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Rangers Prospect Report: 12.23.19

by New York Rangers @NYRangers

Three Stars of the Week

1. Lauri Pajuniemi recorded five points (four goals, one assist) in two games with TPS during the past week, and he registered his first career hat trick in Liiga as part of a four-point game (three goals, one assist) on Dec. 18 against Jukurit. The Rangers' fifth round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in each of the last five games (six goals, four assists), and he has notched a goal in each of the last four games. Pajuniemi has also tallied a point in 11 of the last 13 games, and he has registered 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) over the span. In addition, he has posted six multi-point games in the last 13 contests. Pajuniemi has recorded 27 points (19 goals, eight assists) in 29 games this season; he has established career-highs in goals and points, and has tied his career-high in assists this season. He ranks second in Liiga in goals and is tied for 11th in the league in points this season, and he also leads players in their U21 season or younger in Liiga in goals and points in 2019-20.

2. Karl Henriksson played in two pre-tournament games with Sweden during the past week in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he tallied a goal in Sweden's pre-tournament game against the United States on Dec. 22. 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.

3. K'Andre Miller played in a pre-tournament game with the United States on Dec. 22 against Sweden in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he was the team's captain for the game. The Rangers' first round pick (22nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft is expected to represent the United States in the IIHF World Junior Championship for the second consecutive year. Miller helped the United States earn a silver medal in the tournament in 2019.


Emerging From the Pack

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped all 31 shots, including all 15 shots in the third period, and tallied an assist on the game-winning goal to earn a win and a shutout on Dec. 21 vs. Providence. The Rangers' fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has posted a 12-4-3 record, along with a 2.03 GAA, a .930 SV%, and 3 SO in 20 appearances with Hartford this season. Among qualified AHL goaltenders this season, Shesterkin ranks third in GAA and ranks fifth in SV%. He also ranks third in the AHL in shutouts and is tied for third in the AHL in wins in 2019-20.
  • Vitali Kravtsov tallied a point in two of Hartford's three games during the past week (one goal, one assist), and he registered his first career AHL goal on Dec. 21 vs. Providence. The Rangers' first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in eight AHL games with the Wolf Pack in 2019-20.
  • Joey Keane posted his first career AHL multi-assist game by tallying two assists on Dec. 17 at Charlotte. The Rangers' third round pick (88th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded an assist/point in seven of the last 10 games (eight assists) and in eight of the last 12 contests (nine assists). Keane has recorded 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 30 AHL games this season, and he has tallied a point in 19 of the 30 contests. Keane is tied for second among AHL defensemen in goals and is tied for fifth among AHL defensemen in points this season.
  • Adam Huska stopped all 19 shots after entering the game in relief on Dec. 17 at Charlotte. The Rangers' seventh round pick (184th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft ranks fourth among qualified AHL rookie goaltenders in GAA this season (2.72).


Quick Hits

  • Nils Lundkvist played in two pre-tournament games with Sweden during the past week in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Rangers' first round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft 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.
  • Zachary Jones played in a pre-tournament game with the United States on Dec. 22 against Sweden in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. 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 during his freshman year 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 played in pre-tournament games with Switzerland's junior team during the past week in advance of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he was officially named to the team's roster on Dec. 22. The Rangers' fourth round pick (101st overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft will represent Switzerland at the IIHF World Junior Championship for the fourth consecutive year. Gross has tallied 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) and has posted a plus-four rating in 27 OHL games with Oshawa this season. Switzerland begins the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26 against Kazakhstan.
  • Tarmo Reunanen posted a plus-one rating and registered six shot attempts while skating in a game-high 23:23 of ice time on Dec. 20 vs. Sport. The Rangers' fourth round pick (98th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft ranks eighth in Liiga in average ice time this season (21:26).
  • Hunter Skinner posted a plus-three rating over two games during the past week. The Rangers' fourth round pick (112th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft has registered 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) and a plus-17 rating in 32 OHL games with London this season. Skinner is tied for fifth among OHL defensemen in plus/minus rating in 2019-20.
     

Quote Book

"He has played well (since) coming back. He's done everything (we've) asked of him, and he's working hard." - Hartford Wolf Pack Head Coach Kris Knoblauch on Vitali Kravtsov (Credit: Hartford Wolf Pack)

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