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Rangers Prospect Report: 3.19.18

by New York Rangers @NYRangers / New York Rangers

Three Stars of the Week

Brett Howden tallied six assists/points in three games during the week and tied a single-game WHL career-high with four assists on Mar. 16 vs. Brandon. Howden, who was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26, finished the 2017-18 regular season with 75 points (24 goals, 51 assists) and a plus-28 rating in 49 games with Moose Jaw. Howden established WHL career-highs in assists, plus/minus rating, points per game (1.53), and game-winning goals (five) this season. The 19-year-old, who was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round (27th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, ranked 12th in the WHL in points per game in 2017-18. 

Howden tallied an assist/point in seven of the final eight games of the regular season, registering 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) over the span. In addition, he posted a multi-point game in 10 of his final 19 regular season contests and recorded 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) in those 19 games. Over the last two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18), Howden tallied 156 points (62 goals, 94 assists) and posted a plus-42 rating in 107 WHL games. Moose Jaw will face Prince Albert in the first round of the WHL Playoffs, and Game 1 of the series will take place on Mar. 23 at Moose Jaw.
 
Ty Ronning tallied a goal in each of Vancouver's two games during the week, and he registered his 60th goal of the season on Mar. 14 at Kamloops. Ronning also recorded his 61st goal of the season in Vancouver's final regular season game in 2017-18 on Mar. 16 vs. Kelowna. The Rangers' seventh round pick (201st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft recorded 61 goals and 23 assists for 84 points, along with a plus-12 rating in 70 games with the Giants this season. Ronning established WHL career-highs in several categories this season, including games played, goals, points, plus/minus rating, shots on goal (339), power play goals (18), game-winning goals (nine), and shorthanded goals (two). He recorded at least one goal in 42 of 70 games in 2017-18, and he posted 16 multi-goal games during the season. Ronning, who agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the Rangers on Mar. 5, ranked second in the WHL in goals and shots on goal this season, and he also established the Giants' single-season record for goals. In addition, he led Vancouver in goals, points, plus/minus rating, shots on goal, power play goals, and power play points (24), and tied for the team lead in game-winning goals this season. Ronning registered 25 points (19 goals, six assists) in the final 21 games of the regular season. Vancouver will face Victoria in the first round of the WHL Playoffs, and Game 1 of the series will take place on Mar. 23.
 
Sean Day registered an assist/point in each of Kingston's first two games during the week. By tallying an assist in those two contests, the Rangers' third round pick (81st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft extended his assist/point streak to seven games (11 assists over the span) and tallied an assist/point in 13 games over a stretch of 16 contests (21 assists over the span). Day recorded 47 points (five goals, 42 assists) in 50 OHL games this season, and he established OHL career-highs in assists and points in 2017-18. Day ranked sixth among OHL defensemen in assists and ranked 10th among OHL defensemen in points this season. He also ranked seventh among OHL defensemen (min. two games played) in points per game in 2017-18 (0.94). Kingston will play North Bay in the first round of the OHL Playoffs, and Game 1 of the series will take place on Mar. 23 at Kingston.

Emerging from the Pack

Filip Chytil recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and posted a plus-two rating in Hartford's three games during the week, and he tallied a point in all three contests. The Rangers' first round pick (21st overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has tallied 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 44 AHL games with the Wolf Pack this season. Chytil's 31 points thus far this season are tied for the 12th-most a player younger than 19 years old has registered in one season in AHL history. Prior to this season, the last AHL player younger than 19 years old who registered at least 30 points and averaged at least 0.70 points per game in a season was William Nylander in 2014-15. Chytil leads AHL players younger than 20 years old in goals and points per game (0.70) thus far in 2017-18.
 
Lias Andersson tallied an assist on Mar. 16 vs. Lehigh Valley. The Rangers' first round pick (seventh overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 18 games, as well as 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through his first 23 career AHL games. Andersson ranks third among AHL players younger than 20 years old in points per game this season (0.61).
 
Vinni Lettieri registered three goals/points and posted a plus-five rating in three games during the week. He tallied two goals and registered a plus-three rating in Hartford's final game during the week on Mar. 18 vs. Rochester. In addition, he has notched at least one point in five of the last eight games and has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) over the span. Lettieri has registered 30 points (19 goals, 11 assists) and a plus-three rating in 45 AHL games with the Wolf Pack in 2017-18. He is tied for sixth among AHL rookies in goals this season. Lettieri also leads Hartford in goals, is tied for the team in plus/minus rating, and ranks second on the team in power play goals (seven) this season.
 
Chris Bigras recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in three games with Hartford during the week. The 23-year-old defenseman, who was acquired by the Rangers from the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 26, recorded two points (one goal, one assist), including his first goal as a member of the Wolf Pack, on Mar. 18 vs. Rochester. Bigras has notched four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games and five points (one goal, four assists) in eight games with Hartford.
 
Cole Schneider registered an assist/point in all of the Wolf Pack's three games during the week, and he posted a multi-point game in each of Hartford's final two contests of the week. Schneider recorded five points (one goal, four assists) in the three games. He has tallied a point in six of the last seven games and has registered nine points (three goals, six assists) in those seven contests. Schneider has recorded 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 66 games with the Wolf Pack this season, and he leads the team in assists and points in 2017-18.
 
Boo Nieves registered a goal and posted a plus-one rating on Mar. 16 vs. Lehigh Valley. He has tallied 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the last 22 games. Nieves has recorded 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 32 AHL games with the Wolf Pack this season, including 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 23 games since rejoining Hartford on Jan. 15.
 
Chris Nell stopped 30 of 31 shots he faced, including all 18 shots he faced in the second period, and was named the game's First Star while earning a win on Mar. 17 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Nell has posted an 8-8-0 record in 18 AHL appearances with the Wolf Pack this season, and he has allowed one goal or fewer in four of the eight games in which he has earned a win.
 
Gabriel Fontaine notched an assist and posted a plus-one rating in each of Hartford's final two games during the week. The Rangers' sixth round pick (171st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has registered 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 58 AHL games with the Wolf Pack during his first season of professional hockey in 2017-18.
 
Daniel Catenacci tallied two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-three rating on Mar. 18 vs. Rochester. Catenacci has recorded 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 40 games with Hartford in 2017-18.

Quick Hits

Libor Hajek tallied an assist and posted a plus-one rating in his final regular season game in 2017-18 on Mar. 16 vs. Swift Current. Hajek, who was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26, registered 12 goals and 27 assists for 39 points in 58 WHL games this season, and he established WHL career-highs in goals, assists, and points in 2017-18. Regina will face Swift Current in the first round of the WHL Playoffs, and Game 1 of the series will take place on Mar. 23 at Swift Current.
 
Tim Gettinger registered an assist over three games with Sault Ste. Marie during the week. The Rangers' fifth round pick (141st overall) in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft recorded 69 points (33 goals, 36 assists) and a plus-35 rating in 66 games with the Greyhounds this season. Gettinger, who served as Sault Ste. Marie's captain this season, established OHL career-highs in several categories in 2017-18, including games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus rating, shots on goal (256), power play goals (seven), shorthanded goals (five), and game-winning goals (seven). He concluded the season by tallying a point in eight of the final 10 games (three goals, eight assists), in 19 of the final 26 games (12 goals, 17 assists), and in 25 of the final 34 games (16 goals, 21 assists). He tied for seventh in the OHL in plus/minus rating and ranked 11th in the OHL in shots on goal this season. In addition, Gettinger ranked third among OHL forwards in plus/minus rating this season, and he was one of four OHL players who registered 30 or more goals and posted a plus-30 rating or better in 2017-18. Gettinger also led Sault Ste. Marie in shots on goal and shorthanded points (nine), tied for the team lead in shorthanded goals and shorthanded assists (four), tied for second in game-winning goals, and ranked third on the team in goals and points this season. Gettinger helped Sault Ste. Marie finish the regular season with the best record in the OHL, and the Greyhounds will face Saginaw in the first round of the OHL Playoffs.
 
Patrik Virta helped TPS advance to the playoffs in Liiga, and TPS begins its Quarterfinals series against SaiPa on Mar. 20. The Rangers' seventh round pick (207th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft registered 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) and a plus-nine rating in 58 regular season games with TPS this season. Virta established Liiga career-highs in games played, assists, and points this season, and he also tied career-highs in goals and plus/minus rating. In addition, he recorded eight points (two goals, six assists) in his final six games during the regular season. Virta ranked third on TPS in assists, tied for third in plus/minus rating, and ranked fourth on the team in points in the regular season in 2017-18.
 
Morgan Barron helped Cornell advance to the NCAA Northeast Regional, and Cornell will play against Boston University in the Northeast Regional Semifinal on Mar. 24. The Rangers' sixth round pick (174th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has registered 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and a plus-10 rating in 32 games thus far in his freshman year with Cornell in 2017-18.

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