Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting this . . .

With future Badger Troy Hesketh drafted by the Edmonton Oilers, I stop by Guy Flaming's and Dean Millard's blog Coming Down the Pipe on a pretty regular basis, as they do a fantastic job covering Edmonton's prospects. And this evening, Millard posted 5 rookies to watch for in the AHL. I wasn't expecting any Badgers, as the Badgers don't have any players besides McBain (that I'm aware of) joining the professional ranks as rookies this season. (And while I like McBain a lot, 5 is an awfully short list to make.)

So imagine my surprise to see Ryan McDonagh at #4 . . .
4. Ryan McDonagh-Defence-New York Rangers
Will the Rangers ask Mcdonagh to leave Wisconsin after 2 years and turn pro? That's what I'm banking on with him on this list. The blueliner was involved in the trade that send Scott Gomez to Montreal and New York might want to get his pro career started. With Bobby Sanguinetti likely graduating to the big club this year there will be an opening on the blueline with the farm.
There hadn't really been any chatter about McD leaving early once it was relatively established that everyone but McBain was returning. But of course McD's situation may have changed now that a different team holds his rights, and that's something I didn't really think about until now. I don't follow the Rangers at all, so I have no clue regarding their player development philosophies or how much they might be itching to get him into the professional ranks. I suppose we won't know anything for certain until the first day of practice.

Damn you, Millard! Now I get to worry about this for the rest of the offseason. Didn't you know that McDonagh is one of the players I'm most excited about seeing back with the Badgers this season?

UPDATE: In response to my comments/questions on their blog post, Flaming respondes as follows:
I know the Rangers have a lot of solid looking defence prospects so I actually don't know if there would be a big rush to bring him out of college.
I'll let you know if Millard responds.