Rangers Prospect Report: Sean Day
The two-way defenseman completed his first season in the professional ranks. After spending the last 4 seasons in the OHL, Sean Day has gradually adjusted to the American Hockey League and ECHL last season.
Sean Day, a 21-year-old prospect, struggled and learned from his mistakes as a rookie. His development has progressed and he will need more seasoning before taking on larger roles with the Hartford Wolf Pack. His ability to become a Rangers depth defenseman hinges on his potential along with competition from other prospects within the organization. Keep in mind that he will be in Hartford for a few more seasons. Afterward, we will see if he is ready to make another jump, or not.
Sean Day made the Wolf Pack after training camp, proving that he is ready for the AHL than ECHL. In October and early November, the prospect was adjusting to the pace of the league. He was struggling defensively, unable to prevent goals against and did not get a grip right away. Despite the rough start, the prospect kept playing and kept his cool as time went on.
The Rangers prospect was reassigned to the Maine Mariners in early November as Chris Drury hoped the prospect would be able to find himself in a slower paced league. Early in the season, Sean Day made noise immediately. I was surprised to see the prospect play as if he was angry with the reassignment and reapplied himself on the ice helping the Mariners offensively and defensively. Sometimes, that spark occurs after getting demoted to the ECHL. This was the case for Sean Day. In his 19 games with Maine, he contributed 4 goals and 11 assists for 15 points. The offensive magic was found and after spending two months in the ECHL, Sean Day found himself back in Hartford to earn the promotion.
Of course, the offensive capabilities for the defenseman slowed in the AHL as the competition is tougher in comparison to the ECHL. Sean Day notched his first point in the league in late January. The offensive numbers were not there, but defensively he was better. The effort and consistency were there despite having fellow blueliners who consistently had rough games. Sean Day himself has a few rough nights as well. The Wolf Pack roster was not the greatest, and the ones who need to develop the most get crushed mentally with developing in a losing culture. Despite that being the case, Sean Day found himself having a few multiple point games playing as a depth defenseman for Hartford.
Day made some strides during the second half of the season. The points were coming more consistently towards the end of the year. He found ways to get on the board while improving defensively. He needs continued mentoring and a better culture if the Rangers want to see him long term within the organization. He has a ways to go, but the start has been good enough. In 46 games with Hartford, Sean Day contributed 14 points (3G, 11A).
If I was going to give him a grade, I would give him a C. The reason is he has shown effort, heart, potential, and a willingness to play a full 60 minutes despite the score or situation. He wants to be better and will continue to do so. I know he is capable of doing more next season. Time will help the prospect mature. The Rangers need to ensure that winning culture or at least quality veterans are on the roster next season to help guys such as Sean Day have a chance at the NHL down the road.
The prospect has two seasons left on his entry-level deal. I expect him to continue developing in Hartford. How hard he works will determine if he will be retained after the entry-level contract is up. He must be able to pull it all together with his skill set.