It's simply the experience factor. You can't just say these guys are ready, who knows if they and if they aren't. You seem to have high expectations for these kids, and who knows if they'll be able to meet them. I'm just saying don't go nuts, you seem to be riding these kids hard.
I hardly think that seeing what they have in camp is riding them hard. Nor is the expectation that a 25 year-old who has a strong camp can start the year as the 2nd line center. And asking Dawes to play 10-12 minutes on the 3rd line is hardly can example of riding hard.
that the proof is in the pudding with these prospects. We all like to pencil in our favorite players with descriptions of style from juniors or AHL into the NHL lineup. Why not? It's fun. But I think that at the same time, we're all realistic in that not all these guys are going to be NHLers, and not all will make the team in the role in which we want to see them, and not all will make the NHL on our timeframe. But it's a useful exercise, that is the exercise of going through the depth chart, to see where this team is deficient today, what's in there for the future, and who can plug the holes.
Dawes very well may not be ready. But he won't be the first undersized forward with around 30 goals in his first AHL season that made it to the NHL as a 21/22 year old. I mean, he's not going to grow any further and may not get very much stronger. He may not increase his skill very much either and thus may be ready to test the NHL waters. Helminen's about 23 and fresh off a second pro season in which he showed a scoring touch. Both seem to at least deserve a shot, unless those that see him everyday, in practice and in games, think differently. Then there are others like Immonen, who showed he can keep up in the NHL, and Giroux, who really hasn't. And Pock, who has mixed reviews, etc. These guys likely deserve shots at the NHL and I don't think any prospect, other than possibly Staal, would be rushed, a la Malhotra.
but, I do believe you can make valid arguments that the Rangers may be as good or better going forward. This isn't 1998-2004 anymore where the answer was crystal clear. It should make for a good series next season as the two teams are closer to even than they've been in a very long time.