Most Rangers fans were relatively unconcerned when the team parted with its 2013 first-round pick to help acquire Rick Nash. They recognized that the pick was likely to fall late in the 20s, giving it less value, and that New York’s farm system is already stocked with top tier prospects, making the pick less important to the club than it might have been a couple years ago.
The good news for the Blueshirts is that they’re well equipped to maneuver around efficiently in next year’s draft, meaning they could still be in position to scoop up a couple of strong prospects even without their valuable first-rounder.
That’s because New York currently owns its second-round pick, FOUR third-round selections, one in the fourth round and a sixth-rounder.
Several of those draft choices will likely be dealt at some point during the season, but as of now the Rangers have plenty of chips to climb up and down the draft as they wish next spring.
It may be difficult for New York to actually move back into the first round without also including a player in a hypothetical trade, but the Rangers could easily move up in the second round, add another second-round pick, or cycle through the middle rounds to pluck up players.
New York’s scouting staff has proven to be among the best in the league at finding middle round gems in recent years, so they could really have some fun next June.
Better still, the early consensus is that the 2013 draft is set to be one of the deepest in years. While it’s far too early to determine if that will be true or not, it’s certainly possible that some very solid talent will be there for the taking as the 2013 draft progresses.