In March of this year, his season with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL over, 20-year-old Marek Hrivik was set to board a flight home to his native Slovakia. Three weeks later he was on an amateur tryout with the Connecticut Whale and became one of the top stories of the AHL playoffs, potting 4 goals and adding 5 assists for 9 points in as many games to lead the team in playoff scoring, and garnering interest from teams around the NHL. The Rangers signed Hrivik in May (terms of the deal were not disclosed).
Prior to joining the Whale, Hrivik, who was undrafted in the NHL, appeared in 179 career games with Moncton, tallying 93 goals and 111 assists for 204 points, along with 40 PIM and a +29 rating. A tall (6’2″), lanky winger known for a quick shot, willingness to take a hit, and strong use of body positioning in protecting the puck, Hrivik is highly regarded by Whale coach Ken Gernander as well as by Rangers’ Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark, who said of the rookie, “he’s a well rounded player, he always works. He doesn’t wanna dump a puck in, that’s what I love about him.”
With the injury to Marian Gaborik, if the NHL season begins on time, the Rangers may need to look to the youth in Hartford for added scoring depth. While some say his skating could use some work, Hrivik would certainly be one to watch for in this capacity, along with players such as Christian Thomas and J.T. Miller. If Hrivik has an impressive training camp, he may get a chance to make the same kind of splash on Broadway that he did last spring in Hartford.