It was an eventful week in amateur hockey between the KHL All-Star Game and college hockey teams diving in to the second half of their season. For starters, Morgan Barron registered a goal and an assist in Cornell University’s 2-0 shutout over Harvard University on Jan. 18 before dishing two more assists the next night in Cornell’s 5-1 win over Dartmouth. He added nine shots on goal between both contests and finished with a plus-three rating.
The New York Rangers’ 2017 sixth-round pick (174th overall) stretched his assist/point streak to seven games and recorded his fifth-straight multi-point game on Jan. 19. But we talked about him last week, and there are other Ranger prospects worth mentioning.
Vitaly Kravtsov Represents at the KHL All-Star Game
As the only teenager who participated in the 2019 KHL All-Star Game, Kravtsov notched a goal while representing the Kharlamov Division. The 19-year-old currently tops all KHL players younger than 20 in assists and points, and ties for first in goals this season. In 38 games with Traktor Chelyabinsk this season, the 19-year-old has accumulated 17 points (six goals, 11 assists).
The 6-foot-4 right winger was a standout at the 2019 IIHF World Juniors Tournament, combining for six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games for Team Russia. He led his team in shots (21), and also tied for fourth in scoring, but proved to be much more than a point-producer.
Per @Boogaard_2 Vitali Kravtsov played with a torn triceps in #WJC playoffs. He started to play C in November. Never played there before. Being a bronze medalist as a 1st line C with 12 games experience at the position is quite an achievement #NYR
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) January 6, 2019
Kravtsov slid in at center for Russia despite usually playing on the wing, displaying his versatility and willingness to fit the mold that his team needs. Apparently, he also played through a torn tricep during the playoffs. There’s nothing like having the opportunity to represent your country in the sport you love, but sacrificing his health and future in the sport by playing through the injury shows a lot of heart.
Kravtsov has turned a lot of heads in the KHL this season, giving people the idea that he will be a promising NHL player. Though there is more developing to do, he has still caused a lot of ruckus on some of the biggest hockey stages in the world.
K’Andre Miller is Emerging in College Hockey
In the University of Wisconsin’s 6-4 loss against the University of Notre Dame on Jan. 18, Miller registered the Badgers’ first goal of the night on the power play. In the first 20 games of his freshman season, the 2018 first-round pick (22nd overall) has a plus-11 rating along with five goals and a team-high 13 assists.
In 2018-19, Miller leads the Badgers in assists (13), points (18) and plus/minus rating. Of Wisconsin’s 63 goals this season, the 6-foot-4 defenseman has been on the ice for more than half of them (32). The lefty is currently tied for second among NCAA freshmen defenseman in points, as well.
Miller recently turned 19 on Jan. 21, which is wild to think about because he’s already accomplished so much in playing for Team USA in the IIHF World Juniors Tournament and on a division-I, Big-10 hockey team. He’s in the perfect type of development environment right now, playing for a competitive team that sees some of the toughest opponents in college hockey.
“The poise of this kid, for a freshman defenseman,” NCAA hockey broadcaster Colby Cohen said of Miller after his goal against Notre Dame. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it since I’ve been doing this broadcasting.”
Tyler Wall Anchors the River Hawks
In UMass Lowell’s most-recent weekend series with the University of Vermont, Tyler Wall posted a shutout in the second game, turning aside 25 shots through 60 minutes. The River Hawks swept the Catamounts as Wall collected his third shutout of the 2018-19 season and the sixth of his career on Jan. 19.
The Canadian has posted a 6-6-1 record through 13 starts between the pipes, along with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. In the NCAA, Wall ranks ninth in goals-against average and is tied for seventh in shutouts on a team that is currently riding a six-game winning streak in 2019. The junior also most recently was awarded Hockey East Player of the Week honors.
Wall, a 2016 sixth-round pick (174th overall), has earned the majority of minutes in net, splitting time with Christoffer Hernberg. The River Hawks are a solid Hockey East squad that has gathered a winning 13-8-1 record (.614 win percentage) and maintained a ‘tough competition’ reputation. Wall has had a hand in that reputation, serving as a solid goaltender who isn’t beaten too easily. Although, for the majority of 2019, he has found himself on the bench behind Hernberg. But after posting his clutch shutout against Vermont, it’ll be interesting to see if Wall’s playing time changes.
A senior sports journalism major at the University of Massachusetts with bylines in the New York Post, Stan Fischler’s newsletter The Fischler Report and the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, MA.