Rangers Prospects at the Memorial Cup

The Memorial Cup is an annual tournament to decide the winner of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The tournament includes the winners of the Quebec Major Junior League (QMJHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Western Hockey League (WHL). The host city is determined almost a year in advance and that team is guaranteed a spot in the tournament.

The 2017 Memorial Cup featured the:

  • Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL Champions)
  • Erie Otters (OHL Champions)
  • Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL Champions)
  • Windsor Spitfires (OHL Host Team)

So how do the New York Rangers fit into the Memorial Cup? It’s simple; two of the Blueshirts best prospects played in the tournament for the CHL’s biggest prize.

Photo Credit: Doug Wescott

Ryan Gropp – Seattle Thunderbirds: After winning the WHL title with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Gropp and his very talented team were off to the Memorial Cup with big dreams. Gropp was hoping to continue his dominant season but he ultimately fell short of that goal. He posted an assist in three games, but it was not just Gropp who was struggling.

During the tournament, the Thunderbirds struggled offensively and the team only managed to score three goals during the entire tournament and were sent home early with a 0-3 record. The WHL playoffs lasted longer than the other leagues leaving Gropp and Seattle with the least amount of rest before the tournament. Thunderbirds management had higher expectations and that message has been communicated clearly. Expect Gropp to bounce back and put in a solid offseason effort to prepare for the big leagues. He is coming off of a career high of 35 goals, 49 assists in only 66 games, he remains one of the Rangers top prospects and he has a bright future ahead.

Expect Gropp to bounce back and put in a solid offseason effort to prepare for the big leagues. He is coming off of a career high of 35 goals, 49 assists in only 66 games, he remains one of the Rangers top prospects and he has a bright future ahead.

 

 

Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/NHL via Getty Images

Sean Day – Windsor Spitfires: Day was traded to the Windsor Spitfires at the beginning of the season and, luckily for him, that team happened to be hosting the Memorial Cup this year. A massive player by junior hockey standards, Sean Day is a 6’3″, 230-pound defenseman who possesses an elite skill set. The trade to Windsor lit a fire in Day and he hit the net 12 times and had 32 points in 58 games. He continued his success into the postseason registering five assists before falling to the London Knights in seven games in the first round. Day and the Spitfires wanted more, and boy did they achieve it. Sean Day had one assist and was a +3 in five games at the Memorial Cup. The +3 was good enough to land him tied for sixth in the tournament, and his defensive ability helped the Spitfires capture the Memorial Cup.

Coming off a solid season and adding a Memorial Cup to his resume, it appears that he has slain any demons that had hindered his ability in the past.

Since he was drafted by the New York Rangers, everything about him has been extremely positive. He’s finally blossoming into the defenseman that was granted exceptional status by the OHL. Sean Day is a rising star and with the state of the defense in the Big Apple, Rangers fans should believe the hype. He has the potential to be the next big thing on Broadway.

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