I convinced myself that the Olympics - and thus lack of NHL hockey - meant that I was going to do a whole bunch of prospect updates instead. What resulted was me doing absolutely nothing because I got swamped with other stuff. So my apologies there, but I'll do my best to give updates on the most recent games while also giving a sense of how the past few weeks have gone for each player.
One Rangers' prospect who has flown a bit under the radar this season is 2012 second-round selection Cristoval "Boo" Nieves. It's easy to understand why this has been the case for the University of Michigan forward. A sophomore, Nieves had only one goal and seven assists in his first 24 games this season. While there's no pretending that Nieves was having an excellent season, this is also a case where the box score doesn't do a player justice. He was playing much better than his point totals indicated and was having absurdly poor luck with his shooting ; the number of posts Nieves was hitting became a running joke amongst Michigan fans.
Regression to normalcy has started to come for Nieves, though. Last night he scored a goal and added two assists in a 4-3 loss to Michigan State. The goal was arguably the best of his collegiate career, as he dangled through the legs of a defenseman before roofing a backhander over the shoulder of one of the better NCAA goaltenders, Jake Hildebrand. While last night was perhaps his best game of the season, it was just a part of a current hot streak for Nieves, who now has at least one point in six of his last seven games, with two goals and eight assists over that span. I previously predicted a renaissance of sorts for Nieves in the second-half of the season and he looks to be finally hitting his stride. Guys like Duclair and Buchnevich have (rightly) received plenty of hype, but I'd put Nieves right there with them.
You can watch the highlights of Nieves' three-point performance here. Keep reading for a whole lot of other prospect news, including a four-point night for J.T. Miller.