The major prospects that might be available to the Rangers at #9 have been reviewed, and it’s likely the Rangers will be able to grab at least one of the seven listed above. If they grab one of the big three, well I apologize for not reviewing them, but rest assured they are all awesome.
Now we are getting into the next level of prospects, those that will more than likely be there after the top-ten. This is the area where we might see the Rangers move up from 26 (Boston) or 30-31 (Tampa), or if they like one of these guys they might trade back. These are mostly high ceiling guys, but more boom or bust potential.
Farabee is one of the biggest movers in the rankings as time passes. The 6′, 180 lb winger (lefty) is committed to BU next year, and is coming off an electric year with the US National Team. At the World Juniors, he put up 4-4-8 in 7 games. He also put up 15-25-40 in 26 games with the USNDTP.
Farabee was expected to go in the middle of the first round, but might now actually sneak into the top-ten if a team reaches. Being a skilled skinny American in the first round has been a good pick lately (Keller, DeBrincat, Gaudreau, etc), so size shouldn’t be an issue. You know, 18 year old kids stay skinny forever.
Farabee is a very skilled and smart player who plays in all situations. He’s a born playmaker with dangerous speed that throws defenders off guard. He can go from 0 to 60 very quickly, which helps him burn the opposition and create chances. He has a pro shot already with a quick release. He has the skill set to be a top line winger. He’s very high ceiling, but whether he gets there is a different story.
I’m going to be upset if the Rangers draft him because I will never spell his name right. But other than that, Kotkaniemi is another solid Scandanavian kid who is all around solid. The 6’2″, 190 lb Finnish center uses his size to protect the puck and work down low. He’s not a burner, but that doesn’t mean he’s a slouch on his skates either. To be effective low like that, you need to be strong on your skates with balance and agility, and Kotkaniemi has all that.
As with most kids in that region, Kotkaniemi has great vision and hockey IQ. He sees the ice well, which helps him out as a playmaker. There are questions about whether he will be a center or a winger, which may hurt his value. Centers are worth more than wingers.
Kotkaniemi likely projects out as a lower level 1C or higher 2C. He’s a solid get in the middle of the first.
Noel is going to be a kid that a lot of people like because he’s a monster. At 6’5″ and 200 lbs, he’s a kid that is going to get a lot of talk. The soon to be 18 year old put up 28-25-53 in 62 OHL games with Oshawa this year. Noel is one of the few power forward prospects in the draft, which makes him a bit of a rare commodity.
Noel probably has one of, if not the hardest shots in the entire draft. His release is very quick for such a hard and accurate shot. He’s great in front of the net and isn’t afraid to get there. In addition to his great shot, he has soft hands in front and is pretty good with deflections. That is where most of his chances come from.
Noel uses his size and strength well in all three zones. He gets in on the forecheck, is good along the boards and cycle, and forces turnovers. That said, he is not a big hitter. So if the Rangers wind up with him, I’m sure a ton of people will hate him because he doesn’t hit much.
The big concern with Noel is his skating. Last year it was a huge issue. This year not so much, as he made great strides (see what I did there?). It’s an area he still needs to work on though, if he’s going to make it in the NHL. Noel is a project pick. He has size and strength, but lacks speed and skating. That keeps him out of Chris Kreider territory. If he improves his skating, he could be a steal in the middle of the draft. Noel seems very boom or bust."2018 NHL Draft Profiles: Joel Farabee, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Serron Noel",