Ryder Korczak having underrated season as Hartford Wolf Pack continue to roll

Ryder Korczak
Ryder Korczak warming up (Photo: John Mrakovcich / Hartford Wolf Pack)

When the New York Rangers drafted Ryder Korczak in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft, they were hoping his offensive talent would translate to the pro level. In his first full season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, that’s starting to quietly take place as he’s registered 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last 5 matches.

Meanwhile, the Wolf Pack look to put together another streak as both their winning and points streaks ended in last week’s action. Hartford’s win streak was snapped against the Cleveland Monsters in overtime on Wednesday (Monsters won 4-3), followed by their point streak ending on Saturday after the Laval Rocket recorded a 5-1 win.

This year, the Pack have responded well to losses, which should be the case again this weekend. Currently, Hartford is 2nd in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, posting a 15-5-3 record for 33 points. The group is ranked 3rd in the AHL overall.

Related: Will Brennan Othmann get a call up?

Hartford Wolf Pack Weekly: Ryder Korczak coming on

NY Rangers Ryder Korczak
Ryder Korczak takes part in the Rangers Prospect Development Camp at the Rangers Training facility in Tarrytown July 12, 2022. Credit: Β© Frank Becerra Jr. / The Journal News / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ryder Korczak Quietly Having Good Rookie Season

The 21 year-old rookie is playing well in recent weeks with Hartford. Offensively, the rookie is producing upon adjusting to the professional ranks. The forward is heating up as he is shooting the puck more, with 2 games featuring 4+ shots on net within the last 2 weeks of action.

Korczak is beginning to become noticeable with the puck, generating good chances for himself and teammates. As a small forward, the youngster really uses his speed to make things happen. Also important has been his improvements on the defensive side of the game, which is a must if he hopes to play in the NHL. Lately, he’s been in good position in his own zone to help the club transition from defense to offense.

While he is not one of the top Rangers’ prospects, Korczak is another rookie to watch that’s quietly developing well and has good potential.

Alex Belzile’s Production Remains Consistent

Despite changes in the forwards group, the 32 year-old veteran continues to produce points for Hartford. Over the weekend, Hartford lost Riley Nash as the Rangers needed another forward due to a Barclay Goodrow injury. With 2 of their top 4 offensive leaders out of the lineup, Belzile continues to help produce offense.

Belzile recorded 1 goal over the weekend plus 1 assist in Wednesday’s game. The veteran has points in the last 9 of 11 games, producing 5 goals and 8 assists for 13 points. Belzile is ranked 9th in the AHL for production with 23 points in 23 games.

He’s 3 points away from tying his total production from last season. However, Belzile, similar to Brodzinski’s case, played partially in the AHL as he was up with Montreal for a good chunk of the season. His last full season with the Rocket was in the 2018-19 season, where he produced 19 goals and 35 assists for 54 points.

One Timers

  • Mac Hollowell was held off the scoresheet in Saturday’s game. This was his 2nd game where he was held without a point.
  • Nikolas Brouillard has 8 points (8 assists) in the last 6 of 7 games.
  • Brennan Othmann’s point streak was snapped at 5 games.
  • Blake Hillman has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in the last 4 of 6 games.
  • Riley Nash has returned to the Pack after a brief call-up

Injury Updates

A new development last week is on goaltending as prospect Dylan Garand was unable to play in last week’s action. He did not travel with the team to Laval as well. Garand’s last action was against Lehigh Valley on December 2nd. There is no timetable for his return.

As a result, Olof Lindbom was recalled from Cincinnati ECHL. Lindbom appeared in 1 game last week. Lindbom is 0-2 with the Wolf Pack as he faced tough opponents. In his last game against Lavl, Lindbom stopped 24 of 29 shots.

Hartford Wolf Pack Schedule

Hartford will be home in the next 4 of 5 games.

Friday, December 15th vs Rochester Americans (Buffalo) at 7pm, XL Center

  • This is the 1st of 2 meetings in the season series. Last season, Hartford split the 2 game season series, 1-1. The Wolf Pack will visit the Americans on March 20th.
  • Entering the week, Rochester is 11-7-2 for 24 points. That ranks the group 5th in the North Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Americans are on a 2 game skid and will play Springfield on Wednesday. Rochester is 5-5 in their last 10 outings.
  • Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich leads the Americans in points with 19. Through 19 games, Kulich has 13 goals and 6 assists. Experienced forward Mason Jobst is 2nd in points as he produced 13 points in 16 games. Jobst has 7 goals and 6 assists.
  • Listen – Mixlr. Watch – AHLTV.

Sunday, December 17th vs Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs) at 3pm, XL Center

  • This is the 1st of 2 meetings in the season series. Hartford recorded 3 of 4 points against Toronto last season, posting a 1-0-1 record in the season series. Hartford will visit the Marlies on March 23rd.
  • Entering the week, Toronto is 10-7-3-1 for 24 points. That ranks the group 3rd in the North Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Marlies won their last 2 games and are 4-4-1-1 in the last 10 games. Toronto will play Providence on Friday prior to Sunday’s outing.
  • Alex Steeves leads the Marlies in points with 20. In 16 games, the forward has 11 goals and 9 assists. He is ranked 19th in the AHL for production. Nick Aburzzese is 2nd in points with 16. In 21 games, the forward has 4 goals and 12 assists.
  • Listen – Mixlr. Watch – AHLTV.

Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner

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