2006 Traverse City Prospects Tournament — Rangers recap
Written by Leslie Treff on 09/18/2006
The New York Rangers were first-time participants in the Traverse City, Michigan Prospects Development Tournament last week, and the team management, all of whom were present, took great advantage of the opportunity to evaluate their rookies. The Rangers brought the largest number of players to the tournament of any of the eight NHL teams that participated; in total, 31 players suited up in Rangers’ uniforms, including 27 prospects and four players who were in Michigan on a tryout basis. Because according to Rangers head coach, Tom Renney “players probably don’t have the opportunity to show their abilities [in] one game,” almost all of the rookies played in at least two of the four Rangers games in the tournament.
Several of the 2006 draft selections came to Traverse City, but did not make much of a splash. None of Ryan Hillier (3rd round, 84th overall, 2006), Eric Hunter (6th Round, 174th overall, 2006), and Lukas Zaliska (7th round, 204th overall, 2006) showed much here. Hillier seemed a bit overwhelmed by the level of competition and was a little slow to the puck. Although Hunter took a couple of shots in his two games of play, the winger was not a factor in either game. Zaliska took one very good shot in Game 3, however, his passing left a lot to be desired, his puckhandling was not up to par, and he displayed an uneven effort on the ice.
All but eight of the players in Traverse City did move on to the main camp. Very shortly, we will see how the exposure to the drills and tactics in Michigan helped the young prospects prepare for camp.