Three Stars of the Week:
1. Adam Tambellini, C, Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – Tambellini’s offensive exploits this past week solidified his status as one of the top scorers in the Western Hockey League. The 20-year-old tallied three points (one goal, two assists) and posted a plus-four rating while helping the Hitmen defeat Moose Jaw, 5-2, on November 21. On November 23, Tambellini also registered three points (one goal, two assists) and posted a plus-three rating to lead Calgary to a 6-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels.
Tambellini has recorded four multi-point games in his last nine contests, including three three-point games (six goals, seven assists over the span), and he is tied for sixth in the WHL in goals (14) this season. Tambellini leads the Hitmen in goals and points (26), ranks second in plus/minus rating (plus-14), and is tied for second on the team in assists (12). Since joining the Hitmen on January 8, 2014, Tambellini has notched a point in 36 of 55 regular season games, registering 65 points (31 goals, 34 assists) over the span. He has also posted 21 multi-point games in the 55 contests. Including last year’s WHL playoffs, the Rangers’ third round pick (65th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft has registered at least one point in 41 of 61 WHL games, tallying 74 points (36 goals, 38 assists) in those matches.
2014-15 WHL TOTALS: 24 GP, 14-12-26, +14 RATING, 6 PIM
2. Brandon Halverson, G, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) – Halverson won both games in which he started this past week, extending his personal winning streak to seven games. The 18-year-old began the week by making 28 saves in a 4-3 overtime victory at Ottawa on November 21. Halverson followed that performance by stopping 30 of 31 shots he faced to record his seventh consecutive win on November 23 at Kingston.
Halverson has posted a 1.98 GAA and a .942 SV% during his personal seven-game winning streak. In addition, he has registered a 4-0-0 record, along with a 1.72 GAA and a .944 SV% over the last four games of the streak, all of which have been played on the road. Over his last 24 OHL games, the Rangers’ second round pick (59th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has posted an 18-3-1 record, along with a 2.76 GAA, a .920 SV%, and 2 SO.
He ranks second in the OHL in wins (14), is tied for seventh in SV% (.914), and ranks eighth in GAA (2.94) this season.
2014-15 OHL TOTALS: 14-3-0, 2.94 GAA, .914 SV%, 1 SO
3. Igor Shesterkin, G, VMF Karelia (VHL) – Shesterkin’s solid play in goal helped Team Russia win the 2014 Super Series tournament, an international competition featuring the top 20-year-old and younger players in the three Canadian Major Junior Leagues (OHL, QMJHL, WHL) and in Russia. The Rangers’ fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft posted a 2.36 GAA and a .912 SV% in three appearances this past week, and stopped 25 of 27 shots he faced in the final game of the tournament on November 20 vs. Team QMJHL.
2014 SUPER SERIES TOTALS: 5 GP, 2-1-0, 1.76 GAA, .942 SV%, 1 SO
2014-15 VHL TOTALS: 8 GP, 3-3-2, 1.72 GAA, .943 SV%, 1 SO
Emerging From The Pack:
- Conor Allen registered three points (one goal, two assists) and posted a plus-four rating on November 19 vs. Syracuse. Allen’s three points and plus-four rating were both AHL single-game career-highs.
- Mat Bodie tallied the game-winning goal in overtime vs. Bridgeport on November 22. He ranks second among AHL rookie defensemen in assists (nine) and ranks fourth among AHL rookie defensemen in points (11).
- Mackenzie Skapski appeared in all three Wolf Pack games this week, posting a 2.14 GAA and a .909 SV% over the span. The 20-year-old ranks fourth among AHL rookie goaltenders in GAA (2.24) and is tied for sixth among AHL rookie goaltenders in wins (four) and SV% (.913) in 2014-15.
- GOALS: Chris Bourque (2)
- ASSISTS: Conor Allen (3)
- POINTS: Conor Allen (4)
- GOALS: Oscar Lindberg (8)
- ASSISTS: Mat Bodie/J.T. Miller (9)
- POINTS: J.T. Miller (15)
- Pavel Buchnevich, LW, Severstal Cherepovets (KHL) – Buchnevich tallied his team-leading ninth goal of the season on November 22 against Atlant. All nine of Buchnevich’s goals in 2014-15 have been scored at even strength, and he is tied for eighth in the KHL in even strength goals this season. The Rangers’ third round pick (75th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft ranks third on Severstal in points (18), is tied for fourth in assists (nine), and is tied for fifth in plus/minus rating (plus-four) this season.
- Richard Nejezchleb, RW, Tri-City Americans (WHL) – Nejezchleb recorded a primary assist on November 22 against Spokane. In the six games he has played with the Americans since he was acquired on November 4, Nejezchleb has registered a point on 11 of Tri-City’s 19 goals (five goals, six assists).The Rangers’ fifth round pick (122nd overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has notched a point in seven of eight WHL games this season, tallying 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in those contests.
- Cristoval Nieves, C, University of Michigan (NCAA) – Nieves tallied a point in each of the Wolverines’ two weekend games (one goal, one assist), extending his point streak to five games (two goals, three assists over the span). The Rangers’ second round pick (59th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has recorded seven points (two goals, five assists) in 11 games with Michigan this season.
- Calle Andersson, D, HC Lugano (NLA) – Andersson tallied an assist in all of HC Lugano’s three games this past week (four assists over the span). The Rangers’ fourth round pick (119th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has recorded a point in all five games he has played since joining HC Lugano, registering seven points (one goal, six assists) in the five contests.
“He was very solid in net and stood out for the Russian team. He moves well in his crease and has a very quick glove hand.” – Rangers Amateur Scout Daniel Dore on Igor Shesterkin
“With his size, sense, puck skills, and work ethic, he is a definite prospect for the top two lines of a good NHL team.” – Rangers Amateur Scout Tom Thompson on Richard Nejezchleb
“It's an adjustment. You hang around with 16 to 20 year old guys in juniors and then you can't really hang around with guys who are 30, 31 because they don't have the same interests as you. But, you know, I appreciate their maturity and I think they appreciate my youth, as well." – Mackenzie Skapski on making the transition off the ice from playing in junior hockey to playing in the AHL (Source: Hartford Courant)
Prospect Spotlight: Oscar Lindberg:
Lindberg's offensive production has increased in his second pro season in North America. The added offense makes Lindberg, who is solid defending in his own end of the ice, one of the top two-way forwards among the Rangers prospects.
Through 18 AHL games this season, the 23-year old leads the Wolf Pack in goals (8) and power play goals (4), and ranks third on the team in points (12).
Scouting Report: "Always reliable defensively, Oscar's offensive improvement this year has made him a legitimate NHL prospect. His physical maturity gives him a chance to make it to the next level and help the Rangers." Rangers scout Kevin Maxwell
Getting to know Oscar Lindberg:
- Favorite athlete growing up: Joe Sakic
- Actor who would play him in a movie: Al Pacino
- Person he would trade places with for a day: David Beckham
- Celebrity look-alike: Matt Damon
- Greatest love besides hockey: hip hop music.