For what it's worth, the annual preseason yearbook edition of The Hockey News rates New York Rangers center Scott Gomez of Anchorage as the 38th best player in the NHL. That's up from 41st a year ago, following his 16-54--70 totals in 81 games last season.
Says THN: "Rangers have to convince this guy to stop being a pass-first player and use his fantastic shot more.''
The magazine also pegged Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle of Anchorage as one of 10 players in the league who are looking for bounce-back seasons. Carle was an All-Rookie Team selection for San Jose two years ago, but struggled last season and was traded to the Lightning.
Says THN: "The promising blueliner dipped from 11 goals and 42 points (+9) in 2006-07 to two goals and 15 minutes (-9) last year and was often a healthy scratch. We'll see if he can rebound as a power play quarterback.''
The magazine pegs Gomez as New York's No. 1 center on the depth chart and second-year pivot Brandon Dubinsky of Anchorage as the club's No. 3 center. Carle is listed as a second-pairing blueliner. Colorado Avalanche enforcer Scott Parker of Eagle River rates as a sixth-line winger. Detroit Red Wings goaltender Ty Conklin is rated as the club's backup to Chris Osgood.
Former UAA Seawolves crash-and-banger/goal scorer Curtis Glencross is listed as a third-line winger for Calgary.
There might be more Alaska connections in the mag, but I gotta go to a football game.