Lesser Known Rangers – Volume 16
Lo and behold, we are in the midst of another intense playoff run. During these playoff runs, players will come through and deliver for their respective teams in order to get their squads over the hump. Teams are filled with superstars like Tyler Seguin, Artemi Panarin, and Vladimir Tarasenko. These same teams are also filled with players you probably hadn’t heard of like Barclay Goodrow, Brock McGinn and Mackenzie MacEachern. The Rangers have had their fair share of stars and unknown players and in this piece, we’ll take a look at the ones who fall into the unknown category.
This version of Lesser Known Rangers will be a tad different. Instead of having me yammer on with lame jokes naming players, we have fellow Forever Blueshirts contributor, Euro prospect guru and friend (Well, I want to be his friend, but I wouldn’t want to be friends with me either, so I get it if he doesn’t) Steven Voogel, also known as Stat Boy Steven, chime in on a few names that even I had forgotten about. So, that being said, let us begin with a name that I had to look up because my brain forgot about it as well….
Shane McColgan, Right Wing
Time with Rangers: Unsigned draft selection
Steven: Going into the 2011 NHL Draft, one player intrigued me. It was Shane McColgan. The California native who played for the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL was touted as a top-pick for his draft early on, and there were some comparisons with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. McColgan outscored RNH in their 2009-10 WHL rookie season. His size is what held him back, but the Rangers decided to take a chance on him after playing in the CHL top prospects game.
McColgan never signed with the Rangers but played five games for the Connecticut Whale on an Amateur Try-Out at the end of his D+1 season. Following two more WHL seasons with the Saskatoon Blades and the Portland Winterhawks, McColgan played in the USports league for St. Thomas University. The Los Angeles Kings invited him to rookie training camp in the summer of 2016 but he was unsuccessful in trying to secure a spot on the team. He finished his hockey career in the Netherlands, playing for Tilburg Trappers in the German Oberliga Nord. The Dutch team moved to the German system in 2016 and won three straight championships, one of them with McColgan.
Ville Nieminen, Left Wing
Time with Rangers: 48 games in 2005-06
JL: When I was younger, I had always wondered who that guy was on the Rangers that always seemed to have his mouth open. I legitimately thought this guy had a problem. Can someone tell him to close his mouth? I guess that could be said was the case about people wanting to close his mouth since it seemed like he was always yapping on the ice.
Of course, I’m talking about Ville Nieminen. A Stanley Cup winner in 2001, Nieminen was known for his non-stop blabber mouth and aggressive in-your-face style of play. He was infamous as an annoying opponent, whose style of play was heavily reminiscent of another former Ranger, Esa Tikkanen.
Nieminen signed with the Rangers before the 2005-06 season and continued his gritty, in your face style of play. Although he was only a Ranger for 48 games, Nieminen managed to contribute 17 points (5G, 12A), along with putting up a plus/minus rating of +10. Nieminen also scored in the infamous shootout where Marek Malik won it for New York. Nieminen scored to keep the shootout going with a slick move to beat Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig.
Despite his strong play for New York, Nieminen was dealt to the San Jose Sharks just prior to the NHL trade deadline. He would play in 30 games and continue to aggravate his opponents with San Jose before being dealt to the Blues along with Jay Barriball and two draft picks in exchange for forward Bill Guerin.
Afterwards, Nieminen returned to Europe, where he played in Russia and Finland until 2014-15, where he decided to venture into the coaching aspect of the game back home.
Andrew Yogan, Center/Left Wing
Time with Rangers: 3 years, 126 AHL games, 35 ECHL games
Steven: Sometimes you find gems in the later rounds like Carl Hagelin or Jesper Fast. But the Rangers have not had much luck in later rounds with North American prospects. One of the kids they took a chance on was Andrew Yogan. Growing up in Florida, Yogan played for the Florida Panthers Midgets. He was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in 2007 and played for the Erie Otters after being traded during the 2008-09 season. The Rangers picked Yogan in the fourth round of the 2010 NHL draft with the 100th overall pick. Yogan became the first player growing up in Florida to be drafted by an NHL team.
He signed his entry level contract in 2012 and split his time between AHL Hartford and ECHL Greenville. Yogan never played in the NHL, but unlike McColgan, he is still playing. In 2017, he moved to Europe to play for Italian team Bolano Foxes in the Austrian EBEL. During the 2017 offseason he signed with their fierce rival from Innsbruck. Yogan finished his first full season with 57 points in 54 games, eighth best in the league, and this past season he had 61 points in 52 games, which was good for seventh best in the league. He is now a free agent and several teams in Austria are trying to sign him ahead of the next season. Front-runners are the teams who qualified for the Champions Hockey League which includes my local team, the Vienna Capitals. Maybe I get to see Yogan play up close on a weekly basis next season.
Greg Moore, Right Wing
Time with Rangers: 152 games with Hartford, 6 for New York.
JL: A captain for Hartford, Greg Moore was a player who was a staple for the Wolf Pack. Primarily a second line winger, Moore was considered a solid defensive forward and could create offense in the right setting. Previously, he was acquired by the Rangers, along with Jamie McLennan and Blair Betts, for Chris Simon and a seventh round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Moore made his NHL debut with the Rangers in a 2–1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 21, 2007. After only six games with the Blueshirts, Moore signed a one-year contract with the New York Islanders.
Moore was then sent to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in the AHL for the start of the 2009–10 season. During the 2010 season, Moore was traded by the Islanders to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Dylan Reese. Moore was later recalled from the AHL Syracuse Crunch to finish the season with Columbus in a 3–2 defeat to the Washington Capitals on April 3, 2010. Moore never scored a goal in his two small stints in the NHL.
After spending time with Adirondack and Springfield of the AHL, Moore went overseas to play in Germany and the Czech Republic. Moore finished his career in Germany and is now the head coach of the Chicago Steel of the USHL.
Big thanks to Steven for contributing to this article. Please give him a follow on Twitter (@StatBoy_Steven) and take a look at his information and stats regarding current and possible prospects in the Rangers organization. Also, follow me on Twitter as well (@JLChaparro8) for more content like this and potentially nonsensical rants about life and my sports teams.