Beller impresses at Rangers’ camp for prospects

As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
For Rainy River product Greg Beller, that chance came last week when he attended the New York Rangers’ prospect development camp in the Big Apple.
And he certainly made the most of the opportunity.
“It went pretty well,” Beller reported earlier this week. “I guess I did pretty good.”
The Rangers, who selected the Lake of the Woods Bears star in the sixth round of last month’s entry draft, were impressed with Beller’s skill, particularly his stickhandling abilities and scoring touch.
In fact, they were so impressed that the coaching staff even called on the 18-year-old sniper to demonstrate a few drills for the rest of those at the camp—primarily major junior or American collegiate players, many of whom are at least a year or two older than Beller.
Going into the six-day camp, Beller, who never got a sniff of attention from major junior scouts, admitted he wasn’t sure how he’d measure up to the other young guns, but said Monday he thought he “fit in pretty well.”
“I feel a lot more confident in my abilities than when I went in,” he remarked.
While a tender knee kept him from taking part in scrimmages last week, Beller did perform well enough at the 40-man camp to earn an invitation to the Blueshirts’ September rookie camp, where he’ll share the ice with goalie Al Montoya, sharpshooter Nigel Dawes, and some of the Rangers’ other top prospects.
In anticipation of that challenge, Beller’s focus for the next few weeks will be on rehabbing his injured knee, which kept him off the ice for about two months prior to the draft.
“I’m really trying hard to get my legs back in shape,” he said. “It’s really hard to get back the muscle that you lost and I noticed it out there.
“I was slower than I should have been and I was a bit weak on my feet.”
Beller, a left-winger, still is planning to suit up with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League this coming season.
Last year, he notched 23 goals and 25 assists in 21 games with the LoW Bears. He also appeared in a handful of contests with the Borderland Thunder.