Blog Archives

Kevin Hayes and avoiding the sophomore slump

Bobby Bevilacqua

kevin hayes goal celebration 2-24

Kevin Hayes will be entering the second season of his NHL career, but will he fall victim to the dreaded Sophomore Slump? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The sophomore slump. The fear of all second-year NHL players as they continue their career. Whether it actually exists, or it’s all mental, it’s happened to quite a few players before.

For example, Nathan McKinnon scored 10 less goals and 15 less assists this season after capturing the rookie of the year award for the 2013-14 season with his 63 point (24-39-64) season. Jonathan Huberdeau had a strong showing with 14 goals and 17 assists in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, but failed to match that mark the next year despite playing in 69 games. However, he finished this last season with 15 goals and 39 assists, and is starting to show flashes of what the Panthers saw in his rookie season.

The Rangers have a few second year players in their lineup, such as JT Miller and Jesper Fast, but perhaps the most important one is Kevin Hayes, the big man out of Boston College. Read the rest of this entry

Which Rangers rookie/youngster had the biggest impact this season?

Bobby Bevilacqua

New York Rangers' J.T. Miller, right, celebrates his goal with Jesper Fast (19) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Rangers won 5-2. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

JT Miller and Jesper Fast were two of the bright spots in the Rangers’ lineup, showcasing the future of the organization. Photo courtesy of AP.

This past season, the Rangers saw the growth and emergence of many of their young prospects, with key contributions coming from rookies and second year players. While it’s always great to have experienced players on the roster, whether it be veterans or skilled guys with a few years under their belts, it is extremely important to have youth infused in the lineup, especially one’s that contribute.

There were two rookies on the Rangers’ roster, and both of them were a huge part of the team’s success in both the regular season and the playoffs. Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast were those two rookies, fulfilling two very different roles for the team.

And while JT Miller technically was not a rookie, but this was his first full season with the Rangers, and he certainly started to blossom into the player that the Rangers thought he would be when taking him 15th overall in the 2011 NHL draft.

Kevin Hayes, JT Miller and Jesper Fast all had important roles on the team, showing glimpses of the bright future that all three players have. Read the rest of this entry

Aaron Ekblad should win the Calder Trophy; Kevin Hayes impressive in his first season

Bobby Bevilacqua

aaron ekblad profile

Aaron Ekblad has had a tremendous season with the surprising Florida Panthers team, and should take home the Calder Trophy at the end of the season. Photo courtesy of Elliot J. Schechter/Getty Images.

Sorry Filip Forsberg, what you have done in Nashville has been tremendous, but Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers deserves to take home the Calder Trophy for the NHL’s most outstanding rookie.

Anytime you watch a Florida Panthers game and see Ekblad skating on the first defensive pairing, it’s easy to understand why Dale Tallon, the General Manager of the Panthers, drafted him with the first overall pick in last year’s draft. Read the rest of this entry