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03-09-2012, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New York, NY
Kevin O published a piece on Rankin late last night, probably in today's D&C ... third quote block tells you all you need to know about his game ...
Amerks' Rankin took a long road to AHL
Position: Right wing.
Height/weight: 6-foot-1/196 pounds.
Age: 25 (turns 26 on March 28).
Hometown: Portage, Mich.
College: Four seasons at Notre Dame. Degree in accounting. Fighting Irish rookie of the year in 2004-05.
“Grudge” against Gerbe: Nathan Gerbe (Sabres winger) and Boston College defeated Rankin and Notre Dame in the 2008 NCAA title game. “He stole my ring from me,” Rankin joked.
Big year: He signed an AHL contract with the Amerks on Monday. On Dec. 22 he became engaged to Jenna Lento, who he met playing in Toledo. You can see the video of his proposal on YouTube. “It wouldn’t upload to email so we had to post it on YouTube so her parents could see it,” he said.
“I debated quitting numerous times,” Rankin admitted. “You’re in the Central League, your coach isn’t playing you, and that degree (from Notre Dame) is so powerful. You’re looking toward building a family and settling down and having kids.”
Rankin is not a grinder, he’s not a checker and he’s not a fighter. His game is producing points.
He has good hands; the puck doesn’t bounce off his stick, it sticks. He doesn’t skate past the net, he drives toward the crease and finds a way to stay there.
Putting him on the fourth line wasn’t going to do him, or the Amerks, any good. You don’t try to blow snow with a lawnmower; Amerks coach Ron Rolston knows that. So he put Rankin in a role that made sense.
He used Rankin with scorers like Derek Whitmore and Paul Szczechura. Now he’s with Phil Varone and Colin Stuart.
“A lot of times you bring those guys up and they end up playing with guys that dump it in and slap it around,” Rolston said. “He has good skill and he works hard. He competes hard. And he’s just slippery out there.”
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