The Rangers are in an interesting spot this year. With three picks in the first round, they have a rare opportunity to swing for the fences multiple times. They will get at least one prospect with elite level talent at #9 overall, that part we can assume. They also have picks 26 and (likely) 30 or 31, which gives them multiple options in trading scenarios.
If the Blueshirts move up, they could be targeting some of these kids who fall outside the “big nine” that seems to be on everyone’s mind. They could also luck out and have some of these guys fall to them at the end of the first round. These are more boom or bust scenarios, but In Gordie We Trust.
The Czech RW had a breakout performance at this year’s World Junior Championships, and that is when he got on everyone’s radar. Part of his performance (2-5-7 in 7 games) might be a part of being on a line with consensus top-three pick Filip Zadina, but that doesn’t mean Kaut is just riding his coattails.
The 6’1″, 176 lb winger is a pure shooter and scorer. He has quick hands for working in tight, but also has a very powerful and accurate wrist shot with a quick release. He uses his balance and hockey IQ to get in front and into open areas, where he is tough to move. His top speed also helps in the transition game, where he can be lethal.
The knock on Kaut is his acceleration, as he has a slow first step. That isn’t anything to be alarmed about, it’s just something he needs to work on. He needs to add muscle, but so does every 18 year old ever.
At just 18 years old, the 6’3″, 196 lb Swede defenseman is already playing in the SHL. His stock is rising quickly, and it’s unlikely he even makes it to the 26 spot. Ginning isn’t flashy, and his stat lines don’t jump at you, but he’s just a complete defensive package.
Like every other Swede, Ginning is a great skater with top speed and agility that keep his big frame mobile. The game slows down for him, which makes him a danger when in the transition game with solid passes.
What might hold Ginning back is that outside of his skating and big frame, the rest of his game is relatively average. He’s not the greatest shooter. He doesn’t have the vision of a Boqvist or a Hughes, and he certainly doesn’t have that much of an offensive mind. If we are using traditional terms, then shutdown defender is what comes to mind. Ginning might be the best one in the draft too.
Kupari is another in a long line of Scandanavian centers that is just overall solid. An offensively inclined center, the 5’11”, 183 lb Kupari is relied upon by Karpat to make big plays, which he does pretty often. Timeliness of his plays is a by-product of his skill set. He’s a great skater with solid top speed/accleration, agility, and balance. He’s tough to move off the puck, but has a number of weapons in his stickhandling arsenal to make even the best defenders dizzy.
When you combine skating, stickhandling, and vision, you have a potential offensive dynamo, and that is Kupari. His passes are tape to tape, his shot has a solid release, and he has no fear in getting in front of the net.
Where Kupari is lacking is in his shot’s power and accuracy, and in his defensive positioning. All three are easily corrected though, and nothing to be overly alarmed about. Kupari can be an elite center if he works on all three of these things. Kupari could be the game changing 1C that the Rangers sorely need."2018 NHL Draft Profiles: Martin Kaut, Adam Ginning, Rasmus Kupari",