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My Rangers draft wish list

First things first: this is a wish list for players that are realistic targets with the 28th overall pick.  Of course I’d prefer Nail Yakupov to anyone on this list, but he’s not coming to New York.  Second of all, while these are players that have caught my eye, it will be tough to question any pick the Blueshirts make on Friday night.  Gordie Clark and the Rangers’ scouting staff have been terrific in recent years, so I’ll be on board with just about any selection they make.  But if it were me running the team, these are five guys I’d target:

Tim Bozon

I’m a sucker for a good combination of speed and skill.  I’m an even bigger fan of that package when it’s attached to a 6’0”, 183-pound frame.  Bozon’s Swiss/French background is certainly unusual, but it doesn’t mean he’s not a great prospect.  Bozon is one of the better goal-scorers in the draft and the Blueshirts could use more of that in the pipeline.

Phil Di Giuseppe

I admit; the emergence of Carl Hagelin is probably an unreasonably large contributor to my optimism on Di Giuseppe.  However, Michigan is clearly a well-coached team and a solid prospect feeder, so there’s plenty of reason to believe that Di Giuseppe will turn into a solid player.  I like the natural offensive instincts, I like the size and I like the skating.  If he’s able to put it all together, he could turn into a star.

Jordan Schmaltz

I know the Blueshirts already have a puck-mover in Michael Del Zotto and that Tim Erixon projects to be one as well, but I’m of the opinion that you really can’t have enough defensemen with offensive ability.  The thought process that one stud attacking defenseman is enough is obsolete and stocking up on blueline weapons is becoming more popular.  Schmaltz hasn’t gotten enough attention for being an excellent distributor and is just learning how to handle his 6’2”, 188-pound frame.  If he can maintain his skating prowess as he fills into his body, he could become a deadly weapon.

Tanner Pearson

Here’s another polarizing guy.  It’s a fair concern that Pearson’s development may have already peaked, but I choose to believe that he’s just a late-bloomer.  He’s one of the better natural goal-scorers in the draft and racked up 91 points this year, which just doesn’t happen by accident.  Pearson has a great wrist shot and playmaking ability and is just beginning to commit to conditioning in the offseason. I also like the idea that he could be closer to breaking into the NHL than some other guys.  I don’t think the Rangers should necessarily be looking for a ton of long-term projects.  If a guy like Pearson can contribute in a year or two, that may be a plus for a team built to win now.

Tom Wilson

I’ve gone back and forth on Wilson repeatedly.  On the one hand, I can see the bull of a power forward with improving skills turning into a legitimate star.  But I’m just nervous about the complete lack of production at a lower level; is he really going to unearth that part of his game much later?  I have advocated for a high-risk, high-reward pick, and Wilson is definitely that.

What’s yours?

Just a reminder, all 2012 draft prospect reviews can be found on our Draft Coverage page.

20 Responses to “My Rangers draft wish list”

  1. Leatherneckinlv says:

    My wish list is Brendan Gaunce, Colton Scissions, Tom Wilson, Dalton Thrower, Henrik Samuelsson, scott Loughton and Nick Kerdiles. I think I would trade 28 to Columbus for 31 and 45 plus our own pick in the 2nd and we should get 3 good picks to stockpile the system with. Stefan Matteau seems like a solid pick as well but would be willing to let him go at 28 to get the players mentioned. Jordan Scmaltz just might fall to our own pick in the 2nd

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      I’d be all over Gaunce as well, just don’t expect him to drop that far. Skating scares me re. Sissons and Samuelsson. I’m not sure if moving up 3 spots is worth that to Columbus, but if they’d do it, I’m with you for sure.
      Don’t think there’s any way Schmaltz falls that far, way too many high on him.

  2. Seahorse says:

    tom wilson no doubt if he’s there. we need a lucic-like body on this team that can score or at least screen a goaltender. if not a line of prust-boyle-wilson would be scary on the forecheck

    • Kevin Baumer says:

      If Prust is even a Ranger past July 1 :)

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        It would be unwise to let Prust go, the man deserves a nice raise after all he has given to the Rangers. Give him what he wants for a change a deserving player will get a nice raise

        • Zen says:

          My guess is that he wants around $2.5M. Paying 4th liners that type of dough is terrible use of cap space, no matter what he brings in intagibles. Absolutely love the guy, but let someone else overpay him. If he wants to stay for Boyle money, then sounds great.

          • wwpd says:

            that sounds steep but who knows. Agree with you I’d double his current paycheck but 2.5 for 10 min per game/5 goals player is way over the line

            • Leatherneckinlv says:

              It is not just goals, that a hockey player should be defined by. He has the heart of a lion, often fighting opponents much larger than him, he kills penalties and above all he leads by example as well. He has great chemistry with the core of the team, some of the things I mentioned are traits that many players will never have

              • wwpd says:

                lets give him $10M a year then.

                in all seriousness, you have to draw the line somewhere. Would you give Prust $3M a year? $2.5? $2 I could swallow but after that the price tag starts to become pretty steep.

          • scrangersfan says:

            Agreed.

    • Rickyrants13 says:

      You do not draft Wilson to play him with Prust and Boyle.

  3. Brian says:

    I think Bozon will be picked if he’s availible. He just sounds like that typical Gordie Clark draft pick. Good size, good all aroud game but no ones ever heard of him. And as for Tom Wilson, his lack of production worried me to, until I started comparing his numbers to other NHL players and saw that his stats are very similar to Lucic’s in his draft year.

  4. Dave says:

    I want Dalton Thrower.

  5. ranger17 says:

    Erixon Dubie Thomas and our 1st to Edmonton for the #1 pick

  6. Rickyrants13 says:

    M wish list is changing a bit as I learn more about the players. I started off with Wilson, Zharkov and Hertl

    But I would be just as Happy with Laughton and Pearson with the 28th pick.

    My 2nd round guys would be Cristoval Nieves RW 6’3 190 who I would also be ok with the 28th pick. Since he is the top rated HS player in the draft IE Kreider. And also Brian Hart this RW is 6’2 215 and he is just leaving HS as well.

    Dark horse picks 2nd rd Or 3rd would be C Andreas Athanasiou. And 6’4 212 C Justin Kea

  7. Jess says:

    Not one of these guys other than Wilson rate being 1st round picks. If you are trading down then yes you go after these guys but not a chance at 28.

    And of this bunch Jordan Schmaltz is the only legit NHLer who fits the Gordie Clark mindset

    • Kevin says:

      Jess I believe you yourself have constantly referred to the 28th pick as essentially a second-rounder, no? So it makes sense that some guys with early second round value could be of interest with the third to last pick in the first.