It has been an eventful week at Rangers Prospect Development Camp for free-agent invitee Kyle Jean. On top of scoring four goals in three scrimmages, the Lake Superior State junior collided with 2010 first-rounder Dylan McIlrath on Wednesday, causing McIlrath to sit out the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday.
When asked about what it was like to see one of the team’s first-round picks come out on the wrong end of a collision with him, Jean said the thought hadn’t occurred to him.
“That’s hockey,” Jean said. “First-round pick, free agent, sixth-round pick, I don’t know. He’s just trying to play well and I’m trying to play well and that kind of stuff happens.”
The Rangers haven’t released an update on McIlrath’s condition, other than that the defenseman is listed as day-to-day with a sore knee.
The only word of McIlrath’s condition came from Jean.
“I talked to him today a little bit, just asked him how he was,” Jean said. “He said he’s been better.”
Still, Jean said he doesn’t feel responsible for McIlrath’s injury.
“I don’t know what to say, you know, because he tried to hit me,” Jean said. “So I mean it’s not his fault, but he initiated it.”
As for Jean, he said he was “seeing green” for a moment after being hit in the head on the play, but that he’s fine. Now, Jean wants to make the most of his opportunity.
“I just want to come here, have fun and take it all in,” Jean said. “Be a big sponge and just try to learn as much as I can.”
Other notes from Thursday’s scrimmage:
-- The Rangers’ 2011 first-rounder, J.T. Miller, showed off his quick burst, creating two partial breakaway opportunities, including one shorthanded chance. The winger was a standout, and said that he has gained valuable experience over the past year in both the World Junior Championships and AHL playoffs.
-- Christian Thomas, the team’s second-round pick in 2010, turned heads in the latter stages of the scrimmage. First, after receiving a crisp pass from fifth-rounder Shane McColgan, Thomas fired a quick wrister past the goaltender. Later, in the shootout, Thomas showed off his slick stickwork with a forehand-backhand move that ended with him roofing the puck over the goalie’s shoulder.
-- Brady Skjei, the team’s first-round pick in last week’s draft, headed back to Minnesota after skating on Wednesday to start summer classes at the University of Minnesota, where he will play college hockey.