Today brings the first wave of Rangers' prospect news in a while, and unfortunately it is injury news.
Rangers' goaltending prospect Mackenzie Skapski is slated to miss about a week due to a lower body injury, The New York Rangers Blog has learned. Skapski got hurt late in the first period of the Kootenay Ice's matchup against the Calgary Hitmen last night and, although he finished the period, was pulled from the game. Luckily, it's only a minor injury with no foreseeable long-term ramifications. Nonetheless, with the Ice scheduled to play six games in the next 11 days he'll be missing time during a busy stretch.
Meanwhile, Jesper Fast sprained his ankle and will be out four-to-six weeks as a result, according to Hartford Wolfpack play-by-play man Bob Crawford. Fast injured the ankle in his third game since being sent to the Wolfpack. He previously had a horrific ankle injury while in Sweden so, while another ankle injury is nothing to be pleased with, some relief can be found in the fact that he did not suffer any more major structural damage.
We can end on a mildly optimistic note, however. Danny Kristo, with 13 points through 12 games with the Wolfpack, is thriving in his first professional season. He confirmed to the Hartford Courant that he is pleased with his play and development so far.
"The coaches have been pretty good with me and have given the opportunity to play a lot of big-time minutes on the power play and stuff like that. I thought the first couple of weeks, I made some adjustments and I was getting used to things. But right now I’m starting to play better, better defensively and limiting my turnovers.”
Kristo's potential lies in his offensive abilities, so of course it is encouraging that he is producing offensively and particularly on the powerplay. Kristo leads the Wolfpack with four powerplay goals. My main concern in watching him during the pre-season and in his first few AHL games was with his play away from the puck, where he clearly looked out of his depth. Like he said, though, he has become much more involved in other aspects of the game and has been showed a desire to do his part defensively. What separates the Loui Eriksson's from the Nik Zherdev's is the capability of contributing in multiple facets and enough tactical maturity that a coach feels comfortable with them. Kristo still has a ways to go before he's ready for the NHL but he has the right attitude and shows improvement with every game.
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