Brandon Dubinsky: 25 and Under

PJ EdelmanCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2008

This is the second article in a short series: An in-depth look at the top NY Rangers players who are under twenty-five years of age

Rangers' fans were unimpressed with Brandon Dubinsky's 2006-07 short season.  He played only six games, and registered two penalty minutes and nine shots on goal.  Not a particularly exciting start.

But fter Dubinsky's 2007-08 official rookie season, fans can characterize Dubinsky's play as—well, as freaking sweet.

Dubinsky has fans blabbering about his first full season, in which he played all 82 games with the Rangers, centering a line with two of their best players, Jaromir Jagr and Sean Avery.  Dubinsky was instrumental in picking up Jagr, who improved his play dramatically.

Dubinsky finished his season with 14 goals and 40 points, and added a healthy 79 penalty minutes to the mix.  Dubinsky had an equally-impressive playoff run, contributing eight points in only 10 games. 

Rangers fans were particularly impressed with Dubinsky's stick-to-it-iveness, as he is rarely bumped off the puck, reminiscent of a younger Jagr.  Dubinsky can also wow the crowd with his solid skating, deceptively good hands, and fierce wrist shot.  He is also quite the big load, and is unafraid to park his 6'1", 210-lb. frame in front of the net.

These talents were put on display at the YoungStars event at the 2007-08 All-Star game.  Dubinsky netted two goals an assist in limited playing time in a three-on-three scoring fest.  His pretty goals and solid play earned him YoungStars MVP honors.

The Rangers picked up the 22-year-old Dubinsky in the 2004 NHL draft.

Dubinksy's hopes all began in the Western Hockey League, along with another Rangers prospect, Nigel Dawes.  Though they did not play on the same team, their fates were united on November 8, 2007, as Dawes fed Dubinsky for a goal, and each of their first points in the NHL and as Rangers.

Dubinsky's solid play throughout the season prompted soon-to-be Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan to say, "He's developing, I guess, as you would wish every player you draft develops.  He's really trying to become all things needed in a hockey game."

Brandon Dubinsky was voted Rookie of the Year by his teammates, and also was honored with the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award.

Rangers' fans will be keeping their eyes on No. 17 this coming season—and for seasons to come.