Baby Blueshirts Battered By Blue Jackets

Hockey season has finally arrived! The Rangers prospects kicked off their appearance at the 2019 Traverse City tournament with a disappointing 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Brett Kemp – The biggest bright spot for the Rangers was not one of their highly touted prospects, rather, it was Brett Kemp, who was a free agent invite that played for Medicine Hat in the WHL last season. Kemp netted both Rangers goals, scoring from a bad angle on the first, and a snipe on the second.

Vitali Kravtsov – For me, Kravtsov had his moments but could’ve been better. He appeared to pass up a few shooting chances, something Rangers fans have become all too familiar with in recent years. As I said during the Mats Zuccarello/Kevin Hayes era: shooting the puck more forces the defense to respect your shot and opens up the passing lanes. If all you do is pass, you make it easier for the defense to defend.

Adam Fox – The Harvard alumnus also had some positive moments, but he definitely struggled for large stretches. He was definitely noticeable when it came to jumping into the rush, but he made a couple of poor breakout passes as well.

The group as a whole looked a bit disjointed, with plenty of bad drop passes and turnovers that led to Columbus goals on the ensuing odd-man rush. But for Fox, who is now in an elevated spot on the depth chart with Shattenkirk being bought out and DeAngelo still without a contract, his play in this tournament will be monitored closely by Rangers management.

Igor Shesterkin – In his first game on the smaller North American ice, Igor Shesterkin did not have a good showing. His teammates didn’t give him much help with all the odd-man rushes they allowed, but you could definitely make a case that the young Russian should’ve stopped a couple of the Columbus tallies. As people mentioned on Twitter during the contest, Shesterkin is almost guaranteed to start the year in Hartford, which will allow him to get as comfortable with the NHL-sized ice before he makes his mark with the big club.

Next Game: The Rangers continue their Traverse City Tournament with a game tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars prospects. Puck drops at 7!


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