Anthony Duclair has to go back to juniors

(October 26, 2014 – Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Anthony Duclair was a big story for the Rangers coming out of training camp, but now he is finding himself on the bench as a healthy scratch. With each passing day, it’s starting to look like the Rangers will send Duclair back to the Quebec Remparts.

(October 26, 2014 – Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Duclair has 6 points in his 12 games played. He has been a good presence offensively. But hasn’t been good enough to warrant more ice time.

The Rangers gave Duclair his spot, because he was so good in camp. I think they are keeping him with the big club right now, to show him the professionalism and consistency that goes into being an every day NHLer.

It is a good thing that Duclair gets to learn the details of the game and try to become a well rounded player, but the Rangers must start to think about the issue of Duclair potentially not playing enough hockey.

 

 

The jump from Major Junior to the NHL is a big one, but a kid like Duclair could be sharpening his skills with the Remparts and playing a huge role on a good team. With the Rangers he is starting to find himself on the bench more and more.

(October 11, 2014 – Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

It ultimately boils down to what Alaign Vigneault said at the beginning of the year. “I explained to him that he is going to start the season with us, and I basically put it this way: ‘As long as you can prove you can play in our top nine (forwards), then you’re going to stick with us.” Vigneault’s plan was not to have a player like Duclair get pinned in a role outside of his strength.

Eventually coaching only goes so far; for players to improve they need to be put into situations and experience the game to grow. If there wasn’t so much competition on the Rangers wings and Duclair was getting the time, I would say keep him. But at this point I think he has gotten a good taste of what it takes to play in the NHL. Now I think you send him back and let him try to work on what the coaches have spoken to him about.

Side Note

Duclair has dominated in the QMJHL before. Last year in 59 games for the Ramperts, Duclair posted 99 points. I believe that one concern the Rangers have with sending Duclair to the QMJHL is how wide open and unlike the NHL it is. It isn’t uncommon for players to develop bad habits in offensive leagues.

 

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