3 Stars of the Week: European Edition, Oct 22, 2017
The Rangers regular season is in full swing and while the team in New York has not been doing so well, Rangers prospects around the world continue to provide a source of hope and an eye to the future. Without further ado here is this week’s edition of The Three Stars of the Week: European Edition.
Honorable Mention: Vladimir Tkachyov
Vladimir Tkachyov continues to make Ranger fans wish that he had participated in training camp and earned a spot on the roster. Tkachyov is putting up points at an extremely high rate this season. In 22 games this season, Tkachyov is scoring at a point per game pace, recording 22 points for AK Bars in the KHL. While his potential usage in an AV-led team is worrisome, Tkachyov would have been a great addition to a Rangers team that is having trouble putting the puck in the net. If you don’t believe me, check out this move that Tkachyov made earlier this season.
Eventually someone will have to tell Vladimir Tkachyov that his name is not Pavel Datsyuk. pic.twitter.com/FfMKVlQxhu
— Russian Prospects (@RUSProspects) September 17, 2017
Third Star: Igor Shestyorkin
THE SKY IS FALLING!! THE END HAS COME!! Igor Shestyorkin lost a game. I’ll say it again, Igor Shestyorkin has lost a game. He is clearly past his prime and is too old to be a starting goalie. TRADE HIM NOW (complete sarcasm). While Shestyorkin did lose his first game of the year, he is still playing at an extremely high level. In the past two weeks, Shestyorkin has posted a 3-1 record with one shutout while maintaining a .922 SV%, including a 4-3 OT victory over Jokerit on Saturday. Prior to the loss, Jokerit had won 15 straight games. On the season, Shestyorkin is 13-1-2 with a .952 SV% and a 1.27 GAA. The Rangers future in goal seems to be in good hands.
— SKA Ice Hockey Club (@hcSKA_News) October 9, 2017
Second Star: Patrik Virta
Virta continues to impress in Finland’s Liiga. In his past four games, Virta has four points (2G, 2A). While not mind-blowing numbers, the Rangers’ seventh round draft pick leads his team in assists and is among the team leaders in points, shots, and is a solid presence in the faceoff circle. On the season, Virta has 10 points (3G, 7A) in 14 games while consistently winning over 50% of his faceoffs.
First Star: Lias Andersson
The Rangers have a large hole at center and limited cap space. If only there were a young, talented center, that would cost nothing more than $925,000. Oh wait! In all seriousness, Andersson is best served staying right where he is at. He continues to play big minutes in all situations and is starting to put up points. In five games for Frolunda in the Champions Hockey League (CHL), Andersson has four points (2G, 2A). In the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), Andersson scored twice on Tuesday for his first two goals in the regular season. In five games in the SHL, Andersson has two goals for his only points of the season. After seeing this shootout goal, I can’t help but think the Rangers could use him after their shootout loss against the Islanders.
— Patrik Bexell (@Zeb_Habs) October 19, 2017
Similar to Robin Kovacs, the Rangers have place Malte Stromwall on Unconditional Waivers with the intent to terminate his contract. After a disappointing season in Hartford, Stromwall was demoted to Greenville and now appears to be headed back to Sweden. While this is disappointing, Stromwall was a lottery pick. He was always a prospect that had potential but was not a “can’t miss” prospect. Hopefully Stromwall is able to find success in Sweden.