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Rangers Prospect Report: 12.26.18

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / NYRangers.com

Four Rangers prospects will represent their respective countries at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

  1. Vitali Kravtsov was named to Russia's roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, and was named an alternate captain for Russia in the tournament. The Rangers' first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 33 KHL games this season. Kravtsov, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Dec. 23, leads all KHL players younger than 20 years old in goals, assists, and points in 2018-19. Kravtsov has registered more than twice as many points as any other KHL player younger than 20 years old has this season, and he also has more assists (11) than any other KHL player younger than 20 years old has points (seven) thus far in 2018-19.
  2. K'Andre Miller was named to the United States' roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. The St. Paul, Minnesota native has represented the United States in several tournaments in recent years, and he helped the United States earn a silver medal at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship. The Rangers' first round pick (22nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has tallied 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and has posted a plus-11 rating in 18 games with the University of Wisconsin this season. Miller leads Wisconsin in assists and points, is tied for the team lead in plus/minus rating, and ranks second in shots on goal (45) in 2018-19. He has been on the ice for 21 of Wisconsin's 43 goals which factor into plus/minus rating (even strength goals and shorthanded goals), and he has been on the ice for 30 of Wisconsin's 57 total goals in 2018-19. Miller is tied for sixth among NCAA defensemen in assists and is tied for seventh among NCAA defensemen in points this season. He is tied for first among NCAA freshmen in points and is tied for second among NCAA freshmen in assists thus far this season, and he leads NCAA freshman defensemen in both categories.
  3. Nils Lundkvist was named to Sweden's roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Lundkvist, a native of Pitea, Sweden, has represented his country in several tournaments in recent years, and he helped Sweden earn a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship. The Rangers' first round pick (28th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in 24 SHL games with Lulea this season, and he leads SHL defensemen younger than 20 years old in assists and points this season.
  4. Nico Gross was named to Switzerland's roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he will represent his country in the tournament for the third consecutive year. In addition, Gross was named one of Switzerland's alternate captains for the tournament. The Rangers' fourth round pick (101st overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 12 points (three goals, nine assists) and a plus-15 rating in 30 games with Oshawa this season.

NHL Network will televise all of the United States' games in the tournament and 28 games in total. The schedules for Kravtsov, Miller, Lundkvist, and Gross are below:

Games in which two Rangers prospects will face each other:

  • Saturday, Dec. 29 - United States vs. Sweden (Miller and Lundkvist)
  • Sunday, Dec. 30 - Russia vs. Switzerland (Kravtsov and Gross)

Quick Hits

  • Tarmo Reunanen tallied two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-two rating while skating in a team-high 24:37 of ice time on Dec. 20 against Tappara. The Rangers' fourth round pick (98th overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has recorded an assist/point in four of the last five games, and he has registered six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-seven rating over the span. In addition, he has logged at least 24:00 of ice time in each of the last four games. Reunanen has registered an assist/point in five of the last eight contests and has notched seven points (two goals, five assists) in the eight games. He has tallied 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 31 games with Lukko in Liiga this season. Among defensemen younger than 21 years old in Liiga, Reunanen ranks first in goals, is tied for first in points, and ranks third in assists in 2018-19.
  • Dominik Lakatos tallied a goal in each of Zlin's two games during the week in Czech Extraliga. The Rangers' sixth round pick (157th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 27 games in Czech Extraliga in 2018-19, including six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-three rating in 10 games with Zlin. Among players younger than 22 years old in Czech Extraliga, Lakatos is tied for third in points, and is tied for fourth in goals and assists this season.
  • Lauri Pajuniemi recorded a point in two of three games during the week (one goal, one assist) and tallied a goal on Dec. 18 against SaiPa. The Rangers' fifth round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has registered four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-three rating in seven games since returning to TPS' lineup following an injury. Pajuniemi has registered six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-one rating in 22 games with TPS this season.
  • Patrik Virta notched an assist, recorded two shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating on Dec. 21 against Skelleftea. The Rangers' seventh round pick (207th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered two assists in 11 games with Orebro in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this season.
  • Yegor Rykov tallied an assist on Dec. 24 against Torpedo. Rykov has logged at least 20:00 of ice time in seven of the last nine games.

Emerging From the Pack

  • Vinni Lettieri registered five points (two goals, three assists), 15 shots on goal, and a plus-five rating in three games during the week. He recorded six shots on goal on Dec. 19 vs. Providence and posted back-to-back multi-point games on Dec. 21 at Rochester (one goal, two assists) and on Dec. 22 at Rochester (one goal, one assist). Lettieri has recorded 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) and has registered 45 shots on goal in 12 AHL games with the Wolf Pack this season. In addition, he ranks ninth in the AHL (min. 10 games played) in points per game this season (1.25).
  • Ryan Lindgren notched an assist/point in two of Hartford's three games during the week, and he posted a plus-three rating over the three contests. Lindgren recorded an assist, was assessed a fighting major, and posted a plus-two rating on Dec. 22 at Rochester. The 20-year-old defenseman has tallied an assist/point in three of the last four games (three assists, plus-four rating over the span), and he has registered five assists, a plus-three rating, and 27 penalty minutes in 28 games during his first full season of professional hockey in 2018-19. He is tied for fourth on the Wolf Pack - and ranks second among team defensemen - in plus/minus rating this season.
  • Ville Meskanen notched an assist/point in two of Hartford's three games during the week, and he posted a plus-two rating on Dec. 22 at Rochester. He has recorded three assists/points in the last four games, 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the last 17 games, and 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 31 games with Hartford in his first season in the AHL in 2018-19. Meskanen is tied for third on the Wolf Pack in assists and ranks fifth on the team in points this season. 
  • Tim Gettinger registered a goal on Dec. 19 vs. Providence. The Rangers' fifth round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is tied for third on the Wolf Pack in goals this season (eight).
  • Gabriel Fontaine recorded two points (one goal, one assist), including a shorthanded goal, on Dec. 19 vs. Providence. The Rangers' sixth round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 28 games with Hartford this season, and he is tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus rating in 2018-19 (plus-three).
  • Brandon Crawley tallied an assist/point in two of Hartford's three games during the week (two assists), and he posted a plus-two rating over the three contests. The Rangers' fourth round pick (123rd overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft ranks third among Wolf Pack defensemen in assists (eight) and points (11) this season.
  • Chris Bigras notched a point in all of Hartford's three games during the week (one goal, two assists), and he posted a plus-one rating in each contest. Bigras leads Wolf Pack defensemen in plus/minus rating (plus-five), and he ranks second among team defensemen in assists (12) and points (14) this season.

Quotebook

"His skating ability, he's a powerful skater. When you see him skate, he's got a real strong, powerful stride, which is a big part of what NHL players (and especially) NHL defensemen need to have. He's got lots of good tools. He's a bright prospect for a reason. We see a lot of positive in his game." - Hartford Wolf Pack Head Coach Keith McCambridge on Libor Hajek (Credit: New York Post)

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