NYR Prospect Camp: Day 1 Impressions

Dylan McIlrath of Canada was the tenth pick

Dylan McIlrath of Canada was the tenth pick by the New York Rangers in the first round of the NHL National Hockey League draft at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (June 25, 2010) (Credit: AP)

Of the prospects on the ice at the training center for testing (no goalies, no J.T. Miller and none of the three top Swedish youngsters -- Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast and Calle Andersson-- I thought Pavel Buchnevich, the team’s second pick at 70th overall on Sunday, was easily the top skater.

The Russian winger, who will play in the KHL, reminds me a little of Artem Anisimov, with a little hunch in his shoulders, but he’s a few inches shorter. Doesn’t speak a word of English.

Miller’s injured wrist has healed and he is working out; it was mistakenly announced that he would attend, the team said.

Former first-rounder Dylan McIlrath appeared to skate with no knee discomfort, although he said he is not 100 percent but would be by training camp. Liked the look of forward Thomas Spelling, a Danish prospect selected in last year’s draft, as well, as well as D Conor Allen.

Again, this was all testing, with cameras and timing devices positioned around the rink, run by Wolfpack coach Ken Gernander and assistant Jeff Beukeboom (who son, Brock, drafted by Tampa but hasn’t signed a deal, is here.) No pucks, no contact. First scrimmage is Tuesday with a mix of recent draftees, college players and AHLers.

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RW Mike Kantor, out of Lake Forest, Ill., who signed an entry-level deal in April, hobbled off with a leg injury and wore a walking boot later….Tommy Hughes crashed into the boards during the drills and was shaken up as well.

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Head coach Alain Vigneault is out of town and there was no word on the expected deal with Ulf Samuelsson as an assistant coach. “Radio silence,” was all President and General Manager Glen Sather offered as he watched the prospects from a viewing area above one corner of the rink.

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With the final phase of the transformation of Madison Square Garden sending the Rangers on the road for much of the first month of the season, it was long expected that a trip to Vancouver, ex-coach John Tortorella’s new home, would be on the October itinerary for Vigneault and the Blueshirts. But it may be earlier: Multiple reports on Monday suggested that the Rangers will play a pre-season game in Vancouver in September as well. Schedules are expected to be released later this month.

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As expected before the required deadline, the Rangers have sent qualifying offers to RFAs Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello, as well as D Justin Falk, acquired in Sunday's trade with the Wild. First step in real talks. Sather said weeks ago that this was the plan for the first four.

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