An Inconsistent Prospect Update

In News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

When writing up these posts on the New York Ranger prospects, it asks for a focus keyword and for this post that keyword has to be “inconsistent.” Right now at best two prospects can be satisfied with their overall play. The “hottest” prospect right now is goalie Adam Huska (2015 Seventh) who after stopping 28 out of 30 shots to lead his Green Bay Gamblers to a 4-2 win over the Muskegon Lumberjacks has won his last four straight starts.

Against the Lumberjacks Huska stopped 12 out of 13 shots in the first period yielding just a power play goal. Huska stopped all nine shots that he faced in the second period before giving up an even strength goal on eight shots in the third period. Huska has improved to 4-2 on the season lowering his goals against to 2.18 while raising his save percentage to 0.926.

Huska is currently sitting in sixth place among USHL goalies with his numbers.

After starting the season 2-6, Keegan Iverson (2014 Third) and his Portland Winterhawks have won five straight games starting with defeating the Tri-City Americans 5-2 with Iverson setting up what proved to be the game winner for his fifth assist and seventh overall point. On Friday night Iverson earned the secondary assist on the game winning goal for his sixth assist and eighth overall point.

Iverson has four assists during this current Winterhawk’s winning streak.

Ryan Gropp (2015 Second) had a goal and an assist to help his Seattle Thunderbirds earn a 7-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. Gropp’s goal in the second period would turn out to be the game winning goal which was his first game winner of the season and his third goal of the season.

Gropp added a secondary assist for his third assist of the season bringing him to 3-3-6 in eight games this season as his Thunderbirds improved to a WHL US Division best 8-2-1.

Brad Morrison (2015 Fourth) and his Prince George Cougars are a very good example of the inconsistent play. Wednesday night they were in Kamloops to face the Kamloops Blazers. The Blazers are in last place in the WHL’s BC Division and they handed the Cougars a 6-1 spanking. Morrison was scoreless in this one with a -1.

Friday evening the Cougars were in Kelowna to face the second place Kelowna Rockets and despite being out-shoot 31-20 were able to edge the Rockets 2-1. Morrison was scoreless in this game as well extending a pointless streak to five games.

Morrison is 4-2-6 in 11 games but all of his points have come in three games.

Even the leading scorer among the Ranger prospects has not been immune from dry spells as Sergey Zborovskiy (2015 Fourth) has just two assists (in the same game) in his last six games. Friday night Zborovskiy and his Regina Pats were in Moose Jaw to face the Moose Jaw Warriors in the first game of a “home and home” series. The Warriors are off to a strong start while the Pats are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.

The Warriors spanked the Pats 5-1 out-shooting them 47-31 and Zborovskiy going scoreless but getting into his first WHL fight which is a good sign to see him stand up for himself.

Ryan Mantha (2014 Fourth) was a player who I was expecting to see more offense out of after his strong second half last season. So far after 13 games he is just 2-1-3 as his Niagara IceDogs are have been playing mostly 500 hockey since the start of the season. The IceDogs though have won back to back games Thursday night and Friday evening even though Mantha was scoreless.

The one player who is getting a bit of a pass for now is goalie Brandon Halverson (2014 Second) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Halverson who suffered an ankle injury that kept him out of Traverse City, the Ranger’s training camp and out of the Greyhounds lineup until this month. His play looks like someone who is having to get in shape on the job as well as adapt to a new coach and a revamped defense in front of him.

Halverson has won two out of his last three starts and if he goes Saturday as expected then we shall see if he too is getting his game together. Going to be fair to him and not list his numbers.

Cristoval Nieves (2012 Second) has missed his last two games due to what is being called an “upper body injury”. Nieves is expected to miss at least Saturday’s game for sure but college injuries are covered by US Hippa privacy laws.

Tyler Nanne (2014 Fifth) has yet to play this season for the Ohio State Buckeyes missing all seven games with an undisclosed injury.

Steven Fogarty (2011 Third) and his Notre Dame Fighting Irish will play a Saturday/Sunday series with UConn.