Hockey’s Future wrote an article about NHL prospects that have either been over- or under-performing during their young careers.
Unfortunately, Rangers’ prospect Evgeny Grachev was listed among those “Trailing the Play.”
Although, they did note that even though he underperformed in 2009-10, he should compete for a spot on Broadway next year.
Evgeny Grachev, LW – Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL)
Drafted by the New York Rangers
Second round, 75th overall, 2008
Although he started his rookie season strong with five goals and eight assists in his first 15 games, Grachev faded fast, posting only seven goals and eight assists over his next 65. Much of the inconsistent production can be attributed to the typical types of growing pains players go through in turning pro. As a 6’4", 220-pound goal-scoring forward, Grachev was used to being able to dictate the play with his size and skill. Against bigger, stronger, and more experienced competition, the winger failed to adapt.
Grachev is expected to compete for a spot on the Rangers NHL roster next season but it may be more realistic to expect him just to get called up for a few games. Still, with an organization that has a need for goal-scoring forwards, the 20-year-old Russian could be in demand.
As bad as it was that he was listed to be, “Trailing the Play," he was one of the younger players in the AHL last season, and they did admit that his inconsistencies were consistent with similar players.
Still, I doubt very much that Grachev will break camp with the team like Michael Del Zotto . I’d guess that he would be more like P.A. Parenteau and is called up late in the season.
Still, Grachev is probably the best prospect in the Rangers system.
This Rangers team was disappointing this season and they don’t look like they are just one or two pieces away either.
Bringing up somebody like Grachev to the NHL next year, could help him develop faster, and be a part of the team when they are strong and ready to compete.