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And the Rangers draft…

Over the next few weeks attention will naturally be on the Rangers sprint towards the finish line, a possible President’s trophy and home advantage in the playoffs; as it should be. However we like to do things a little different here from time to time. Why are the Rangers looking at the President’s trophy? Good drafting that’s why.

The current roster is littered with Rangers own draft picks; from Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan to Marc Staal, Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin. The core is very much a home grown one. With the likes of Chris Kreider and JT Miller on the way the pipeline is still very full. That’s because Gordie Clark and the Rangers continue to draft well and keep a focus on the future. With that said, over the next few weeks we’ll begin to look at players that may be called up to the stage in June’s draft by your very own Rangers.

As we do this we’ll consider a realistic drafting position and players likely to fall around where the Rangers are likely to pick. At this stage the Rangers are looking at drafting between 25-30th. Hopefully 30, if you know what I’m getting at.

Without further ado; here are the first few candidates that may appeal to the Rangers.

Colton Sissons

Position: RW Height: 6’1″ Weight: 189

Sissons is draft eligible this year and there’s a very good chance the Rangers have already had a look at the right winger from Kelowna. Why? He’s a team mate of current Ranger prospect Shane McColgan. Considered a good player in his own end with a tremendous work ethic he certainly fits the character mould of a Ranger draft pick. In fact, Sissons is considered one of the best two way players in the upcoming draft which is considered deep in talent, even if its lacking in elite talent.

Counting against Sissons as a potential Ranger pick is that at both the NHL level and with guys like Miller in the system the Rangers are well set at his position. That said, just when you think the Rangers don’t need another blue liner in the draft they go and pick Dylan McIlrath. With 26 goals in 56 games Sissons is having a solid second year in the WHL and leads his team in PP goals. Keep an eye out for the team first Kelowna captain (at just 18) in June’s draft. Currently projected to go late in the first round.

Stefan Matteau

Position: LW   Height: 6’1” Weight: 209

Yes, you recognise the surname and yes, you probably already know about the prospect, because of the surname. Matteau is another player slated to go around the period when the Rangers pick come June and will naturally be linked to the Rangers like a certain son of Jeff Beukeboom was.

The younger Matteau recently made the decision to leave the US development program and head to the Quebec Major Junior league and will suit up next year for the club his Dad coaches. The question here is, is he doing it because of the comfort zone associated with Dad being on hand or is he going to the junior circuit for the additional game time. Only time will tell. A physical player and a prospect that excels along the boards, like Sissons, Matteau has traits that are common on the current Rangers roster and that may make him an appealing (and popular) choice come June.

Matteau was leading his USNTDP U-18 team in scoring earlier this season and is known for crashing the net to score many of his goals. Again, with the likes of Hagelin excelling, Dubinsky under long term contract and Kreider on his way Matteau’s position is not one of immediate need but then the Rangers aren’t desperate for help at any position right now so they may go with the player they feel most comfortable with. Blood lines? Maybe

Nicolas Kerdiles

Position: LW Height: 6’2” Weight: 201

The Rangers have shown a fondness for players from the USNTDP in recent years. Think of guys like Ryan Bourque and JT Miller and there’s every reason they’d go back to the impressive production line that resides with the US national programme. Kerdiles – like Matteau – is a left winger and depending which prospect reports you read, like Matteau, is projected all over the first round; as high as 19 and as low as 31. Needless to say, he could be in Ranger territory.

In January this was even written about him: “A strong U18 Championship could make Kerdiles this year’s JT Miller.” Say no more. Considered a good skater, defensively aware and with ‘shooting skills to compete at the highest level’ Kerdiles is an intriguing prospect. A key reason the Rangers may be interested (aside from the fact you can never have enough quality offensive prospects) is that he is committed to Wisconsin next season so won’t be due in New York any time soon and the team can watch patiently as he develops. Oh, and the Rangers have had some pretty decent experiences with Wisconsin players recently haven’t they?

Next week we’ll look at another three potential Rangers draftees. 

17 Responses to “And the Rangers draft…”

  1. Walt says:

    A little too soon for this type of article, but interesting just the same. If the draft is deep with talent this year, that is another reason Sather made the right choice not to get Nash at this time.

    • Chris says:

      A little too soon? The draft is 3 and a bit months away and prospects are also approaching the business end of the season – so it’s interesting to see who’s positioned where.

      The draft apparently is deep but not top eend skill deep so wouldn’t be stunned to see the pick moved. Obly glenny knows!

      • Walt says:

        Chris
        Right now we are thinking play-offs, and a run at the cup! Sorry to offend you but my mind is on the Pens, Devils, Flyers, Jets. See where I’m coming from? Nopthing personal!!!

  2. voidoid says:

    What about a goaltender? It’s probably the weakest position in our system at this point aside from the NHL level. Draft a top prospect and let him mature at a natural pace in juniors and the AHL until eventually he’s ready – if the kid is 18 now maybe he’s 23 or 24 by the time Henrik decides to retire with his three Cups and four Vezinas…

    Maybe it’s a year or two too early, who knows…

    • Justin says:

      Don’t worry void, I’m going to take a look at potential heirs to the throne in a draft post looking at what goalies the Rangers could potentially go after. Great post Chris, the NHL draft doesn’t get nearly enough coverage or analysis. Keep ‘em coming!

  3. rwa says:

    also think a little early, but do you really think we will still own it by draft day

  4. Matt J says:

    What shocked me last year was the rangers drafted JT Miller. While I’m certainly glad they drafted him, they definitely could have waited to draft him. The post draft reaction it seemed like he wasn’t really on anyones radar.

    With that being said I wouldnt be so upset if the rangers traded their first round pick if theyre going to take an under the radar player. They’ve done well in later rounds and while this draft is deep all the cant miss prospects will be gone by the 20th pick probably. Just seems to me this first round pick could be a decent enough bargaining chip to gain more picks or package it for a solid player.

  5. The Suit says:

    IN GORDIE I TRUST…that’s all I got.

  6. leatherneckinlv says:

    You should take a look at Tom Wilson as well, seems like a good forward. I would be cool if the Rangers traded up in the draft for a selection in the top 12 based on how the selections went to select Jacob Trouba or Griffin Reinhart whom both are defensemen. Key to next year is signing Parise and devloping Kreider, with outside shots of Thomas and Miller impressing to gain a roster spot. If Kreider does develop then signing Parise is not as vital. 2 players that are off of people’s radar are Yogan and Fogerty. Their development is different that Yogan must earn a spot in Hartford and progress where as Fogerty would benefit in joining the OHL or WHL to continue as a junior prospect. These two kids have a ton of upside and size. Yogan can project as a big power forward, his nemesis being his work ethic and hockey sense. Thankfully we have a great system in Hartford to teach our prospects.
    If Miller can move up then I am sure we will start to see a couple of trades happening next year bordering blockbuster kind.

    So we have Kreider, Miller, Thomas, St Croix, McIlrath and Erixon making a push for the big show next year and whomever not making the Rangers getting time in Hartford, and continued development of Fogerty, Yogan, Wilson, Faseth, Noreau, Cesernak and Partlett. Not bad at all

    • Sioux-per-man says:

      With Kreider & Erixon with a real chance to make the Rangers out of camp. The rest will have score in the AHL and rise to the top. Don’t forget about JAM on the Whale, he’s a rookie in the top 20 of all AHL scoring. That says something for a young prospect.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Parise are you mad. He is not a MAX player period. Big contract players have to be game changers in this the hard cap era. He isn’t Malkin,Stamkos or sid those are players you throw big dollars at. Parise is a solid player, the cost would be high in so many ways to this team. Glen should stay the course we are ahead of schedule let this group have success build thru the draft more young, skilled and hungry{tough}players are on the way. Patience please. BR will never play up to his contract.I was again that signing and he looks old already in year one. He will have to LEAD us to the cup to prove me wrong not just be on board when we win it.Dont sign Parise.

    • Mike B says:

      leather, you are just absolutely in love with Parise, aren’t you? He scares me the exact same way Gomez scared me 5 years ago. Parise is a nice player, but would be an albatross contract. He’s going to get max money, so Sather should, run, not walk, in the other direction. He is not the right fit for this team. I’d like to see the Rangers stay the course with what they have and maybe add a smaller scoring piece that still has something left in the tank like a Ray Whitney or even a Milan Hejduk on a one year deal.

  7. Sioux-per-man says:

    Steffan Matteau had committed to the Fighting Sioux program, befor he bailed to play for his Father. He was highly recruited on both sides, he sure has the size and skill to be and NHL power forward. Can never have to many of those assets in the pipeline.

  8. Mike B says:

    Provided the Rangers are drafting in the 25-30 slot as we expect, that’s an area of the draft that is traditionally difficult to call. It’s the first stage of the draft where you can start considering a “draft for needs” selection rather than just “take the best player available”. When you’re picking in the first 20 or so players, you just take the best one out there because there’s a pretty good chance that player will be an NHL player. Once you get past that, you absolutely never know. So you can look at a guy you think might be a bit more of a project or may have a foundation to be a specialist of some sort. It’s where you can look and say, is there a guy who could quarterback our power play in 5 years or, is there a shut down defenseman who could replace Girardi in 5 years, etc. Of course, I’d like to see someone who could quarterback the power play tomorrow, but I digress. Should be an interesting draft class this year, I’m hearing that it’s not very heavy in any one position, we’ll see.