Category: Featured

Alexandar Georgiev (90)

Alexander-Georgiev

New York Rangers‘ undrafted Russian-born rookie goalie Alexandar Georgiev(90) gets the nod for his 1st NHL start.

The 6’1″ 180 lbs. net minder put in some good work backstopping 38 of 40 shots on net for that ended up a 3-1 loss.

He leaves his first appearance with a .950 SV%, which seems like a fairly nice stat to get strong consideration for a  next outing.

Playing his third year in Liiga, he posted a 1.70 GAA for league best mark in 27 games for TPS.

He’s doing a stellar job with affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack, holding down a 12-11-6 record with a 2.97 GAA and .908 SV% through 31 AHL games for a team that has struggled to string together wins.

At 22-years old, the goaltender that did his junior time in Russia seems poised to compete for some time between the pipes.

Luc-Olivier Blain (89)

Luc-Olivier-Blain

Undrafted 6th year center Luc-Olivier Blain(89) has already traveled an interesting path.

The big 6’3″ 194 lbs. forward started his pro career with a summer in Australia’s AIHL skating for Adelaide Adrenaline after completing 3 years at University Of Ottawa, which followed one year of the BCHL with Nanaimo Clippers and three years in the QMJHL before that.

His first pair of official seasons were in the France2 league with Anglet.

He was basically a 2 point-per-game player, earning nods for most assists and points, while also keeping a combined +41 rating.

For 2015/2016, he returned to North America signing with Brampton Beast.

He continue on a bit of a scoring tear striking for 10 goals and 22 assists in 66 ECHL games with a +3 plus/minus, while also receiving his first AHL loan to St. John’s IceCaps.

Currently skating his third season in Ontario, he found his way back up the ladder with Laval Rocket calling for his services.

In 4 games he’s connected for a goal and two assists with a +2 rating on a team that sometimes struggles to win.

The 28-year old will likely head overseas again but also could be happy playing closer to home and work to continue playing at a higher level.

Neil Pionk (44)

Neil-Pionk

New York Rangers‘ undrafted rookie defenseman Neil Pionk(44) received what was a bit of unexpected recall to join the parent club, who was struggling to secure their own zone.

The 6′ 190 lbs. blue liner had a strong training camp but was reassigned to affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack to start his pro career.

In 48 AHL games he put in his first goal and 16 assists with a -9 rating on a team that struggles to win consistently but has unloaded 85 shots on net.

He brings in strong puck-moving skills and has shown through a pair of years at University Of Minnesota-Duluth, where he connected for 27 assists in 42 NCAA games and previously with Sioux City Musketeers grabbing 41 helpers in 53 USHL contests that he can affect the scoresheet.

He was also a +23 and +24 in both those campaigns and picked up 2014-2015 d-mn of the year in juniors.

In his first 6 NHL games he has an assist, while skating an average of over 20 minutes per appearance.

The 22-year old is signed to a 2-year entry level deal through 2019 and looks to be earning his spot in the show.

Brandon Halverson (31)

Brandon-Halverson

New York Rangers‘ 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft (#59 overall) goaltender Brandon Halverson(31) gets bit of an unlikely nod for his first NHL action to help put out the fire.

He was in net for 12:33 seconds saving 5 or 6 shots in a 6-3 losing effort.

The big 6’4″ 208 lbs. net minder was one of a few players to appear in three different leagues in a single season.

He has appeared in only 4 AHL games for affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack with a 1-3 mark and played 22 ECHL contests with Greenville Swamp Rabbits posting a 7-11-2 record.

Both clubs have struggled to win in 2017/2018.

The 21-year old American-born goalie played three seasons with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds doing pretty well, especially through a huge 43 and 50 games in his final pair of campaigns.

He’s on a three-year deal through 2019, which should equal more time in the big league to prove he has what it takes.

Scott Savage (2)

Scott-Savage

Undrafted rookie defenseman Scott Savage(2) gets another bite at the apple with a recall to Cleveland Monsters from Jacksonville Icemen.

He signed an ato joining the team after a successful four-year run at Boston College that included a 24 assist campaign as a senior with a combined +37 rating but in 3 AHL games didn’t record a point.

The 6’1″ 186 lbs. blue liner spent a pair of seasons with the USNTDP of the USHL before committing to college but struggled to grab points.

He’s returned to the score sheet with decent frequency in his first pro year grabbing 7 goals and 18 assists through 50 ECHL games but also has a -13 on a squad that struggles to win.

The 22-year old was an invite to Columbus Blue Jackets‘ training camp.

Zach Budish (18)

Zach-Budish

5th year right wing Zack Budish(18) was recently traded from his Finnish team of the last two years, Jukurit to TPS.

He was leading scorer with the club in 2016/2017 with 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points and currently holds down 15-17-32 stats in 49 Liiga games.

Originally a Nashville Predators‘ 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft (#41 overall), he spent 2-years as a prospect on an entry level deal but wasn’t qualified.

The 6’3″ 214 lbs. forward eventually signed with affiliate Cincinnati Cyclones in 2015/2016, where he spent 46 ECHL games through his time in the system.

He was loaned up for 4 games to Milwaukee Admirals and grabbed a pair of assists with a +2 rating and actually had always done decently while with the team scoring 10 goals and 19 assists in 97 AHL games with a +13.

Heading overseas to start his 2015/2016 campaign was likely a smart move and the 26-year old will very likely continue to excel.

John Gilmour (58)

John-Gilmour

New York Rangers‘ 2nd year defenseman John Gilmour(58) is basically living the dream, getting into 4 big league games and even grabbing his first NHL goal in close 3-2 loss.

Originally a Calgary Flames‘ 7th round pick in the 2013 draft (#198 overall), he was left unprotected and eventually signed a 2-year entry deal with the Blueshirts just before 2016 training camp.

The 6′ 190 lbs. has skated 120 AHL games with affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack and has already posted a career tying 6 goals, new best 20 assists and 26 points in 2/3 the time as his rookie season.

He was a twice 10+ assist guy through four years at Providence College, where he was part of the Cinderella 2015 NCAA Championship.

Definitely known for an offense-minded style of play, he’s already unloaded 15 shots on net and won the fastest skater award at the 2018 AHL Skill Competition.

The 24-year old is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the current campaign and looks to be setting himself up a nice extension to stay.

Pat Nagle (30)

Pat-Nagle

Toledo Walleye‘s undrafted 7th year goaltender Pat Nagle(30) has played a whopping 250 regular season and another 39 playoff games in the ECHL.

He’s actually under contract with Grand Rapids Griffins but despite the deal in the higher league hasn’t played an AHL game since 2015, and when he was with his current club put up a win with a .078 GAA and .971 SV%.

The  6’2″ 195 lbs. back stop won the 2012 Kelly Cup Championship with Florida Everblades as a rookie.

In 6 postseason matchups he went 4-1 with a 1.42 GAA and .941 SV%.

He almost always put up outstanding numbers going back to 4 years at Ferris State University and even his one year of American juniors in the NAHL with St. Louis Bandits but for whatever reason hasn’t received that opportunity at a higher level to find out.

At 30-years old you have to think he’ll just ride it out and maybe come away with a championship and no doubt would be an amazing addition to any teams goaltending coaches.

For the moment he sits at 20 (most wins in league)-4-2-1 with one shutout and a 2.45 GAA and .917 SV%.

Justin Crandall (19)

Justin-Crandall3

3rd year right wing Justin Crandall(19) set new ECHL career high marks last season in his second run with Reading Royals.

He scored a new best 22 goals and 58 points with a +21 rating in 66 games.

Although he didn’t receive a loan up in his sophomore campaign, he did play 9 AHL games as a rookie with Chicago Wolves and Albany Devils grabbing a goal and 2 assists.

Instead of re-upping for a 3rd year in Pennsylvania he decided to branch out signing with Esbjerg Energy.

He’s made a good decision, as he has excelled nicely in Denmark pro hockey scoring 17 goals and 19 assists in 38 Metal Ligaen games with a +16.

What’s next for the 25-year old will be interesting to see but we expect him to land a nice deal in another country.

Ryan Lomberg (41)

Ryan-Lomberg10

Calgary Flames‘ 3rd year left wing Ryan Lomberg(41) signed a two-year entry level deal near the end of his first full season with affiliate Stockton Heat scoring career high 13 goals and 16 assists with a +15 rating in 68 AHL games, while involved in 127 penalty minutes including 9 fights.

He was definitely on their radar while skating with farm clubs and from invites to camps but taking his numbers up easily helped to get him a big league contract.

Very decent play in the current campaign has earned him a first NHL recall.

In his debut he skated a conservative 11 shifts for 6:30 total ice with one shot, one hit and even drop the gloves with a player a good six inches bigger than him.

The 23-year old could post new bests this season but even if he doesn’t has a reputation of a scrappy player, good on the penalty kill and will likely try to play his way up on a permanent basis.