This is the last edition of my prospect reports! This edition will feature the players who re-signed for the upcoming season. This was interesting to write about since majority of the roster left, especially the forwards. I will list the players who left the organization along with the ones that played in Greenville in the East Coast Hockey League. If you missed my report on goalies, click here. If you missed the defense edition, click here.
Ryan Bourque (C) Status: Signed Age: 24
Regular Season Stats: 73 GP, 12 G, 20 A, 27 PTs, 27 PIMs, +/- -3. Playoffs: 5 GP, 1 A, 1 PT, 2 PIMs, +/- +1.
Ryan Bourque had another productive year. Despite the competition for spots, he managed to fit in the third line as opposed to the top two in the 2013-14 season. He still produced a solid amount of points with less ice time. He asserted himself as a quality depth player for the Wolf Pack. His specialty is the penalty kill. He flies all over the ice ensuring a tough time for the opponents to generate a play. He keeps it simple and is effective blocking all the passing lanes. He also sacrifice his body in moments when it needs to be done. The defense growth from Ryan Bourque is going well. He always tries to improve his game and get back on track if he is in a slump. He does not give up. He’s a heart and soul player. Offensively, he can contribute when needed. He grinds it out and is not afraid to get a gritty goal. He can be a bit physical in the offensive zone with good checking. However, he can improve on consistency. Periodically in the season, he can get into a cold streak for a few games. When he struggles, it’s not noticed much. He tries to fight it. When he’s on fire, he tries to keep the streak going as long as possible.
Ryan Bourque is the second ready forward from Hartford. He could fit with the big boys with his specialty of penalty killing. He would be a solid depth player for the group. He is equipped with skills that can be used in every game. If he plays in Hartford for another season, that would be fine too. He can continue to improve himself. Depending on how the roster shakes out, we may see more of Ryan Bourque if he plays on the top two lines.
Marek Hrivik (RW/C) Status: Re-signed Age: 23
Regular Season Stats: 72 GP, 12 G, 21 A, 33 PTs, 12 PIMs, +/- +8. Playoffs: 15 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 PTs, 6 PIMs, +/- -1.
Marek Hrivik earned himself the contract extension. He had another solid year offensively. In the playoffs, he contributed periodically. He faced a long journey well due to a concussion he suffered in 2012. He improved each season afterwards. We are starting to see the fully healthy status of Marek Hrivik. As each season progressed, he contributed more. He knows how to score, especially with his wrist shots. He can play the wing or center as well which is a plus. Marek Hrivik is also a streaky player. Once he goes on a hot streak, he maintains it for a good amount of games. As the season progressed, he was showing up on the score sheet more often. In the beginning of the season, he started out slow. He was struggling a bit. He felt more comfy as time passed. He discovered his offensive touch and is not afraid to play. He can always improve though. He needs to work on his defense and he should be fine! His growth is going smoothly.
Depending on training camp, he may start in Hartford. Every year he is close to making the Rangers. His work ethic is great and he shows off his strides. He’s getting close. The Rangers are pleased with his growth over the seasons. In Hartford, he may have more ice time if he plays on the top line. I’m sure he would be ready for it. He could have a breakout year after all.
Oscar Lindberg (C) Status: Re-signed Age: 23
Regular Season Stats: 75 GP, 28 G, 28 A, 56 PTs, 68 PIMs, +/- +7. Playoffs: 15 GP, 3 G, 13 A, 16 PTs, 6 PIMs, +/- +1.
Oscar Lindberg is ready for the big show. He sh total dominance in Hartford in the past two seasons. His offensive mind is powerful. He can snipe and pass well. If he does not shoot, he sets up his line-mates perfectly. He played top line minutes in Hartford for a reason and the result shows. He is consistent as well. If he had a slump, it would be for two games tops. He find ways to produce points. In the faceoff dot, hes effective. He can win the important draws. On defense, he contributes too. He tries to block the passing lanes. He also tries to read the plays to force a turnover against the opponent. Oscar Lindberg is a well-rounded guy that is equipped well with his set of skills. He’s a player that exceeded my expectations. He plays hard and it shows in penalty minutes. He literally did everything, except for fighting of course. He does not need to get into that!
I don’t expect Oscar Lindberg to play in Hartford this upcoming season. He’s ready to make the jump. He has proven himself in Hartford. He dominated the league. Alain Vigneault will love his style. If he does not make it into the Rangers lineup, he will just continue to dominate with the Wolf Pack. He has a bright future with the organization.
Shawn O’Donnell (RW)* Status: Re-signed Age: 27
Regular Season Stats: 42 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 PTs, 69 PIMs, +/- -2. Playoffs: 13 GP, 2 A, 2 PTs, 12 PIMs, +/- -3.
Shawn O’Donnell is the ideal enforcer on the team. He earned himself another contract extension with the Pack last season. He was on the impressive fourth line that produced points and grit. He was dispensable in the season as well. He did not play every game, but that did not discourage him. When he played, he tried to irritate the opponents and stir it up. He knows his role and sticks to it. He can fight, kill penalties, and contribute offensively at moments. He fit well in the lineup, especially on the penalty kill. He kept it simple and blocked the passing lanes. He was not afraid to block a shot or two. He is not a prospect, but a veteran that can help the Pack. His character is solid and he enjoys to play. Unfortunately, his abilities are limited. He is part of the organization through an American Hockey League deal. On the Rangers prospective, he is too old and lacks plenty to play with the big boys. He is certainly a player only for the Pack.
Nick Tarnasky (LW)* Status: Signed Age: 30
Regular Season Stats: 26 GP, 1 G, 4 A, 5 PTs, 36 PIMs, +/- 0. Playoffs: 13 GP, 2 A, 2 PTs, 12 PIMs, +/- -3.
The signing of Nick Tarnasky did not live up to expectations. He was signed for two seasons last summer and was supposed to be the enforcer of the team who can at least put up moderate points. He played limited amount of games and was a healthy scratch for majority of the season it seemed. He did not fit into the lineup. He struggled with keeping pace of the game. However, I give him props for trying to change the momentum around in games if the Pack was trailing or sluggish. He may not have been the best fighter this season, but at least he tried. He was decent on defense. The coaching staff could not pinpoint exactly the right fit for him.
With this season approaching, he will be given the second chance considering the changes of the roster. He needs to be motivated and give it all his best. I feel that he can do more, especially on defense. It will be interesting on where he lands in the lineup. If he does not get it together, unfortunately he will be a healthy scratch for the season again.
Tyler Brown (C) Status: Re-signed Age: 25
Regular Season Stats: 37 GP, 7 G, 7 A, 14 PTs, 14 PIMs, +/- +4. Playoffs: 15 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTs, 2 PIMs, +/- -4.
Tyler Brown was a solid depth addition for the group. He can provide offense periodically and his skating is solid. He is also another center who can win face offs. He has unique assets in all aspects of the game. On defense, he keeps it simple by blocking the passing lanes and pick away the puck from the opponents. He fits in the lineup from top to bottom. He can be placed on any line.
Chad Nehing (C) Status: Re-signed Age: 25
Regular Season Stats: 53 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 PTs, 50 PIMs, +/- +2. Playoffs: 15 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 PTs, 4 PIMs, +/- -1.
Chad Nehring shown tremendous grit and wit when he joined Hartford. He battles hard and is not afraid to stir it up. He is physical along the boards as well. He gets into the dirty areas and occasionally produce a point. He is another great center for the Pack. His defense is stellar as well which is why he’s on the top penalty kill unit. He’s another depth player that is built for toughness. He does fight, but he can do other stuff as well. He was part of the fantastic fourth line magic last season.
Players spent most of the season in Greenville and played a few games in Hartford:
- Josh Nicholls (RW) (5GP, 1A, 1PT)
- Michael Kantor (RW) (1GP)
- Vinny Saponari (RW) (3 GP, 1A, 1PT)
- Chris McCarthy (LW) (5 GP, 1G, 1 PT)
The players who left the organization:
* = Veteran