Yesterday, Hockey's Future released their list for the Rangers Top 20 prospects in their system. The top 10 is as follows:
- Chris Kreider
- JT Miller
- Dylan McIlrath
- Jesper Fast
- Brady Skjei
- Christian Thomas
- Michael St. Croix
- Boo Nieves
- Oscar Lindberg
- Steven Fogarty
Other notables include Andrew Yogan, Stu Bickel and Marek Hvirik ranked 12-14 respectively and Kyle Jean ranked 19th.
Another solid list but there's one change I would make. I'm surprised to see Jesper Fast 4th. I've always viewed him as a long term project who is likely another 2-3 years from challenging for a roster spot in New York. On the flip side, St. Croix is more deserving of that 4th spot. St. Croix continues to dominate the competition at the junior level. He is consistently lauded for his two way game and playmaking ability. The only mark against St. Croix at the moment is that he is under-sized for the NHL level, but a good offseason training regimen will likely quell those concerns.
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I think the logic behind Fast (and I personally would even suggest Lindberg) over St. Croix is that they're playing in a professional league opposed to juniors. To excel in a league like the SEL is something to acknowledge. Not to knock St. Croix, but high scoring totals in juniors doesn't always translate into a solid pro. He struggled in pro camps and was a non-factor in last year's Traverse tournament. The same could be said for Thomas too, that's another story though.
I'm not writing off St. Croix, but Fast (and Lindberg) might make a quicker transition and would see more time sooner with the Rangers because of they're showing they can play against older, stronger competition.
@TheNYRBlog very deep at forward and defense. With their recent track record of player development no way this pool should be called shallow
Can't believe HF called the Rangers prospect pool shallow. Except for goaltending I'm pretty excited about that list.