this season.

Sergey Zborovskiy, D, Regina Pats (WHL) – Zborovskiy tallied an assist and posted a plus-three rating on Jan. 9 at Spokane. The Rangers’ third round pick (79th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft has registered three points (one goal, two assists) in the last five games.

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