The New York Rangers' 5 Most Untouchable Prospects
Your parents probably didn't tell you, but every kid has his/her price, and the Rangers have set the market very high for their favorite sons.
If they didn't trade any of these guys to get Rick Nash, it's safe to consider them untouchable. Maybe if Evgeni Malkin or Steven Stamkos were suddenly on sale, Sather would change his position, but the Rangers have shown a loyalty and patience with their young prospects that must inspire confidence and loyalty in return.
Here are the Rangers' five most untouchable prospects:
In eight games so far this season, Kreider has a goal and four assists...with the Connecticut Whale.
His early numbers in the AHL are nothing to boast about, but Kreider demonstrated during the playoffs that he is an NHL-caliber forward.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the lockout is having to wait to see Kreider deliver on his potential.
We will continue to wait and speculate on how good Kreider can consistently be in the NHL.
Miller was drafted 15th overall in 2011 and has become a fast favorite among the coaches. His size (6'1", 198 lbs) is nothing spectacular, but he has a very consistent, intelligent and determined style of play that would fit in perfectly on a John Tortorella team.
He stands out for his work ethic and instincts, but he's above average at faceoffs and plays with composure in all areas.
With his tenacity and discipline, Miller could become a second-line center, but that's unlikely to happen until at least 2013, and most likely 2014.
The Rangers selected McIlrath 10th overall in the 2010 draft, the highest overall selection the Rangers have made in the past eight drafts.
The reason the Rangers took this 6'5", 215-pound defenseman so early is because of his size and physicality. McIlrath uses every inch and pound of his frame and embraces contact.
He's at his best clearing space in the crease or delivering a big hit along the boards. He has a decent shot but needs to work on finding more consistency when he tries to join the attack.
Since he has two years on Brady Skjei, McIlrath is probably the Rangers' top defensive prospect.
The Rangers' 2012 first round pick (28th overall), Skjei has great size (6'3", 200 lbs) and even better speed.
Skjei is adept at joining the attack, making him an intriguing two-way defenseman, but his best trait is definitely his speed, which he uses wisely.
If Skjei continues his development, he could become a quality NHL defenseman. But that is probably a few years from becoming a reality.
Thomas might be the Rangers' most intriguing prospect because he's easy to root for.
Well undersized at 5'9" and 165 pounds, Thomas has to be that much better than everyone else to be noticed because height is often overvalued, as it is the one thing that can't be taught.
Drafted in the second round of 2010 (40th overall), Thomas has the speed and stick skills to at least get a shot at the NHL.
Everybody likes the little guy that defied expectations.