Read: Conor Allen’s progress and potential future

Conor Allen9/5/14 | 2:39PM: Allen is ranked 10th on the Rangers prospect list and the organization was happy with his performance during his brief call up last year. (Hockey’s Future)

It’s expected that he will start the season in Hartford. (Hockey’s Future)

8/29/14 | 3:38PM: Conor Allen could be a third-pairing defenseman who is solid but “doesn’t stand out in any regard.” (ESPN Insider)

The 2014 Hockey News Future Watch says that Allen is a late maturing player but who has a good first pass, makes the right reads and reacts quickly. They had him ranked 4th on the Rangers prospect list.

Ranked as the 4th Rangers prospect  in the 2014 Hockey News Yearbook, they say that Allen had a “good rookie” season and has him making the NHL in 15-16.

Allen could develop into a player similar to Anton Stralman and has good vision and is a good skater. He is projected to make the NHL in 2015-16. (

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Read: Dylan McIlrath, Conor Allen and when they will be ready

Dylan McIlrathDuring a chat with the Rangers website before the draft, Jeff Gorton and Gordie Clark were asked about where Dylan McIlrath and Conor Allen are in their development and whether they can help the Rangers soon.

Jeff Gorton said, You never know until you give them a chance. Sometimes the AHL is a harder league because things are more scrambly, things are slower, less hockey sense, things are one level down and it’s harder on the defense. I think that until we give them an opportunity and let them play 10-15 games, we won’t know that answer. We think that they are close and players who can play a few games when we need that and I think it will play itself out in the preseason. Hopefully they have great summers and start to push guys.” (Rangers)

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Stats/Watch: Wolf Pack win 4-0

The Wolf Pack beat the Sound Tigers 4-0

  • Conor Allen: 1 goal, 1 assist, plus 2, 4 shots
  • Dylan McIlrath: 1 assist, plus 2, 4 shots, tripping penalty
  • Ryan Bourque: 2 goals, plus 3, 3 shots
  • Marek Hrivik: 1 assist, plus 3, 2 shots
  • Oscar Lindberg: plus 1, 2 shots
  • Jesper Fast: 1 assist, plus 3, 2 shots
  • Danny Kristo: 1 goal, plus 1, 2 shots

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Stats: Conor Allen’s second NHL game

Conor AllenIn his second NHL game, Tuesday against the Panthers, Conor Allen played 11:29 but only saw 2:46 in the third period.

When asked about Allen after the game, Alain Vigneault said that with the Rangers being down a goal he wanted to go with his more experienced players in the third period.

Allen attempted two shots, both blocked, and also blocked one shot.

Extra Skater says that Allen was on the ice for 7 attempts for and 7 against at 5 on 5 and 3 shots on goal for and 5 against.

Allen started 36.4% of his shifts in the offensive zone, 36.4% in the neutral zone and 27.3% in the defensive zone.

He played mostly with Marc Staal but also saw time with Ryan McDonagh.

Read/Stats: Conor Allen’s Debut

Conor Allen4:47PM: Vigneault said today that Allen wasn’t “jittery” with the puck and wasn’t afraid to make small plays, like taking a hit to make a play, to advance the puck out of the zone. (Daily News)

11:11AM: In his NHL debut last night, Conor Allen played 15:47 including 6:59 in the third period.

Allen was on the ice as late as 1:37 left in the game. He had two shots on goal and one shot blocked.

According to Extra Skater, while Allen was on the ice, the Rangers had 9 shot attempts for and 13 against.

Alain Vigneault said after the game, “he was one of our better Ds. He out played some of the other guys and deserved to be out there. He was poised with the puck, not afraid to take a hit to make a play. That is why he got that ice time.”

Ron Duguay said after the game that he didn’t think that Allen looked nervous on the ice.

Allen said after the game, while talking with John Giannone:

  • It was pretty cool. I was more nervous not to hit Hank in the head in warm ups. It’s important that we got the win. To say that I played in the NHL is pretty cool.
  • On his poise, “I think I just tried to rely on what I have always done. I might have looked more poised than I was feeling.
  • On his late game, shifts, “It was great and I was happy to do it. I didn’t think about it too much. Just think about who was on the ice and I knew that these two points were important.

Adam Rotter: I was impressed with Allen. He really did look comfortable on the ice, comfortable with the puck and just steady. I think that Allen, even if Marc Staal and Anton Stralman come back tomorrow, should play over some of the other defensemen and at least get a couple of games before the team decides whether to send him back. He played more in the third period on Sunday than Dylan McIlrath did in his second game and overall played more in one game than McIlrath did in two.

Note: Conor Allen May Make His Debut Tonight

Conor Allen

12:45PM Allen will play tonight. (Rangers)

8:30AMAfter being called up after Friday’s loss to the Capitals, Conor Allen practiced yesterday and may play tonight if Anton Stralman can’t go.

Allen has spent his first pro season in Hartford with the Wolf Pack and Alain Vigneault said that he liked what he saw from Allen, especially hockey sense, during training camp. (NY Post)

Allen said that the first month of the year featured a “steep” learning curve but he has found a more comfortable play in the last month or so. (Daily News)

Allen says that he needs the most work and needs to focus the most in the defensive zone and that Jeff Beukeboom has been a big help. (Daily News)

Ken Gernander likes Allen’s ability to move the puck, his decision making and Allen has recently stepped into a bigger role and assumed more minutes. (Daily News)

Recap: Alain Vigneault’s Comments Today

Alain Vigneault met with the media today after the Rangers practiced, via Carp from Rangers Report:

  • On seeing Derek Stepan, “it was my first time seeing him in a practice, I thought he looked real good. I expected it. He wasn’t in Banff and he wasn’t on the trip so I thought he would be fresher than the other guys after 4 games in five nights. I expected him to be fresher and for a first practice with his teammates he looked sharp.”
  • On Chris Kreider, Jeser Fast and JT Miller “I thought Chris had a good camp but at the end of the day and made the assessments on who should start here and with what role, we came to the conclusion that he needs to play. As much as I believe he is real close and can play in the NHL, he needs to play big minutes and good minutes and I felt that with this group I wouldn’t be able to give him those minutes. That being said, we had some decisions to make and when I looked at Fast, I liked his hockey smart and skill level. Being a right-hander and Ryan not being here at the start I thought it was a good fit. Miller just got better as camp went on. He did good things offensively, he has work to do, but he has a foot in the door and we will see how he does in the battle to stay in the top 12 forwards.”

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Read: Looking At The Final Defense Spot

Alain VigneaultWith the Rangers cuts today, the team has nine defensemen remaining and two fighting for the potential eighth defense spot.

Anton Stralman, Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, John Moore, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi are the top six while Justin Falk appears to be the seventh defenseman.

Stu Bickel and Conor Allen are the two players battling for the eighth spot.

  • Bickel has played:
    • 17:46, minus 1, 9 PIM, 3 shots blocked, 3 hits, 1 giveaway against the Flames
    • 20:35 with 1 shot that missed the net, 1 hit and 1 blocked shot against Devils.
  • Allen has played:
    • 20:36 with 2 shots, 1 blocked, 1 that missed the net, 2 hits and a takeaway against Edmonton
    • 20:27 with an assist, 1 shot blocked, 2 that missed the net and one blocked shot against the Flyers.

Bickel is in the final year of a two-year deal and has a cap hit of $750,000.

Allen is a rookie, signed to a two-year deal, and has a cap hit of $1.775 million.

Adam Rotter: Allen costs over $1 million more against the salary cap than Bickel and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to keep him as the eighth defenseman when he could go to Hartford and play big minutes. At this point we know what Stu Bickel brings, shaky defense but a willingness to fight, while Allen is mostly unknown but has shown to be solid so far in the preseason. I think Bickel ends up holding the eighth spot for the first month of the year, especially because he has some experience playing forward. It isn’t always pretty when he plays forward, but with the Rangers in a cap crunch it always helps to have versatile guys.