Caught up with Brandon Francisco yesterday. Read more from the recently departed winger here.
I remember interviewing him before last season started and he was pretty pumped to be with the Rangers. Hard to believe he went from playing alongside Nail Yakupov to out of the league.
Kitchener GM/coach Steve Spott said there is always the chance that the club calls up him to play at the Aud. I'd say it's a long shot, but with last season's injuries, you never know.
The team was pretty clear that it is operating under the assumption that centre Andrew Crescenzi will not return. That leaves three OA spots open. I'd expect the Rangers to wait as long as possible to fill them up.
For starters, the club is already stacked with bodies. And if there is an NHL work stoppage, there could be a bounty of players heading back to the OHL and Kitchener could be in a great position to pluck some gems.
Imagine if London had to choose three of Austin Watson, Greg McKegg, Jared Knight, Mike Houser and Vlad Namestnikov? That'd leave a few beauties. A lot of the big names will play AHL hockey work stoppage or not but there is bound to be some trickle down effect.
Either way, if you're looking for teams that have an excess of OAs heading into the season, turn your attention to Barrie (9 OAs), London (9), Niagara (9), Oshawa (9), Sarnia (7) and Sudbury (5) as potential dance partners.
On the up and comers front, newly signed Kegan Blasby is coming to town with a bit of Rangers' knowledge. The Markham native is friends with Andrew Crescenzi, Franky Palazzese and Stephen Midensky.
Blasby brings a mix of size and skill and calls fellow Markham lad Steve Stamkos his favourite player.
"I'm really excited to meet all the guys and see how the tempo is in the OHL," he said.