It’s that wonderful time of year again! The holiday spirit is booming, Christmas trees are going up, menorahs are being lit, and the World Junior Championship Tournament is approaching. This tournament is a showcase of the elite, young talent that is making their way up the ranks. This year, the World Junior Championship will be held in the Czech Republic between December 26th and January 5th.
Most of us will get the chance to see some NHL prospects and draft eligible prospects for the first time during this tournament. Casual and die hard fans alike should be excited to see what the future holds for their favorite teams.
N.Y. Rangers Prospects
The Rangers will have five players, from three countries, representing their organization at the World Junior Championship this year. They may not be household names for all Rangers fans yet, hopefully this article will shed some light on these youngsters.
K’Andre Miller, Defense USA
- 19 years old – 6’4 – 207lbs
- Drafted 22nd overall in 2018
K’Andre Miller is the most well known prospect throughout the Rangers fan base. The big defenseman is currently playing in the NCAA for the University of Wisconsin. He leads all U20 defenseman with 6 goals, and is tied for fourth in total points (11 points) through 18 games. He is a talented two-way defenseman who won’t likely see a lot of power play time in this tournament, but he will make a noticeable impact in other areas.
Zachary Jones, Defense USA
- 19 years old – 5’10 – 176lbs
- Drafted 68th overall in 2018
Zachary Jones is name that we will all get to know very well. Playing for UMass in the NCAA, Jones has been able to put up some good numbers through out his career. After putting up 52 points in 56 game with the USHL Tri-City Storm last year, Jones has amassed 12 points through 17 games in his first year at UMass. The young defenseman has already been rumored to be on the top power play, alongside Cam York, as well as the second defensive pairing.
Nils Lundkvist, Defense SWE
- 19 years old – 5’11 – 174lbs
- Drafted 28th overall in 2018
Nils Lundkvist. Remember that name. This kid is off to a scorching start in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). Through 24 games, with Luleå HF, he has put up 17 points. To put that in perspective, the next U20 defenseman on that list is Victor Söderström with 9 points in 15 games. His 17 points is also good for third in the league amongst all defenseman. A rather impressive feat for a 19 year old playing in his second season in Sweden’s top men’s league. Keep an eye on him, he will be second pairing and top power play with Rasmus Sandin.
Karl Henriksson, Forward SWE
- 18 years old – 5’9 – 174lbs
- Drafted 58th overall in 2019
Karl Henriksson is a strong two-way, defensivly focused center. He hasn’t had an extended look up in the SHL yet, but he has shown that he is ready to take that next step. Currently playing in Sweden’s Superelit league, Henriksson put up 23 points in 17 games. He was loaned to Södertälje SK, in Sweden’s Hockey Allsvenskan league, where he has had a slow start, only one point through 15 games. Given the amount of talent on this Swedish team, he should be slotted in as a middle-six center. Its a possibility that he might get lucky and have Alexander Holtz and Nils Höglander as his wings.
Nico Gross, Defense SUI
- 19 years old – 6’1 – 190lbs
- Drafted 101st overall in 2018
Nico Gross is a strong defensive defenseman. He is a strong skater and handles the puck well. That said, don’t expect a big offensive out put from Gross. He is in his third season with the Oshawa Generals, from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), he just may have found that offensive spark they’ve been waiting for. Gross has 19 points through 27 games, good enough to be the top scoring defenseman in Oshawa. Gross will be looking to roll this success into the tournament, to help earn a spot in Hartford sooner than later.
December 26th is fast approaching. With it, one of the most fun tournaments of the year. Hopefully this article was able to shed some light on the prospects that will be representing the New York Rangers this year. If you want to read up on other prospects going to the WJC, check out the rest of OTH’s coverage.
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