Jul
15

Future’s Looking Bright for Rangers First Rounders

July 15, 2017, by

lias andersson

It’s mid-July, which in the hockey world means any news is good news. These past two days’ news, also happens to be actual, real, good news to boot: the Rangers signed both of their 2017 first round picks, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil to 3-year entry level contracts.

This bodes well for a few reasons; at the very least it means that the two of them will be coming to North America eventually but I’d propose that there’s reason for further optimism here too. The Rangers’ “rebuild on the fly” may wind up bearing fruits earlier than expected.

Starting with Andersson, who was picked 7th overall and was something of a surprise at that, this means that the Rangers’ current issues at center shouldn’t last more than a couple of seasons, with an outside chance that it’ll all be resolved come training camp. That’s because Andersson has professed his strong desire to make the team out of camp, and given that the Swede’s work ethic and two-way game are considered his strong suit, there’s a non-zero possibility that it’s true.

Is it likely? Probably not, but at the very least he’ll get some serious time and experience playing in either the AHL or in Sweden, likely as the literal centerpiece of the revamped Hartford Wolfpack (or Frolunda). Give him a year or two down in the minors with maybe an occasional call up and we could see Andersson slotting into the lineup sooner rather than later.

Moving on to Chytil, the young Czech forward signing his ELC contract means that although he’s only 17, he’s ready to make some serious strides in his development as a future NHLer. Although he was picked 7th overall by the North Bay Battalion in the CHL Import Draft, it is near certain that, given his chance to play in a men’s league in the his home country or the AHL should he progress to that level, he won’t ever play a game for North Bay. This is good news. It means that Chytil is ahead of the curve in terms of growth and development and that eventually, the Rangers are going to have a very young, potential core player on their hands.

How long he’ll end up playing in either the Czech Republic or the AHL is beyond me, although I would guess given his age the Rangers would let him simmer in the minors a little bit longer than say Andersson. Still, even if he plays three years in the minors he’ll be just 20 years old when he makes it to the NHL. I’d be willing to bet however that he winds up playing less than that for either the Wolfpack or HC Zlin, his Czech team.

So what does this all mean? The Rangers will have a shot in the arm of young, high end talent down the middle much sooner rather than later, with returns on this year’s draft coming in as soon as this year if Andersson makes the team out of camp and at most maybe three years. Obviously these guys will still be rookies who’ll need additional time to develop at the NHL level (don’t expect them to score 50+ points in their rookie seasons) but the fact that they’ve already signed their first NHL contracts is certifiably good news.

The team obviously has faith enough in their abilities that they want them signed to ELCs now, which at the very least means the AHL or European equivalent is in their respective futures. At the top end is the idea, perhaps simply part of Andersson’s youthful bravado but perhaps and honest assement of his ability, that we begin seeing our first rounders in the NHL either this year or the next. The Rangers’ “rebuild on the fly” may begin bearing fruit sooner than expected, which can only be a good thing.

"Future's Looking Bright for Rangers First Rounders", 5 out of 5 based on 15 ratings.
Categories : Prospects

39 comments

  1. Jerry says:

    See the potential when you don’t give away high draft picks for well passed their prime “stars”……………………………

    • Richter1994 says:

      True enough Jerry, but you cannot always assume that the right players are picked in the draft.

      • Jerry says:

        I didn’t say they are sure fire, can’t miss players. That’s why I used the term “potential”.
        I realize there are opposing points of views concerning draft picks. I am from a camp that promotes building through the draft. Not only does that allow a team to pick POTENTIALLy good to very good players, but also allows those players to mature and develop alongside other young players, who they very well might be playing along side in the NHL. That maturity and development allow an organization to assess leadership qualities (picking the right captain and associate captains), builds comradery and a sense of loyalty to an organization.
        I think that is an under appreciated element and component of a team concept. And no one can argue hockey is a team game.
        That said, I am not against trading up in the draft. I just think first and second round picks should be kept. Then if you continually fail with the players you choose, look at the scouts.

        • Richter1994 says:

          There is no question that the Rangers are drafting much better now than in the past. We are all pretty familiar with the Rangers lack of drafting success through 2010.

          I like this year’s picks a lot. Chytil is under aged and potential steal at 21. And don’t be surprised if Andersson gets time with the big club this year, but I think he starts in Hartford unless he is lights out in camp.

          Some of the issue with trading away high picks is what the Rangers did with the players they received for those picks. Yandle being the poster child. I mean he should have been on the PP the second he got here and should have stayed there. He had the most assists by a Ranger D man since Brian Leetch. He was misused (shocker).

          • Jerry says:

            Eric Staal being a prime example of wasting assets. A high pick AND a ‘A’ prospect. And that one is on Gorton. As far as I’m concerned, Gorton’s only screw-up so far.
            I know one can argue, and argue legitimately, that E. Staal had a good year with the Wild. Stall bitched he wasn’t used properly in NY. A glowing example of not every player is a good fit for every team.
            That said, I still think Gorton shouldn’t have made that trade. And I was vocal about it when he made it.

            I am VERY happy with this years selections. And agree Chytil can be one of the steals in this years draft.

            Unless we trade for a legit #3 center, I think Andersson, with a strong camp, starts the season with the big club. He has experience playing against men, albeit in Europe, but he played against skilled men.

            Seems we went against typically acceptable draft procedure, drafting best available player, and with Andersson went with drafting for need.
            And as I said before, I like what we did in this years draft.

            I have lots of faith in Gorton.

            • Reenavipul says:

              But the wasting of that asset is on the coach.

              Pretty much the wasting of every asset(asides from Stepan/Raanta) is on the current coach of the New York Rangers. E. Staal, Yandle, McIlrath were all suboptimal in usage.

            • Richter1994 says:

              Look at what Staal did last year. He did fine. But in all fairness, everyone forgets that Staal got hurt in his first game as a Ranger against the Isles, so that was part of the issue as well.

            • Egelstein says:

              Are you trying to say that AV may have possibly incorrectly deployed a player in relation to the skill set in question? *GASP* I’m legitimately shocked by such an unfounded allegation!!!

              LOL

            • Egelstein says:

              Another thought on this: I personally can’t stand when teams ALWAYS take the “best available player” in the draft. There’s a time and place for both approaches. If your farm is in solid shape on offense, defense, and goal…by all means, take who you think is best. Same goes if your farm is in terrible shape in all three facets. However, I have no issue with any of my teams in any sport drafting to fill glaring needs between the farm and big league team. Draft picks are such a crap shoot in the first place, so my theory is if you’re really just looking firmly set in any one given area, why risk taking another pick in that area when they may not even work out? Take that risk in an area that could pay huge dividends towards building a complete roster down the line, I say.

    • Justin says:

      Whoa…slow down Jerry. Two entry-level contracts does not equate to an NHLer, much less two. There’s a lot of hype right now about these two kids. And certainly with reason. But who knows what either amounts to? I remember there being even more hype about a pair of high Ranger draft picks named Brendl and Lundmark. I also remember there being accolades sang of a young Guelph storm center named Malhotra –a guy who shares many parallels with Andersson.

      The trades I assume you are talking about –Yandle, Staal and MSL –were all made with the hope of going to the cup. And if the Rangers had ended up with one any of those years, you wouldn’t be hearing as much as a peep from the peanut gallery. I agree, it’s good to hold onto your picks. But I also believe it’s good to strike while the iron’s hot…

      • Richter1994 says:

        The Rangers do not make the Cup finals without MSL, IMO, not to mention keeping a 3rd liner like Cally that would have made $6M per, becoming another albatross contract.

      • Jerry says:

        Justin.
        The operative word in my post was POTENTIAL Nowhere did I intimate they were can’t miss players.

  2. AD says:

    I appreciate the article However, I cringe just a bit each time I see reference to the Rangers “rebuild on the fly” approach to roster management. It is a fair statement, but I suspect the end result will be a competitive team (i.e., 7-10th league ranking) with the next Stanley Cup pushed further and further into the future.

    “Rebuild on the fly” mentality is likely one meaningful reason why Stepan wasn’t traded last summer, when we reportedly had a quality package offered to us and Stepan’s value was considerably higher than this summer. This highwire balancing act of believing we can legitimately compete for the Cup (wanting our cake) and rebuild for the Cup opportunity at a later date (eating it too) just doesn’t strike me as probable in terms of yielding the desired results.

    In retrospect, we’ve missed the mark on off-loading Nash, Girardi and Stepan at optimal points in our roster development/reconstruction; I suspect Zuccarello could be viewed similarly at this point next summer as he enters the last year of his contract. Let’s move the reconstruction forward by a full season.

    • Jerry says:

      ‘Lotta’ truth there AD………………..

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      There is no foolproof way of building a championship winner outside of completely tanking for 3-4 years in a row and lucking your way into generational talents at the top of the draft. Many have tried, only a few have succeeded. What the Rangers are doing now (collecting as much young talent as you can) while trying to win is as noble a pursuit as tanking your way into a chance to get lucky in the lottery/right draft year.

      • Chris F says:

        Right on, RFiB.

        The Rangers have way too much talent to gamble it away in an effort to do a traditional firesale rebuild.

        I’m not interested in 4 years of garbage results in the hopes of winning the lottery. Staying competitive while making smart FA signings of college players, trades, and the occasional high draft pick is the way to go in today’s market.

    • JoeS. says:

      oh, Boo Hoo! JD, this is what I don’t get. Guys yell for change, but no matter the change, it is always calamity! That train is headed to Loser-ville! I will not be on it. However, Dave might!, LOL, right Dan!

    • Richter1994 says:

      I can’t disagree with what you say here, but here is my opinion: The Rangers are one Bozak or Anisimov away from being serious Cup contenders this year.

      The D is light years better than 3 months ago. Yes there is a hole at C but the offseason is not nearly done yet and I bet that Gorton fills it by October. Meaning Desharnais will be the 4th line C.

      So Andersson can safely start in Hartford to get valuable North American ice time.

      We are closer to the Cup now than since 2014 with one of the best top 4 D men in the NHL.

  3. JoeS. says:

    …and now, Dave is in on the confidence train!….All Aboard! Final destination…The Stanley Cup! woooooo, woo!

    • Dan says:

      Pat wrote this article …

      • JoeS. says:

        WOW! That explains it then, my bad! I thought it unusual Dave was on the train! Nice job, Pat!…and my sincerest apologies! ….Guys, in my defense, I have been on the beach in Florida for two weeks, brain is fried, for many more reasons than the sun.

  4. Reenavipul says:

    Andersson is a no brainer to start in Hartford if he doesn’t make the big club as there is nobody blocking his way in a top 6 role there.

    Chytil is tougher as though he’s got the right size as a draftee, unless he comes into camp 10 lbs bigger, he’s not ready. It would be a defeat if he went to North Bay as that organization is a bit of a mess.

    Day isn’t truly subject to this article, but at the same time he’ll start in Hartford at the worst case scenario.

    • AWDS says:

      I think the bigger problem facing Day etc is that unless Staal goes (and takes Holden with him somewhere), there is just no room for him or anyone else, really.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Day shouldn’t play in New York this season unless he’s lights out in camp, needs a year in Hartford for finishing school.

        Staal & Holden will be gone soon enough, just not soon enough for most people.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Day will start in Hartford but might be here by January. The Rangers have fast tracked this kid and so far Sean has met the challenge.

          Hartford will be a big step but I’m guessing that he does well. The kid is a beast.

    • mintgecko says:

      Andersson is starting on the 4c come October

      • Richter1994 says:

        I think he starts in Hartford for sure. Because Gorton will get a top 9 C pushing Desharnais to 4C.

        But things could change as the season moves along.

  5. Peter says:

    They have lined up some talent at center that is waiting to blossom. They’ve acquired DeAngelo and have Day, Pionk and Graves waiting to blossom as defensemen. Gorton is trying his best to rebuild on the fly. The Rangers don’t like the fire sale approach, although it can bear fruit (Toronto, Edmonton) it can be Painful for many fans. I think he is getting the pieces in place.

    • JoeS. says:

      First of all, let’s stop the nonsense of thinking in any world, The New York Rangers can use the fire sale approach to building a team. Fact is they can not use that method…. Why?… It’s New York! If you don’t understand that, you should be rooting for the Devils! There really is no other way than what is happening! JG is a puppet master and you will all be under his spell soon, very soon! LGR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Come on, Walt! Woo Woooo!

      • cd says:

        This mentality is why the Rangers have won 1 title in the last 77 years. Why the Knicks have not won a title since 1973. Why it took the Yankees from 1978 to 1996 and required a George Steinbrenner suspension to win another world series. This “It’s NY you can’t rebuild ever” mentality will keep the Rangers from ever becoming more than a good team able to compete for a playoff spot every year but always come up short of a championship. Am I saying blow it up today, no, but if this pattern of 90-100 points, 1st or 2nd round exit continues for a few more years it may be time to try the fire sale/full rebuild strategy.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Bingo Peter.

  6. Leatherneck says:

    The Rangers robbed Peter to pay Paul. They fixed a few problems and created new ones. Aside from the Center position, they did nothing to fix right handed shot forwards. This has been a glaring problem with zero point of emphasis to fix.

    The Rangers will be in the middle of the pack, every team got much better in our division, however our better is steps behind everyone. Only team that didn’t improve but still is quite lethal was the Washington Capitals.

    I can not see this being the team to start the season. I actually forecast another big trade involving a few players changing teams. If this team is not in playoff position in December, then I suggest this team go full rebuild and trade quite a few players.

    I have a feeling Skeij is going to be part of this said trade and my guess for the team we will be involved with is Winnipeg. Winnipeg and Anaheim are the two teams we match up well with as trade partners

    • Rod Seiling's Twilight Zone says:

      I’m a bit surprised that in your litany of complaints you didn’t include this gem of yours from draft day, especially in a post about our top two picks: “I will never complain about trading 1st round picks as long as this crew is running the draft….this was pathetic”.

      • AWDS says:

        To be fair, given this team’s track record with 1st round picks since the Sather Error err Era began, hearing the phrase on draft night “….going off the board here” with a ‘top pick’ will get a lot of people upset…

        • Rod Seiling's Twilight Zone says:

          Recognize these players?
          Thomas Hickey
          Angelo Esposito
          Kyle Beach
          Colton Teubert
          Dylan Olsen
          Derek Forbort
          Mark McNeil
          Joe Marrow
          Phillip Danault
          Ryan Hartman

          Since the 2008-9 season the Penguins, Kings and Blackhawks have won 7 of the 8 SCs. The above are some of their first round draft picks made between 2007-2013. Every GM makes mistakes. But an even bigger mistake is made by armchair GMs who insist they know more than very talented, very successful professionals.

          And while the Sather Era has not brought us a Cup, in no fair sense has it been an Error.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Skjei is not going anywhere, even for Trouba.

  7. JoeS. says:

    I think left handers can score as well, Can’t they, Dave?

    bet you said that last year too, Leather.

    So let’s worry about December, in July!, Hilarious! How, am I supposed to respect this line! LOL.

    …and I didn’t even give you a thumbs down! been scared, by Dave, to use it!
    Calamity Jane!

  8. Richter1994 says:

    Since Gorton truly took the reigns in June, 2016, he has done the following:

    Gotten rid of G and KK, with Staal and Holden to come.
    Added Shatty, Smith, DeAngelo, Pionk, and Bereg.
    Traded Stepan with the idea that he will start to decline from here.
    Giving up Raanta was not ideal but we should not get hysterical about it either.
    Drafted 2 high end talents in this past draft.

    Get that last piece, a top 9 C and we are serious Cup contenders. Zib will be signed soon enough.

    I also wonder if the Rangers will be in on Will Butcher when he is a FA this August.

  9. lv says:

    If Holden can’t be package up for a center, then he will bring back a draft pick. He can play 18 – 20 min per night…many teams could use him.

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