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Rangers Prospects camp ends with 4-on-4 event

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

Antoine Lafleur, the Rangers' second pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, makes a save during Friday's 4-on-4 game that ended the on-ice portion of the Prospect Development Camp.
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The Rangers' 2007 Prospect Development Camp wrapped up on Friday at the Madison Square Garden Training Center with a 4-on-4 game that involved four teams of four to five players and all four goalies at the camp. The event concluded five intense days of on-ice and off-ice drills that gave 25 young Blueshirts hopefuls a taste of the NHL lifestyle.

Friday's game was actually a mini-tournament played in the space of two hours. The four teams rotated shifts against one another and the winners were determined to be the team with the most total goals. Goaltenders were not assigned to any specific team, enabling each group to play in front of all the netminders.

The victorious Green Team was the only one with only four skaters on its roster. Both of the Rangers' top two draft picks from 2006, Bobby Sanguinetti and Artem Anisimov, were on the Green Team along with 2005 draftee Greg Beller of Yale University and Japan's Masafumi Ogawa, one of 10 undrafted free agents invited to the camp.

Right wing Alexei Cherepanov, the Rangers' No. 1 draft choice in Columbus last weekend, skated for the Blue Team along with two prospects who recently signed their first pro contracts with the Rangers – forward Tom Pyatt and defenseman Michael Busto. Also on the team were camp invitees Adam Bourque and Jonathan Carrier, who both play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Red Team's roster included 2005 first-round draft pick Marc Staal, the OHL's Defenseman of the Year last season, and 2007 fifth-rounder Max Campbell. Others on the Red Team included Justin DiBenedetto, Jack Downing and Masahito Suzuki, the other Japanese player invited to this year's camp.

Playing for the White Team were Rangers draftees Ryan Hillier and Billy Ryan, along with Alex Bourret, the player obtained in last spring's trade for Pascal Dupuis. They were joined by Peter Boldt of Dartmouth College, and Brown University recruit Ben Rosen.

Many of the 15 players at the camp whose NHL rights are already owned by the Rangers will be back at the Training Center for the team's Rookie Camp in November. Prior to the start of the development camp on Monday, Rangers head coach Tom Renney said some of the 10 undrafted free agents might also be invited back for Rookie Camp, based on the Rangers' coaching staff's evaluation of their performance this week.

Click on the video links at the top of this article to watch exclusive footage from Friday's event.
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