How far will the Rangers get this season?

Rangers Sign Christian Thomas
+ more on Immonen and HF says the Rangers have the NHL's seventh-best prospect system

Christian Thomas (via

Christian Thomas (via

UPDATE: The Rangers have confirmed the signing of Thomas.  He can play up to nine games with the Blueshirts next season before he loses junior eligibility.  Here are the contract details.

YESTERDAY: Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos just tweeted, “Look for the #Rangers to announce 2nd round pick Christian Thomas has signed a 3 year entry level contract.”

No official word from the team yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time.

This offseason the Rangers have signed prospects Carl Hagelin, Roman Horak, Dylan McIlrath, Jason Wilson, and Ryan Bourque.

Thomas, 18, tallied 54 goals and 44 assists in 66 games for the Oshawa Generals this season.  He followed that up with nine goals and 10 assists in 10 playoff games.  He scored 41 goals and 25 assists in 64 games last year.  

Thomas was the Rangers' second-round pick, No. 40 overall, in the 2010 Draft.  The big knock on Thomas is his size, but at least at the OHL level his offensive ability seems to be more than enough to compensate for his diminuitive 5-9, 165 lb frame.

The Rangers face an interesting situation with Thomas because he can only play in the OHL or the NHL, with no in-between.  Thomas has little left to prove in the OHL, as he's already among the most prolific scorers in the league.  However, it’s impossible to say right now if he’s ready to join the Blueshirts.

The best guess is that he’ll get a long look during training camp and the preseason to see if Thomas is ready to be a pro. If Thomas does make the team, he will likely do so in a top-six role.  He is a pure offensive player and dropping him to a lower line wouldn't make sense for Thomas or the Rangers.  If New York decides he's not yet ready for that responsiblity, he will likely be returned to the OHL.

- Thanks in no small part to Thomas, the Rangers have the seventh best prospect group in hockey, according to Hockey’s Future.  HF views Thomas as the team’s third best prospect behind Chris Kreider and Ryan McDonagh, and followed by Evgeny Grachev and Mats Zuccarello. 

- One more note on Jarkko Immonen, who has apparently drawn the Rangers interest thanks to a strong showing at the World Championships. reports that Immonen re-signed with his KHL team earlier in May.  Hard to tell if that’s true, but it obviously complicates things.  

- Here's today's draft profile of Mika Zibanejad.


Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 18, 2011 at 06:50 pm

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