The Rangers were relatively quiet on draft day. After making the decision to hold on to Brad Richards, a quiet day for the Rangers was expected, since they have little room to maneuver under the $64.3 million cap. Despite a quiet day, the Rangers lucked out in the third round, as two highly skilled players fell to them due to various reasons.
The first trade of draft day was actually made by the Rangers, when they sent RFA forward Benn Ferriero and a 2014 6th round pick to Minnesota for defenseman Justin Falk (Note: Not Justin Faulk from Carolina). This move addressed the Rangers need for defensive depth while giving up very little of actual value. The Rangers have a logjam of AAAA guys, and while he does have value, the Rangers needed to address their depth issues on the blue line.
As for the draft, the Rangers selected LW Adam Tambellini (son of Steve) at #65, Pavel Buchnevich (LW from Russia) at #75, Anthony Duclair (LW) at #80, defenseman Ryan Graves at #110, and goaltender Mackenzie Skapski at #170.
Adam Tambellini – LW, Surrey (BCHL) – 3rd round (#65)
Tambellini is a bit of a project pick, much like Steven Fogarty from 2011. Tambo was over a point per game for Surrey in the BCHL, putting up a line of 36-29-65 in 52 games. Now committed to the University of North Dakota, the 6’2, 175-lb winger will look to improve upon his high scoring ways. Corey Pronman noted that Tambo has a good frame, solid skill set, and is a good skater who protects the puck well. Jason Williamson, his coach in the BCHL, noted that Tambo is “very smart for his age and anytime he gets the puck on the offensive side of the red line he’s very dangerous. His shot, his release are at an NHL level already so once he packs on a few more pounds it’s going to be quite scary.”
Pavel Buchnevich – LW, Severstal (KHL) – 3rd round (#75)
Buchnevich actually slid a bit, and fell to the Rangers at #75. Hockey Prospectus had him as the #17 prospect in the draft, and had a solid review of the winger:
Buchnevich had a quality season in Russia and in international play, despite suffering injuries during parts of the year. The obvious aspect of his game is his skill level. He has high-end puck possession skills, with top-of-the-line hands and hockey sense. He shows good offensive instincts, standing out through his reads and creative decisions. He can be a quality passer, although he is prone to the selfish play now and then. An NHL executive told me that he has the offensive ability to dominate, at times. His skating garners a mixed bag of reviews. One scout described it as average, with another saying he is very good, thanks to his impressive acceleration and ability to put defenders on their heels. Buchnevich’s area of concern is his physicality. He is roughly average in height, but he needs to add major bulk. His style of play is not one of physical intimidation.
Clearly, Buchnevich is a very skilled guy with great skating ability. The Rangers sorely need skill, and Buchnevich will fill that hole. It’s going to be interesting to see how quickly –if ever– he comes over to play in the US. He has a three-year contract with his club in the KHL, so that’s likely why he slid.
Anthony Duclair – LW, Quebec Ramparts (QMJHL) – 3rd round (#80)
Duclair is another guy who slid to the Rangers, as he was originally projected to be a first round pick but dropped due to inconsistency. THW noted that Duclair is a high quality player with tremendous speed, but injuries and a suspension from then-GM Patrick Roy led to some concerns about the kid. However, the Rangers appear to have drafted a very good prospect. Like Buchnevich, Duclair is offensively skilled, but he needs to work on his play without the puck to truly meet his potential.
Because Duclair was a potential first round pick earlier this year, there is a lot of information on him and a lot of good quotes.
From Ryan English, QMJHL Contributor – The Scouting Report:
“Duclair has elite foot speed and can accelerate as well as any player in the QMJHL. He entered the league fairly slight, but has put on significant weight since and it has helped his game around the crease. He was slowed down a little bit by an ankle injury earlier this season but he’s back to his usual self now blowing by defenders and setting up his teammates at full speed. With his lethal combination of speed and skill, he has all-star potential but will have to improve his all around game to realize it.”
From Chris Peters – CBS Sports:
“A highly skilled forward, Duclair has some really strong goal-scoring ability and is a good distributor of the puck. Having battled some injury troubles already this year, Duclair now will be without regular linemate Mikhail Grigorenko. His offensive instincts to go along with high-end speed should help him overcome losing an elite linemate.”
From Aaron Vickers, Managing Editor – Future Considerations (via FC’s Prospect Profile)
“Duclair possess one of the best skating strides in the entire 2013 draft class. The first thing that jumps out about him is the high speed he plays at. He consistently beats defensemen out wide. His acceleration is very impressive and he gets to his top speed very quickly. He’s incredibly agile and a very shifty skater. He has very impressive puck skills considering he’s constantly at high speeds. Duclair has the puck on a string at times, and can make defensemen and goalies alike look silly. He’s very creative with the puck on his stick and is incredibly dangerous 1-on-1 or on a breakaway. His shot is accurate and comes off with a good release. He has the ability to make crisp, accurate passes and find open teammates but is considered more of a finisher.”
From Corey Pronman at Puck Prospectus:
Duclair exploded onto the scene in the QMJHL in 2011-12, posting a little over a point per game as a 16-year-old. He followed it up with another quality campaign, despite a drop in his scoring rate. Duclair is a dynamic, exciting player, with high-end skating, if not better. He can be fun to observe because of his great speed, easily turning on the jets and putting defenders on their heels. Combining that skating ability with his great puck skills gives him the flair to create scoring chances and goals out of nothing. He shows the ability to make some quality passes, and although I wouldn’t describe him as selfish, he can try to be too flashy in his rushes. In addition, he sometimes attempts to force passes that are too difficult. Although he shows some decent work ethic in physical battles, he could stand to bulk up a fair amount, and he needs to continue to work on his defensive game.
Clearly, Duclair has a lot of upside. But if this pick is to work out for the Rangers, Duclair will need to show this season was a blip on the radar, and show he can improve and be more consistent.
Ryan Graves – D, PEI Rocket (QMJHL) – 4th round (#110)
At 6’4, 220-lbs, Graves is one big dude. Unfortunately, there isn’t much on him. He wasn’t ranked by Hockey Prospectus. He put up a line of 3-13-16 this season as well. He was listed as a “B” skater by the NHL CSS. An article by Vanguard noted that Graves has picked up his off-ice workouts to improve his game. The work ethic is there.
That’s all we could find on him. If you know more, please let us know.
Mackenzie Skapski – G, Kootenay Ice (WHL) – 6th round (#170)
Skapski fills a much-needed hole in the Rangers prospect depth chart at goalie. The 6’3, 185-lb netminder posted a 34-25-1 record with Kootenay this year, along with a 2.85 GAA, a .910 SV%, and 7 shutouts. Skapski actually attended Minnesota Wild development camp in 2012, and the guys there couldn’t find a scouting report (just like me). However, they posted a nice video, which I re-posted below.
The Rangers had a very solid draft, highlighted by their two steals in the third round. The general feeling with a draft is that if you have one player pan out, then it was a good draft. With Duclair and Buchnevich, the Rangers have added two very high skill guys. If even one pans out, then it’s a very successful draft, all things considered.