Prospect Watching: Who to keep an eye on in Traverse City

Brady Skjei Image provided by

Skjei Image provided by

On Friday, September 11th some of the NYR top prospects (not named Pavel Buchnevich) get to show us what they got in the Traverse City Tournament. Here is the official roster from the NY Rangers.

As mentioned above, Brady Skjei is likely the top prospect at the tournament with the best chance to make the Rangers this season. For more on Skjei, check out our own Steven Lofreddo’s take here.

The great prospects site, Hockey’s Future ranks the Blueshirts kids like this:

NYR Prospect Rankings List via Hockey's Future

NYR Prospect Rankings List via Hockey’s Future

Ten of the Rangers top ranked prospect are at the tournament and it will be great to see what they can do. Here’s some names that should stand out in this year’s competition.

Adam Tambellini (C)

Tambellini (NYR)

Tambellini (NYR)

Last season, Tambellini led the Calgary Hitmen in points by scoring 47 goals and 86 points in 71 games. If that wasn’t impressive enough he added 26 points in the playoffs. He nearly scored a goal per game as he finished with 13 tallies in 16 post season contests.

Adam has future Ranger written all over him. What stands out to me is his ability to thrive under pressure at an early age. Maybe it’s because he has hockey in his blood. His father, Steve Tambellini played for the NY Islanders and won the Stanley Cup in 1980.

Forecast: Look for Tambellini to be one of the top players at the tournament and earn an invite to Rangers training camp. Expect him to play the year out in Hartford this season. Next year however could be a different story.

Ryan Graves (D)

R. Graves (NYR)

R. Graves (NYR)

The focus on the Rangers blue line is Brady Skjei, and rightfully so. Oddly, when people talk defense prospects after Skjei, they immediately turn to Dylan McIlrath who hasn’t been able to crack the Rangers lineup yet and is most likley going to be moved this season.

Graves is 6’4 and weighs 226 pounds with some offensive ability to boot. Last year in the QMJHL he scored 15 goals and 39 points in just 50 games. Good news, he isn’t soft for his size and the Rangers could always use more grit on the blue line.

Forecast: You may not hear his name as much as some other prospects on defense in this tournament, but his future is bright. Look for him to play a rock solid game and show flashes of NHL readiness. He should be fantastic in Hartford this season.

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Keegan Iverson (C/W)

Keegan Iverson (Portland)

Keegan Iverson (Portland)

Here is another kid I love. When the NY Rangers drafted him one of the first players he was projected to be like is the beloved, Adam Graves. Iverson has size and ability, but it is his willingness to quickly step up and protect his teammates that earned him that comparison.

This past season in the WHL he scored 15 times and added 24 helpers. Iverson also had 91 PIM’s and added another 27 in the playoffs for good measure. He is a reliable defensive forward and could have a future on a third line in the NHL. If he can develop his offensive skills further, he could be a great 2nd line power forward.

Forecast: He will make some noise in Traverse City and will assuredly drop the gloves…at least once. As for his playing career…he’s only 19 so another season in the WHL is likely.

It should also be noted that the tournament is now being played in honor of CapGeek founder Matthew Wuest. Here are the details.

Tell us who you are interested in seeing at the Tournament in the comments section below.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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