New York Rangers prospects ready to turn pro?

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As the college season draws to a close, it’s time to take a look at the New York Rangers’ NCAA prospects pool and who could turn pro.

We’ve been busy following the ups and downs of the New York Rangers in their unexpected run for the playoffs along with the drama of the trade deadline.  It’s time to take a look at the NCAA prospect pipeline especially since we may see some of these young players turning pro when their college season ends.

The good news is one of the best Rangers prospects happens to be a key player on the top ranked college hockey team in the nation.

Morgan Barron (C) – 2017 6th round – #174

Morgan Barron’s regular season at Cornell is over and the ECAC Hockey Tournament is next to be followed by the NCAA playoffs.  Cornell is the top ranked team in the nation with a 23-2-4 record.

They ended their season on a high note, winning nine straight games and going undefeated in February.  They face Princeton (6-20-5) this weekend in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals at Lake Placid.  Princeton upset Dartmouth to escape the first round.

Morgan Barron was the top scorer for Cornell with 14 goals and 32 points in 29 games.   He finished in the top five in most offensive categories in the ECAC.

The big question for Barron is whether he will return to Cornell for his senior year or will he sign his entry level contract and turn pro.

The NCAA Tournament begins on March 27 and the Frozen Four will be in Detroit from April 9-11.  If Barron signs, he could join the Hartford Wolf Pack if they are still in the playoffs.

The 21 year old Barron is the best forward prospect in the Rangers system and is one of the biggest at 6’3″, 214 pounds.  He is one of two Ranger prospects nominated for the Hobey Baker Award.

On an interesting note, his younger brother Quinton is starring as a defenseman for Halifax in the QMJHL.  He is projected to go 22nd overall in the June draft by nhl.com and that could be where the Rangers first round pick acquired in the Skjei trade will end up.  Could another brothers act make its way to Broadway?

Simon Kjellberg (D)  – 2018 6th round – #163

Defenseman Simon Kjellberg is finishing his freshman season at Rensselaer (RPI).  He had five goals and added five assists and led the team with 30 penalty minutes.  He has good size at 6’3″, 203 pounds.  His father, Patric, was a former NHL right winger for Montreal, Anaheim and Nashville and is currently a Ranger scout.

The 20 year old  defenseman will return to RPI for his sophomore year next fall.

RPI finished fourth in the ECAC and after an opening round bye, will face #5 Harvard this weekend.  Overall, RPI finished the season with a 17-15-2 record.  They finished the season on a good run, winning their last four games.  Whether they make the NCAA tournament will be determined by their performance in the ECAC playoffs.

There are several prospects playing in the Hockey East Conference. including two of the best in the pipeline.

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