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Rangers Prospect Report: 12.16.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

Three Stars of the Week

1. Matthew Robertson registered a point in each of Edmonton's three games during the past week, recording four points (two goals, two assists), a plus-three rating, and 13 shots on goal in the three games. The Rangers' second round pick (49th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft notched two points (one goal, one assist) and registered six shots on goal on Dec. 13 vs. Swift Current, and he recorded the game-winning goal and posted a plus-two rating on Dec. 14 at Medicine Hat. Robertson extended his point streak to four games (two goals, three assists over the span), and he has also tallied 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in the last 19 games. He has notched 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 31 WHL games with Edmonton in 2019-20, and he has already established a WHL career-high in goals this season. Robertson is tied for second among WHL defensemen in power play goals (four) and is tied for fourth among WHL defensemen in goals this season.

2. Lauri Pajuniemi recorded a goal/point in each game he played during the past week (two goals, one assist), and he registered two points (one goal, one assist) and nine shot attempts on Dec. 13 against JYP. The Rangers' fifth round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has tallied a point in nine of the last 11 games, and he has registered 15 points (nine goals, six assists) over the span. In addition, he has posted five multi-point games in the last 11 contests. Pajuniemi has recorded 22 points (15 goals, seven assists) in 27 games with TPS in Liiga this season, and he has established career-highs in goals and points this season. Pajuniemi is tied for third in Liiga in goals this season. He has averaged 14:24 of ice time per game this season; of the 26 players who have registered 10 or more goals in Liiga this season, Pajuniemi is the only one who has averaged less than 15:00 of ice time per game. He also leads players in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in goals and is tied for second among players in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in points in 2019-20.

3. Nils Lundkvist tallied an assist in Lulea's Champions Hockey League (CHL) game on Dec. 10 against Lausanne HC to help Lulea advance to the Semifinals, which begins on Jan. 7 against Frolunda. The Rangers' first round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 10 CHL games this season, and he is tied for second among defensemen in the tournaments in points this season. Lundkvist will join Sweden's junior team this week in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He is expected to represent Sweden in the tournament for the second consecutive year. Lundkvist has registered 17 points (four goals, 13 assists), has posted a plus-15 rating, and has averaged 20:29 of ice time in 24 SHL games with Lulea in 2019-20. He has established SHL career-highs in goals, assists, and points, this season, and the 20:29 of ice time per game and plus-15 rating would be SHL career-highs, respectively, in each category. Lundkvist has recorded 32 points in his SHL career, which is the fifth-most by an SHL defenseman as a U20 player or younger in league history. In addition, his 23 career SHL assists are tied for the fifth-most by a defenseman as a U20 player or younger in league history. Lundkvist is the only player in the SHL who has registered 17 or more points and has posted a plus-15 rating or better this season. He is tied for second in the SHL in plus/minus rating, is tied for sixth in assists, and ranks 15th in the league in average ice time this season. Among SHL defensemen in 2019-20, Lundkvist ranks third in points, is tied for third in assists, and is tied for seventh in goals. In addition, among all SHL players younger than 20 years old, Lundkvist (who is 19 years old and turns 20 years old on July 27, 2020) ranks first in assists, points, and plus/minus rating this season, and he has more assists than any other U20 player has points in the SHL in 2019-20. He has averaged 0.71 points per game thus far this season, which would be the most by a defenseman in his U20 season or younger in one season (min. 10 games played) in SHL history.
 

Emerging From the Pack

  • Igor Shesterkin posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 0.50 GAA, a .982 SV% (55 saves on 56 shots), and 1 SO in two appearances during the past week. The Rangers' fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft stopped 29 of 30 shots on Dec. 11 vs. Binghamton, and he stopped all 26 shots to earn his second shutout of the season on Dec. 13 vs. Lehigh Valley. Shesterkin has posted an 11-3-3 record, along with a 1.81 GAA, a .936 SV%, and 2 SO in 17 appearances this season. Among qualified AHL goaltenders this season, he ranks first in GAA and ranks third in SV%. In addition, he is tied for third in the AHL in wins this season. Shesterkin has allowed one goal or fewer in nine of his 17 appearances in 2019-20, including each of his last three appearances. Shesterkin has earned a win in each of his last four appearances, posting a 1.00 GAA, a .965 SV% (110 saves on 114 shots), and 1 SO over the span.
     
  • Vitali Kravtsov was recalled by the Rangers from Traktor (KHL) and assigned to the Wolf Pack on Dec. 13. The Rangers' first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft registered three points (two goals, one assist) in 11 KHL games with Traktor this season, and he was tied for sixth among KHL players in their U21 season or younger (min. 10 games played) in points per game this season (0.27). Kravtsov led KHL players younger than 20 years old in goals (eight), assists (13), and points (21) last season.
     
  • Joey Keane registered an assist/point in two of Hartford's three games during the past week (two assists). The Rangers' third round pick (88th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded an assist/point in six of the last seven games (six assists) and in seven of the last nine contests (seven assists). In addition, Keane has tallied a point in 13 of the last 18 games (two goals, 11 assists over the span), including an assist/point in 11 of the last 16 contests (11 assists). Keane has recorded 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 27 AHL games this season, and he has tallied a point in 18 of the 27 contests. Keane is tied for second among AHL defensemen in goals and is tied for fourth among AHL defensemen in points this season, and he also leads AHL rookie defensemen in goals. In addition, Keane leads AHL defensemen in their U21 season or younger in goals, assists, and points in 2019-20. He is tied for the team lead in assists this season.
     
  • Vinni Lettieri recorded a point in two of Hartford's three games during the past week (one goal, one assist). He has notched 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 28 games in 2019-20. Lettieri leads the Wolf Pack in goals and points this season.
     
  • Yegor Rykov tallied an assist and posted a plus-one rating on Dec. 13 vs. Lehigh Valley. He has registered two assists and has posted a plus-two rating in six AHL games with the Wolf Pack this season; he has posted a plus-one rating or better in four of the six games he has played in 2019-20.
     
  • Tim Gettinger tallied two points (one goal, one assist), including the game-winning goal, and posted a plus-three rating on Dec. 11 vs. Binghamton. The Rangers' fifth round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has notched an assist/point in three of the last four games, and he has registered four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-five rating in the four contests. Gettinger has recorded 10 points (five goals, five assists) and a plus-four rating in 24 AHL games with the Wolf Pack in 2019-20.
     
  • Boo Nieves recorded a point in two of Hartford's three games during the past week (one goal, one assist). Nieves has registered 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 26 AHL games with Hartford this season, and he ranks fifth on the Wolf Pack in assists in 2019-20.
     

Quick Hits

  • Zachary Jones recorded an assist on Dec. 10 against Brown. The Rangers' third round pick (68th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft has registered 12 points (three goals, nine assists) and a plus-10 rating in 17 games with UMass this season. Jones ranks second among NCAA freshmen defensemen in points and is tied for second among NCAA freshmen defensemen in assists in 2019-20.
     
  • Nico Gross joined Switzerland's U20 team for exhibition games during the past week in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Rangers' fourth round pick (101st overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has represented Switzerland at the IIHF World Junior Championship in each of the last three years, and he served as an alternate captain for Switzerland in last year's tournament. Gross has tallied 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) and has posted a plus-four rating in 27 OHL games with Oshawa this season. Gross has already established an OHL career-high in goals this season, and he is one point away from tying his OHL career-high.
     
  • Karl Henriksson will join Sweden's junior team this week in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Rangers' second round pick (58th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft is expected to play in the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time in his career. Last year, Henriksson tallied nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games to help Sweden win a gold medal at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship, and he was named one of the Top Three Players on his Team in the tournament. He also helped Sweden earn a silver medal at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as he recorded two goals in five games.
     

Quote Book

"He comes in on a nightly basis, and he makes saves most goalies can't. It makes things a lot easier having him back there." - Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Nick Ebert on Igor Shesterkin (Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack)

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