The prospects are off the ice following their fourth day, though coach John Tortorella left for his Florida home after Wednesday's session. After starting with two days of conditioning and skating tests, today marked the second day the players did actual hockey drills and scrimmaged some after the ice was re-sheeted.
Based on this week, it's looking like the Rangers had a good draft in 2008. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto (20th overall), center Derek Stepan (51st), left wing Evgeny Grachev (75th) and defenseman Tomas Kundratek have all stood out at different times for different reasons. Del Zotto displays that same poise that marks Marc Staal's game, though he needs to manage the puck better at times. That, no doubt, will come with age/experience. Stepan showed good anticipation in both the offensive and defensive zones. Grachev is just a fluid skater/shooter with obvious goal-scoring instincts. At the end of the session, with a group of players including this year's picks Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque taking penalty shots on Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens, all but Grachev tried to impress with dipsy-does and other unnecessary moves. Grachev just skated in - repeatedly - and simply flicked puck after puck past Scrivens. Kundratek, paired the last two days with Del Zotto, showed good offensive instincts and an ability to move the puck, plus a hard shot. In one drill, though, Stepan beat Kundratek with a quick move then roofed a goal off the goalie's mask.
Also on my like list: Matt Gilroy (though that's hard to judge since the soon-to-be-25-year-old is so much more mature than the others) and Finnish defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen, who will be 25 in November and would seem likely to start the season at Hartford (AHL). Heikkinen has a hard blast from the point and a quick wrist shot.