New York Rangers Keeping Tabs on Five Prospects During World Juniors

New York Rangers
Dec 23, 2019; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers right wing Jesper Fast (17) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers brass will have a little extra duty during the holiday season as they monitor the process of five Rangers prospects as they participate in the current U20 World Championships. The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic, is taking place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2020. Here is a look at the five prospects that are on rosters:

Nils Lundkvist

The Swedish defenseman was selected in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Rangers. Lundkvist has had a nice season with his Swedish Junior team. As he left his club team for the World Juniors camp, he was third in scoring among defensemen in the SHL. In 24 games, he has totaled 17 points.  Many feel that he could be playing over here as soon as next season.

K’Andre Miller

Here is a little quick fact about Miller: He was a child model appearing in Target ads and was even cast in a Honda commercial that featured former Rangers Mike Richter and Pat LaFontaine. This, of course, was before the Rangers took Miller with their second of three first-round picks in the 2018 NHL draft, at No. 22 overall. He had only been playing defense full time for the previous two seasons when he was drafted. Being converted from forward, he has the size, athleticism and tremendous skating ability to be a top defenseman. He was recently named as an alternate captain for the United States team.

Karl Henriksson

The Swedish center plays for Frölunda HC J20 in the J20 SuperElit league and will suit up for the Swedes in the World Juniors. The New York Rangers selected him in the second round of the 2019 Draft. has stated that his hands are soft and he can stickhandle well in tight situations and move the puck an inch to make a perfect tape-to-tape pass. Henriksson tallied a goal in Sweden’s pre-tournament game Monday against the United States.

Zachary Jones

The UMass/Amherst defenseman was born in the small town of Glenn Allen, Virginia to a minor pro hockey equipment manager who had his son in skates at an early age.  The USHL 2018-19 Rookie of the Year was drafted by the Rangers in the third round, 68th overall. The scouting report on Jones says that he has excellent vision and hockey IQ that makes him such a versatile player that can be used in all situations. It does not appear that Jones will be paired much with fellow future Blueshirt K’Andre Miller, but Rangers fans would love to see what this pairing could do together.

Nico Gross

The New York Rangers fourth-round pick in 2018 is entering into his third U20 WJC for Switzerland and has served as captain at other international tournaments.  The defenseman currently plays for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. One of his highlights this year was scoring a hat trick on Oct 4 against New Brunswick.  Gross is generally described as a mobile, physical and intelligent player.

Ranger fans who do not wait until Friday to see some hockey can watch the United States playing Canada on Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. ET, which is the first day of the tournament.  The NHL Network will carry that game as well as all of the US preliminary games.