Last year, Kundratek was one of the more highly regarded Rangers prospects, and was even a dark horse to make this year’s club. However, after a lackluster camp, Kundratek’s struggles continued with the CT Whale. In some Twitter exchanges with Mitch Beck, it appears that Kundratek had fallen within the depth chart, and found himself as a healthy scratch in more than a few games with the Whale. Players like Stu Bickel, Tim Erixon, and Jyri Niemi appeared to have passed him on the depth chart....
This move was likely made to address the unbalanced nature of the Whale roster. Prior to this trade, the Whale had 12 forwards and 9 defensemen. Now, they will have 13 forwards and 8 defenseman.
Kundratek profile. Pretty much a no-brainer given Bouchard's future with the org. Another righty.
As a Wolfpack follower (cannot bring myself to say I follow the whale) I was and still am a big fan of Kundratek, something clearly went wrong from day one of camp, was he ready, was he fit, did he upset someone, or just no longer in the plans I have no idea.
You don't however go from being the most consistent Dman in the opinion of many last season to Persona non Grata in a few games this year, and having watched the Pack several times this season. Niemi, Bickel, Nightingale and Parlett are not in this writers opinion better than Kundratek.
Maybe a bit of a wildcard trade considering the above, but he certainly has the talent and ability not to be a career AHL player, and I think with so many "Euro's" in the Caps system I think that he is going to be more of a fit with the organization rather than with the Rangers.
Red Line 2008 had Kundratek ranked #42 overall. One-liner: Sturdy "D" can bang in corners and move puck.
As for Bouchard, not surprising.
Red Line Report's write-up of Kundratek:
Picked up his game at end of the season after disappointing year. Can either make a good first pass out of zone or carry the puck up to start the rush. Aggresive; likes to step up and initiate contact and plays a tough, physical game along the boards. Challenges forwards early. Still indecisive in front of own net where he's hesitant clearing the crease at times. Needs to improve d-zone coverage, positional play and reading developing plays. Tends to follow the puck too much. Can be soft mentally and loses poise under pressure. Above average straight line speed, good lateral agility and gap control, and quick turns/pivots, but needs to work on his backpedal. Also tends to stop moving his feet against the rush. Effective on PP with nice vision and ability to distribute the puck. Had a booming point shot he keeps low and on net.
Projection: Steady #4 dman with physical dimension.
Style compares to: Karel Rachunek.
Kundratek was listed as a player to be drafted later than Red Line's ranking of him.
Kundratek was ranked #63 in The Hockey News' Top 100 rankings for the 2008 draft.
Last edited by Marshall: 11-08-2011 at 05:47 PM.
I like the move. I suspect Collins recent bad game had a hand in it. And George's preference for a steady stream of right hand shots, of course. I like that he steps up, a Dmen brought in that we dont have to teach to go forward.
Plan the removal of Bouchard from next years 20 prospect polls.
I'd be surprised if he's on the short list for call-up duty but you never know. A change of scenery, a jolt of confidence and I guess it's possible in time once he gets the system. I believe Hershey now has 9D on their roster, though one or two aren't 100%. Hopefully this doesn't move Flemming down to SC.
I didn't realize Bouchard had zero points in nine games so far. He wasn't seeing top six duty IINM but...yikes.
I look at hockeysfuture and he is a 6.5C, which should means he got a chance cracking a nhl lineup oneday. He is still very young so i guess he is promosing and with right development we might see him in a caps jersey soon.
“I was asking for a trade because it was kind of a tough position in New York and Hartford,” Kundratek said Thursday. “I was so excited when I heard I got traded to Washington here, and I’m looking forward to be here.”...
“He’s got good size and looks like he moves pretty well,” Bears assistant coach Troy Mann said. “We’ll just have to see here over the next few games if we can get him in there to get a true evaluation.
“I don’t think you can 100 percent evaluate him after one or two games. You have to give him a body of work of four or five or six games and then assess what you’ve got.”
Change of scenery for both, who doesn't like this move. I wonder if he was afforded the freedom to step up in previous stops. Dont think kid, just go play your game. The way we go through RD when the playoffs start, I welcome George loading up on pinch hitters.