One concern many Rangers have had the last few season regarding organizational depth is the dearth of top level goaltending prospects.
Henrik Lundqvist isn't getting any younger, so the process of grooming The King's heir apparent needs to start and needs to start now.
While Cam Talbot, Scott Stajcer and Jason Missiaen have had their moments and 2013 6th round pick in Mackenzie Skapski has some upside, I don't really see any of them as the answer.
However, the Rangers made a move yesterday that may have just answered our prayers as they signed goaltender Jeff Malcolm from Yale University.
The 6-2, 185-pound four-year Yale player finished his college career this spring by backstopping the Elis to their first-ever “Frozen Four” title in school history. Malcolm posted a 36-save shutout in the Frozen Four Championship Game, in which Yale defeated in-state rival Quinnipiac, 4-0. That performance, plus a 16-save outing in a 3-2 overtime victory over U. Mass.-Lowell in the Frozen Four semifinals, earned the 24-year-old Frozen Four All-Tournament Team honors.
In his four years at Yale, Malcolm appeared in 67 games, amassing a record of 36-21-4 with a 2.60 GAA, a 90.7% save percentage and six shutouts. Those stats rank him third all-time in school history in save percentage and wins and fourth in GAA.
Malcolm also participated in the Rangers prospect camp earlier in the month.
…i love the idea of bringing in a goaltender with championship pedigree. I also like that he's a four-year college player. Should be further along mentally and physically than the average 18-year old OHL prospect. He has only played 67 games the last four years, so lack of a large workload is worrisome.
…the Rangers current underwhelming crop of goaltending prospects should be very worried they'll be passed by Malcolm on the depth chart sooner rather than later. And who knows, if he can fight his way onto the Whale roster and impresses, he could find himself in the mix for the Rangers backup position next season when Biron's contract is over.
…so let's start this open thread by asking whether you think the Rangers will look to develop Lundqvist's future replacement from within or look outside the organization to fill the role?
Meanwhile, in other prospect news, 5' 9" free agent Sergey Tolchinsky, who impressed during the Rangers prospects camp, has agreed to play for the Rangers in the upcoming Traverse City (Mich.) prospect tournament in early September. He also participated in the Hurricanes rookie camp this summer and is looking for an NHL contract.
The 18-year old had 26 goals and 25 assists in 62 games with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL.
…it sounds like the kid has a ton of skill, but aren't the Rangers done signing smurfs? Especially one from Russia. Can you say small, soft and lazy? How's that for a stereotype?
And finally, in a bit of odd prospect news, Alex Nunn at Pro Hockey News reports that Thomas Spelling (2012 – 5th), who played junior Swedish hockey last season (19 goals and 30 assists in 36 games), has decided to go home and play for SønderjyskE in Denmark.
…nothing says getting yourself NHL ready than playing in Denmark.
Ok, enough irrelevent prospect news. Here's your open thread, get after it.