Prospect Park: Hello Why Is He Playing?

In News, Prospect Park by Jess Rubenstein

Lias Andersson (Frolunda Indians)

Imagine the surprise when checking out the opening night of the Champions Hockey League and seeing Lias Andersson playing for the Frolunda Indians? The same Lias Andersson who was the seventh pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and has a signed entry-level contract.

Did I miss the memo that Andersson was not going to try to make the Ranger roster at training camp this year? Or are they looking to burn this young player out before March? There is not one good reason why Andersson should be playing any kind of meaningful games in August if the goal is to have him playing for the Rangers this season.

Why is he not at the Ranger’s practice facility working out and learning how to play the North American style of hockey? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Andersson to be attending some of the informal workouts with his (hopefully) soon to be teammates instead of playing on the larger ice surfaces of Europe?

Most European players hit a “wall” about midseason in their first year in North America. Playing Andersson in August and the kid might run out of gas in December. But there he is playing at a high level of competition before the Rangers are even thinking about training camp.

Andersson played 13:12 as a fourth line player on Thursday, he was scoreless on four shots going 7-7 on faceoffs with a -1 as Frolunda won their opening match in overtime 5-4. Their next game will be Saturday.

Dominik Lakatos (Bílí Tygři Liberec)

Dominik Lakatos knows how to make a first impression as the Rangers’ sixth round pick had a goal but 14 minutes in penalties as his Bili Tygri Liberec dropped their CHL opener 4-3 in overtime to the Vaxjo Lakers.

Here is your first Ranger prospect goal of the year (2:00 mark)

Playing on the first line, Lakatos with a goal on three shots but had minors for roughing and slashing as well as a misconduct for “abuse of officials”.

Also playing were forward Patrik Virta (2017 seventh) and defenseman Tarmo Reunanen (2016 fourth) as their TPS Turku were spanked 5-1 by the Mountfield HK. Neither scored as Virta (18:06 TOI with three shots and 7-2 on faceoffs) and Reunanen (3:03 TOI) struggled in their opener.