Jess Rubenstein at The Prospect Park takes an in-depth look at the Rangers prospects (here and here) participating in next week's Traverse prospects tournament including Evgeni Grachev and Ryan McDonagh...
Evgeny Grachev (2008 3rd): A disappointment last season so the microscope is very focused on Grachev. Reports say that Grachev worked his tail off during the summer so now will be his chance to regain the momentum from his draft year. Want to see him use his size and skill set as the man-child should dominate no excuse for him not to.
...i know this isn't the most popular thing to say but the numbers game will keep Grachev off the opening night roster. More likely a mid-season injury call-up.
Ryan McDonagh (Trade 2009): We have been singing the praises of McDonagh since the day the Rangers got him from Montreal. Smart, tough and has an excellent hockey sense. Had he got the junior route he would have been in the NHL by now. We said he was NHL ready defensively last year and that has not changed. Needs to work on getting his shot on target because if he does then his offense will catch up to his defense. Should be in Ranger lineup if not opening night then no later than mid-season. No question first pair.
...got to assume the 6th defensive spot battle will be between McDonagh and Redden. If that's the case I can't imagine the Rangers not going with the kid.
For the rest of the player previews click the above links.
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