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Jakub Petruzalek was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in and is still a prospect in that system. The five other draftees are either playing minor league or European hockey. With two first-round selections and four second-round picks, the Rangers were hoping to get at least one top player. Although that has not come to pass, the blueshirts have developed three solid forwards out of this draft.
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Although there has been some criticism of the pick, the University of Michigan star netminder, Al Montoya , was felt to be the best available player at the sixth position. In his freshman collegiate season, Montoya was the youngest player in Division I hockey, but still managed to set a University of Michigan record with 30 wins. Most impressively, he was the gold-medal winning goalie for the US team at the WJCs, and won the directorate award as top netminder in the tournament.
Montoya signed a professional contract after his junior year of college. He played well for the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack during the season, however, Montoya did suffer three injuries, including a freak shoulder injury sustained during the playoffs that required surgery. Back from the surgery, Montoya had a very good , but began to display some consistency issues. Trade rumors began to surface, and at the trade deadline of the season, Montoya was dealt to Phoenix. The trade reunited Montoya with now Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney, and the young netminder has progressed in that system.
Montoya saw his first NHL action this past season, and in five games with the Coyotes, he played extremely well.
However, his future in the NHL is still uncertain.
He scored a goal in that game and played well enough to get a good hard look during training camp. In late October , Korpikoski was returned to Hartford to get more playing time, but, within two weeks, was recalled. As the season wore on, the Turku, Finland native was used extensively on the penalty kill.
But, he does have a significant offensive upside, which the Rangers began to take advantage of after the coaching change this past February.
Expect to see him get more offensive opportunities in However, it never panned out. Olver spent four years at Northern Michigan, but he never did build on his superb freshman season. For the past two seasons, he has played European hockey, including a stint in the German Elite League this past season.
His game is more suited to the European style. This first became apparent during the season, when he put up 48 points in 71 games with the WHL Prince Albert Raiders. He continued such production in each of his first two professional seasons in the AHL , surprising the Rangers with his offensive production.
Byers began the season very strongly, and was considered a likely mid-season call-up, when, after nine games, he injured his knee on a freak play.
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The resulting surgery and rehab required missing the rest of the regular season. Back for the playoffs, Byers was productive, but overall it was a disappointing season for the power forward who was expected to make the jump to the NHL this past year.
He is expected to compete for a Rangers roster spot this fall, and has been one of the nice surprises for the Rangers out of the NHL Entry Draft. He continued to improve during his third season, and, although they had one more year to sign Graham, they were anxious to get the big center moving along in the organization.
The Rangers did not re-sign the big center after his entry-level contract expired last summer. There was never any question, however, about his mental toughness and desire to play the game. Dubinsky averaged about a point a game during is junior career, and when he joined the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack for the playoff race, the Alaska native continued on that pace. Expected to settle into a second- to third-line center role in the future, Dubinsky is the brightest spot in a very mixed first and second round.
Bahensky had two solid seasons as a member of the WHL Saskatoon Blades, however, was not offered an entry-level contract by the Rangers to start the season.
Unhappy with his progress, Bahensky chose to return to the Czech Republic. For the last two seasons, he has played for two teams in the Czech Extraliga. Ryan missed nine games during his senior season due to a hip injury, which he chose to nurse along rather than have season-ending surgery.
The surgery was performed after his collegiate years were over, but by then, the Rangers had chosen not to sign Ryan. In 15 games, he was unable to register a point. There, Ryan posted more than a point a game in the regular season, and was an excellent contributor during the playoffs.
A speedy winger with grit, not much offensive production was expected of the Rochester, New York native when he was drafted. During that year, Callahan matured greatly as the captain of the Storm and a team leader on and off the ice.
The young winger not only taught with words, but he practiced what he preached, always giving the maximum effort. It was his impressive work ethic and leadership skills that gained Callahan that coveted NHL entry contract in the fall of He was assigned to Hartford as expected.
What was not expected was his sudden prolific scoring abilites — Callahan recorded 55 points 35 goals, 20 assists in 60 games. Called up to the Rangers mid-season, he registered six points in 14 games with the NHL club.
That total improved to approximately one half point per game during this past season, his first full one with the big club. In many ways, now the heart and soul of the New York team, Callahan has the ability to raise the energy of the game through hits and top-notch skating, while at the same time be able to crash the net and put one past the opposing netminder almost at will. In Roman lead his team in offensive production, registering 49 points 21 goals, 28 assists in 69 games, which ranked fourth on the team.
Michal was not as successful. It was expected that both Psurny brothers would improve their offensive production the following season, however, in , Roman only garnered 54 points 24 goals, 30 assists in the 66 games he played. Although Roman completed the season on fire in Medicine Hat, the brothers decided to return to the Czech Republic in the fall of , and have continued to play in the Extraliga since then.
An outstanding skater, Foote was an excellent defensive forward with a tenacious attitude. His work ethic and grittiness were what attracted the Rangers to the Edmonton, Alberta winger From the fall of though the spring of , Foote played for Michigan Tech, but never developed the offensive side of his game. He continued to post impressive numbers the following season, and the Rangers gave him a very long look at training camp in the fall of After a less impressive campaign, the Rangers decided not to sign him.
In February, Paiement was sidelined by injuries sustained in the early morning bus crash of his Albany River Rats team. Paiement was out approximately six weeks with cuts on his left thumb, face, and around the left eye.
A small player, with huge offensive creativity, Petruzalek is a wizard with the puck.
When he was younger though, his downside was that he was weak defensively. This tag as a one-way player was why he was not drafted higher overall. None of this had changed by the fall of , when the Rangers were disappointed in his training camp performance and wanted Petruzalek to return to junior hockey for an overage year.
He was a prolific scorer for that team during the rest of the season and into the playoffs. In November of that year, the young winger was traded to Carolina and assigned to Albany.
Petruzalek made his NHL debut this season, appearing in two games for the Hurricanes.