Pronman: Rangers have #11 prospect system

August 23, 2018, by

brett howden

Corey Pronman is in the process of releasing his 2018 NHL organization prospect rankings, and the Rangers came in at #11 on his list (sub req’d). The Rangers moved up from #29 last year, so an 18 spot jump shows how much last year’s trade deadline and draft stocked the cupboards.

While the Rangers do lack a larger number of elite level prospects, the by product of four straight years without a first round pick, Pronman did note that the Rangers have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league.

The top prospects are the guys you’d expect to be up there, but the big surprise to me was Brett Howden ranked as the #5 prospect in the system, ahead of all the defense prospects in the system. That surprised me a bit, and perhaps I’m sleeping on Howden when I shouldn’t be.

The rest of the guys listed are what you expect, although Olof Lindbom is listed higher than I thought he would be. That in turn led me to list him higher in my Top 25 Under 25 yesterday.

There are few prospect voices I listen to with a rare second guess, and Pronman is one of them. I’m intrigued to see where the Rangers sit next year, after a year of development and trade deadline selling. The future looks bright.

"Pronman: Rangers have #11 prospect system", 5 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.
Categories : Prospects


  1. sherrane says:

    About a month ago, The Sporting News ranked the Rangers’ farm system #9. Steve Kournianos wrote in that piece, “…they acquired more blue-chip assets in four months than they did in the previous 10 years combined.”

  2. Bloomer says:

    Time will tell how the Rangers prospects pan out. Not sure why the Rangers organization is so big on Swedish prospects. The Swedish teams haven’t won diddly squat in World Competition for a longtime. I like players that know what it takes to win.

    • joe from newburgh says:

      Often referred to by the nickname “Tre Kronor” (English: Three Crowns), the Swedish men’s national ice hockey team is amongst the most successful in the world, being considered part of the Big Six. The team is, as of 2018, ranked first in the IIHF World Ranking.

      Sweden has won nine olympic medals, including gold medals in 1994 and 2006. They have also won the IIHF World Championships 11 times, most recently in 2018 in Denmark.

      Since 2012, Sweden has won 1 gold and 3 silver medals in the IIHF U20 championships.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      I agree…Im sick of this Euro route they are taking

    • tanto says:

      THINK … or at least do a bit of research next time before you make an idiotic comment like that. They literally just won the WC and came in 2nd at the WJC this year —- and both involved one of those Swedish prospects … you know, the one who threw his silver medal into the crowd because he wants to win so much?!

      • SamNY says:

        Some people are born to say stupid things.

        The Sweedes by almost any standard, have put forth excellent hockey. So many of these players are as top notch as our NA boys

        • Township Rebellion says:

          When we won in 94…went to the Finals in 2014….what was the general makeup of our team?

      • Bloomer says:

        The Swedish juniors have won the World Championship twice. Canada has won the tournament 17 times. 17 times…,2 times .Tanto you should do your research before your make your idiotic comments. Do you even watch hockey? I doubt you even laced up a pair of skates

    • Reenavipul says:

      A couple of factors:

      1: You can stash them for four years before having to sign them to an ELC(can do that with Finns, Germans & Czechs, but smaller talent pools.)
      2: They are reasonably comfortable with the English language(something you often don’t find in Russia Finland, Czechia & Germany)
      3: A talent pool that punches above its weight.

      Not that the Rangers Swedish picks haven’t been wildly hit and miss(though Kovacs was actually good last season after flaming out in Hartford.)

      With CHL players they’re swinging for the fences and would rather pick up a bottom 6 F/3rd pair D via a 2nd yr eligible/UDFA/College UFA.

      • SamNY says:

        Yeah I’d agree with all that.

        Picking Euros are a cheap way to get good talent and clearly the team is swinging for the fences.

        I think their ability to sign College UFAs has helped mitigate some of the damage over the years (Hayes, Vessey, Pionk).

        Going forward the Rangers may consider that their method of filling out bottom spots.

        I’m still mad about Akili Thomas…

  3. Orland says:

    As Dave indicates Corey is one of the most respected prospect commentators. Going from 29 to 11 is huge but it also shows that the rebuild has much further to go. I suspect another year of “earning” a top ten draft pick and sell-offs at the trade deadline to obtain additional picks. Hopefully if we are as successful in the upcoming year in this regard as last year the prospect rebuild will have succeeded and we can look towards competing in the coming years ahead.

    Also depends on how the current prospect pool advances this coming season.

    • mintgecko says:

      98% of the team has something to prove if they want to stick around after 2020. I don’t agree with what you suspect in this upcoming season. I could see everyone going hard, making transformations to play smash mouth hockey to please the coach. You have Staal who probably doesn’t want to get bought out anytime soon. Than you have another Stepan type situation with Zib and the clause kicking in. The added pressure to stay healthy and put up points like a 1c will make or break him. Those are two names who are semi signed for the future and even they need hit high expectations this year.

      • orland says:

        Staal can try like his life depended on it and he still will be a negative factor as the game is just to quick for him. It is hard to see how the Rangers won’t have one of the league worst defense cores. You may recall that after the sell-off they were giving up 40 shots a game regularly. Sure it will be a new system etc. but the team focus will be on player development as much as trying to win. Plus management has prepared the fans for the rebuild so expectations have been lowered. I think a young exciting team that competes nightly and finishes with 80 to 90 points will satisfy the faithful and provide for my good prospects coming aboard.

        • Mintgecko says:

          You obviously missed my point about Staal and Zib playing hard because they still have something to prove. At the end of the season they’re still going to be with the team. Therefore their effort and talents get thrown in the mix of everyone pulling together to have a successful year. There’s alot of dead men walking no matter who succeeds and who doesn’t. That’s what happens when you have rookies mixed with vets on 1 or 2 year deals meanwhile other contacts will be up by this summer or clauses coming to light soon. They have all to get through this season to reach their pay days, showcasing of dreaming to still play the on Broadway or both.

  4. Peter says:

    The improvement in the Rangers’ prospect pool is obvious and welcome. What they lack in not having a Connor McDavid in the wings is somewhat ameliorated by the sheer number of highly skilled prospects they stocked up on in the last couple of drafts and via trades. On paper, at least, they have a bunch of youngsters who may fill the roster in over the course of the next 2 – 3 years, thereby improving the team enough to make them competitive again. We will have to see how they pan out.

    I am looking forward to seeing Quinn working with the new kids and their still fairly young holdovers and bring a fresh approach to the club.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      The problem is that we are not making the most of the opportunity….Lias was a reach….Krav you can make the argument is a reach…..Miller is a project….Nils is a small Euro D man….They passed on many North American kids…Goalie in the 2nd round…

      • tanto says:

        “They passed on many North American kids …”

        That’s a criticism? Really??? Make North Amerika Great Again!

        • Orland says:

          Ha – good one.

          Passing on North American prospects is a brilliant strategy since those prospects are often overrated. Look at Brady Tkachuk – he’s scored 20 goals combined the last 2 seasons and went 4th in the draft! And many NHL teams shy away from the Russians, with some merit, since they are concerned that those prospects may not come over.

          Going from 29th to 11th in prospect ratings speaks for itself. Very few beyond the first couple of draft picks are without risk. The Rangers are on the right track!

        • Township Rebellion says:

          Middlestadt, Tippet or Vilardi should have been taken before Lias …Kravstov who knows? he did nothing during the season and had a good playoff…does that justify reaching?…but the whole NYR world was jumping up and down when it was clear we could of had Wahlstrom, Dobson or Bouchard…Trading up to get Miller was not the smartest move…hopefully he pans out….and I can tell you right now…Nils will never wear a NYR uniform

          • Orland says:

            Agree that Middlestadt, especially with the benefit of hindsight, would have been a much better choice than Anderson. Rangers targeted two others with that pick and they were both gone. Anderson at 7 was a reach; seems like a solid player though.

            No way to know now if trading up for Miller was smart or not. He’s an incredible talent learning a new position. Will take years to see how it works out. Definitely a high risk high reward play.

            Kravstov also a huge talent without the pedigree of Wahlstrom. They will be compared for the next 10 years (like Barkley/Darnold).

            Statements like “Nils will never wear a NYR uniform” seem of little value or credibility. He was actually the safest of their picks and considered a late 1st rounder by most.

            It was the goalie taken in the 2nd round that made no sense for a variety of reasons.

          • Andy says:

            Kravtsov is going to be a great player. He was a little off the board, but not much, Had we taken Wahlstrom, which I admit I wanted us to, we may be scratching our heads. a bit. Kravtsov started of scoring a couple of goals in the Governors Cup(playing against men), while Wahlstrom is getting off to a slow start with team USA. (playing with younger competition) It’s just a moment in time, but I would not sell Kravtsov short.

            Miller also has great talent. He’s been a D man for 2 years and he’s getting it. Was it a mistake to trade up for him? I doubt it. Did they give up too much? maybe. He’ll develop well in Wisconsin. And he has an elite ceiling.

          • tanto says:

            Actually Kravstov had very respectable numbers for a kid his age (playing on a 3rd line) in the KHL.

      • Peter says:

        Lias wasn’t much of a reach, most scouts had him going only a few picks higher. Guys like Chytil have gushed about looking up to him, and Lias is only 19 so, I think we need to see him play this season to judge him better. Yes, Middlestadt perhaps would have been a stronger choice but we will see where Lias ends up. I read that he stayed in Connecticut during the offseason working out like crazy. There is little doubt about his desire at least.

        Kravstov was popping up on many lists as someone coming on strong and a sleeper. I have a feeling that he might have a higher ceiling than Wahlstrom. That of course is rank speculation on my part. But this is what makes drafts so damn interesting.

        • Mintgecko says:

          I don’t know about that, all I heard around the league was that Lias was a reach but maybe LA would have picked him in RD 1.

          • Peter says:

            Consensus was somewhere between 10 – 20 in the first round, with many saying 12 – 15.

        • tanto says:

          Yes, I do believe Middlestadt is the better offensive player of the two, but as we all know there are other aspects to the game — and you have to respect someone who wants to win so badly that he chucks a silver medal in the stand (whether you believe that was “proper” form or not). Lias is the type of guy you want to go to war with and the playoffs are a war of sorts. So it might make sense to postpone judgment and let things play out a bit before anointing Middlestadt the better choice.

  5. carlos says:

    I would slightly disagree TR. I think we indeed are making the most of the opportunity – just because we don’t select who everyone thinks we should – at least we have the selection. The last time before these past two years when we drafted first we selected Skjei in the first round at #28 – 27 teams passed on him. If there were a “re-draft” – Skjei would have easily been a lottery pick in that draft at this point.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      I hear ya…Skjei this is a big season for him…he has the tools and hopefully last year was an aberration

  6. Andy says:

    Howden was a great pick up. He followed a similar path a Brayden Point. And they played together in Moose Jaw.(and they are good friends) Point was the Captain before Howden was the captain. Howden is a bit bigger. I will not be the least bit surprised if he makes the team out of camp. And I also won’t be surprised over time if he pushes Andersson for the #2 center spot. That’s a few years out, but he’s the real deal.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      I am pumped for Howden…Lias will never be a top 6 forward

      • Orland says:

        Howden and Anderson are both projected to be 3 line centermen by most.

        On the other hand: Howden followed Point so he likely will be like Point. Yeah – that makes sense.

      • Mintgecko says:

        Yup Lias will be a bottom 6 centerman in the NHL. I’m cool with waiting to see how he turns out but I won’t be going with the crowd over here by claiming that he’s a future in the ” top 6 “. I never read that in any scouting reports but I saw comparisons to his game. I think a couple people compared him to Chris Kunitz if he were to ever play in the top 9 which probably mean over on the wing. I think he’s going to be injury prone and bark off more than he could chew during scrums and fights. Sorry but I doubt he becomes the next Gabriel Landeskog for the NYR. I see Howden being the faster player with better hands if we compare him to Lias this year at camp.

        • SalMerc says:

          Our prospect pipeline is bottom 6 and bottom pair heavy. Maybe two in our top 25 prospects has a shot at being a top line player. The pains that the yearly draft pick selloffs has caused is difficult to return from.

  7. Michael R Sloboda says:

    Lias = Jan Erixon

    • Peter says:

      Jan Erixon was a terror who could drive opposing centers crazy, but he had hands of stone. Andersson has much better hands than Erixon.

      • Township Rebellion says:

        Haha yep…especially Mario…I hope Lias can score more than 8 goals a year

    • Mintgecko says:

      Expect Andersson to look like a poor mans Sean Couturier if he ever saw a 3c role with PP minutes.

      25-35 points sounds like his ceiling but at this point we don’t know if he will be better than when Brian Boyle played 3c.

  8. Agentsmith says:

    Gotta imagine with a better pick at 7 a year ago they’d be top 5 by now.

  9. SalMerc says:

    In order for us to move up in the prospect ratings, the team has to do two things; miss the playoffs and sell off whatever assets we can to acquire additional talent or draft picks.

    As I am not of the belief that this is a full teardown/rebuild, we have to see what the team looks like and how it is doing come January. We could be in the hunt for the last playoff spot (unlikely) or we could be near the bottom of the league (possible, but also unlikely). Wherever we are will shape the organization for years to come.

    • Orland says:

      We were in the hunt last year and JG went ahead with the sell-off. There is no reason to believe he won’t do the exact same thing this year. People keep commenting and/or hoping that a full rebuild is not necessary or the plan. The reality is that JG has stuck to the the full rebuild in every way and there is no reason to believe otherwise. If he didn’t try to go for it once more with AV and the vets he sold off he certainly won’t this year while we are in full player development mode. Being in the hunt for the 8th spot and an early exit didn’t deter him one bit and it won’t this coming season. JG’s only way to succeed is to get us to the top tier, not by being stuck in the middle year after year.

      • wwpd says:

        Hehe they were hardly in the hunt. When FO sent the open letter they had lost something like 12 of the prior 15 games, went on to lose 8 of the next 10 leading up to the trade deadline. That is a team in compete disarray, not one that is in the hunt!

        What worries me when I care to think about it is that JG has hedged his statements heavily all along and I don’t doubt for a second that if things had been so obviously horrendous by February that he would have been under the gun to perhaps push to squeeze into a round of playoff revenues, and this season I would expect the same if there’s some life in the team.

  10. Orland says:

    Even with noted losing streak the Rangers were 3 points out of a playoff spot when letter was released on Feb. 8th. Qualifies as in the hunt.

    Also I don’t hear the hedging you reference from JG. Of course he would be foolish to say they are not trying to win and given the Vegas run last year it would be foolish not to consider the possibility that everything jells and they make a run. But everything I hear from him indicates he is all in on a full rebuild (different than a tear down). Even Dolan has basically been mirroring the talk about the need to rebuild and while he knows nothing about hockey: 1. he has always been willing to spend, & 2. he wants a championship, not to wring a few bucks out of a losing playoff round.

    Gorton’s job security is totally dependent on producing a Cup contender, not increasing revenue a few bucks. And by broadcasting the rebuild and getting buy-in from ownership, the media and fans he has bought several years to do so.

  11. Richter1994 says:

    In Gorton I trust.

    And this does not even include the Hayes, Vesey, and Pionk signings.