This is the third article in a short series: An in-depth look at the top NY Rangers players who are under twenty-five years of age
The 127th overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft has been waiting to show that he has what it takes to be a solid hockey player with the New York Rangers. Last season, Ryan Callahan finally began to come into his own.
The Rochester, New York native played hard in the minor leagues with the Hartford Wolfpack, earning All-Rookie honors in 2006-2007. His fine play helped facilitate his move to the New York Rangers, when he made his debut on December 1, 2006. He was quickly sent down, but recalled again on December 19.
Callahan kept playing hard and scoring goals, and was called up by the Rangers a third time on March 15, 2007, and remained with the club through the remainder of the season and postseason. Callahan picked up six points in fourteen games, but more importantly, fired forty shots on net.
The Rangers or their fans would not forget his hard-nosed, shoot-first attitude. The start of the 2007-2008 season was rocky for the feisty forward, and he was once again sent back to the Wolfpack to play and rest a sore knee. But when Brendan Shanahan went down in February, Callahan came up for a fourth time and refused to relinquish his position.
Callahan, playing mostly on the bottom two lines, managed a hefty 92 shots in 52 games. His tough play, hustle, and especially, relentlessness, endeared him to Rangers' fans who cheered at the rink or at home. He may not have flashed talent comparable to fellow sub-25 year-olds Nigel Dawes and Brandon Dubinsky, but Callahan will be waiting patiently for his first shot at a full season.
Hopefully his hard-nosed play will result in big turnovers and hard-fought goals.
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