The Traverse City hockey tournament took place the last 5 days, and the New York Rangers were involved. After a slow start to the tournament, they ended up finishing seventh overall beating the Minnesota Wild 5-2 last night. A lot of questions were heading into the tournament, and a lot were left to be answered. A lot of the disappointment comes from the defense, who didn’t really click throughout the tournament, especially defenseman Sam Noreau who was out of place, and out of position for a lot of the tournament.
Their bright spots, come from the offensive side of things. Especially the SweDanny line that consisded of Swedes Oscar Lindberg and Jasper Fast, along with newly acquired Danny Kristo. Kristo and Lindberg each put up 7 points, but the offensive juggernaut was Lindberg. Lindberg, who had a hat trick (scored 3 powerplay goals – wait, what?) finished the tournament with 5 goals total, and 2 assists, while Kristo finished with 2 goals, and 5 assists. Both played extremely well, and if you’re looking for someone to fill in for Callahan and Hagelin, you might see those two start the season on the big club.
Don’t count out Jasper Fast though, while he was overshadowed by Kristo, and Lindberg, once pulled away from them, he flourished. Scoring 2 in their come from behind victory last night and is a long shot to make the Rangers right out of camp. Do I expect to see him get a chance this season? Quite possibly, but there are other prospects that are more of a lock right now then Fast, but I do like what he brings to the table, and am excited to see him develop and flourish this season in Hartford.
The defense looked very lost, and from many reports like I stated earlier Sam Noreau was at the brunt of all negative reports about the defense. Noreau and Connor Allen did get beat often, and while they were offensively gifted, chipping in a goal each, their defensive game needs to improve. And a year playing in Hartford, might do that for them. The defense proved they are not NHL ready, and it didn’t look much better for the goalie tandem.
A lot needs to improve for this group of Rangers prospects to get a chance at the big club, but its exciting to see some bright spots, and their excitement can continue starting tomorrow at New York Rangers training camp.
Be sure to follow Drew (@NaughtyDog95) on Twitter. He was kind enough to take a lot of great pictures of the Rangers tournament games, like the one featured above! Give him a follow, and enjoy the pictures.