Future Ranger: Conor Allen
Coming into the 2013-2014 hockey season, Conor Allen was a relative nobody. That, of course, changed quickly. After being the final cut in the 2013 preseason, Conor Allen put the Rangers organization and fan base on notice. In no time he jumped to the top of the Hartford prospects list. The undrafted Free Agent out of UMASS, has shown time and time again, that he can flat out play hockey.
The last time many of us saw Allen, he was in New York, filling in for an injured Anton Stralman. Between the showings in New York and the major gains he made playing for the Wolf Pack, this once unknown player is now the best defensive prospect in Hartford.
Right from the start Allen was thrown into big situations while playing in AHL. He was paired on the second defensive unit with former NHLer Stu Bickel and saw time on the penalty kill. Soon thereafter, he was playing on the top pair and earned time on the power play, all in addition to seeing more time on the penalty kill. During this time Allen demonstrated his fluid skating, and smart decisions. He showed major improvements in his offensive game, chipping in with (6 goals, 26 assists) with 32 points.
One thing that many young players struggle with at any level is the consistency. Some days they look amazing, while other days they struggle. This is not at all uncommon with most players in Hartford or the AHL for that matter. Conor Allen separates himself from the rest in this department, showing a level and poise not often seen in one so young.
While there may be players that are flashier and stand out more, few were able to play a simple yet effective game every day. It hasn’t been since current Ranger blue liner, Ryan McDonagh left Hartford, that we’ve seen a player that can consistently play at a top level. Conor Allen has shown us this so far.
What to Expect
Allen is a left-handed defenseman who brings good size (6’1, 210lbs) to the blue line and can play in any situation. While he is most known for his great skating ability, Allen has also shown he is a puck moving defenseman who makes good decisions on the ice.
Allen plays a simple defensive game, is always in good position, and finishes his checks. His big body and size help him win puck battles along the boards. This season, his offensive game has been flourishing and is continuing to get better.
When Allen is successful, he is playing a simple inside out game where his positioning is good and he is using his great skating ability, not relying on it. Allen’s speedy development and great play has been a very welcomed surprise to the Rangers organization. Barring a catastrophic collapse, Allen should be able to earn a spot out of camp, next fall.
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieVkBjbTFMo”]Game Seven Highlights – [/su_youtube]