Category: Draft

A look at the 2012 draft

With the Rangers now guaranteed to draft in the 26-30 range, the number of potential draftees changes dramatically. Nail Yakupov isn’t going to drop, so there’s no real point in looking at what he brings to a lineup. But with the way the Rangers are performing, we must look at any first round pick who has the potential to slide, any second round pick with the potential to jump, and pretty much anyone ranked around #20-#40 in the ISS rankings.

Just a reminder, all 2012 draft prospect reviews can be found on our Draft Coverage page.

Tomas Hertl

Position: LW Height: 6’2″ Weight: 198

Hertl is one of those players that came out of nowhere this year due to his fantastic play at the World Junior Championships with the Czech Republic. In six games in the tournament, he notched three goals and two assists. Although he’s not a noted speedster, Hertl has a big body and knows how to use it to protect the puck and shield himself from defenders. Another great aspect about his game is that he isn’t afraid to get down and dirty in the corners. He is relentless on the forecheck, and uses that big frame to work the boards and maintain puck possession.

The only knock that has been publicized for Hertl is his skating. As mentioned above, he’s not a speedster and uses his big body to maintain possession along the boards. In the North American game, skating is very important on the smaller ice surface. It’s not a glaring weakness, but it’s definitely something that needs work.

Adam Pelech

Position: LD Height: 6’2″ Weight: 210

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Tim Erixon is a Ranger because of Al Montoya

When I get bored, I like to research how specific players came to the Rangers organization. One of the first ones I researched was how Matthew Barnaby’s acquisition led to Brandon Dubinsky becoming a Ranger. Another I did was how Vladamir Malakhov’s signing led to Marc Staal becoming a Ranger. Now in some more research, feast your eyes on how Tim Erixon became a Ranger:

  • 2004: New York Rangers draft Al Montoya with the sixth overall pick.
  • 2/26/2008: Rangers trade Montoya and Marcel Hossa to the Phoenix Coyotes for Frederick Sjostrom, John Gratton, David LeNeveu, and a conditional fifth round pick. The conditions of the pick were that LeNeveu did not re-sign with the Rangers (he did not) and that Montoya played at least 15 games with the Coyotes (he did).
  • As a result of these conditions being met, the Rangers were award the fifth round pick in 2009, which they used on Roman Horak.
  • 6/1/11: Rangers deal Roman Horak, and two second round picks to the Calgary Flames for Tim Erixon and a fifth round pick (Shane McColgan).

Your mind has been blown. Stop hating on drafting Montoya already.

And the Rangers Draft… (part 2)

A little while ago we looked at the first batch of potential Rangers draft picks in the upcoming 2012 NHL draft. With the Rangers assured of a playoff spot we know they’ll be drafting in the latter half of the first round and, hopefully, right at the end of the round thanks to the deepest of playoff runs and a Cup.

Don’t forget: As we look at potential Rangers targets we’ll consider a realistic drafting position and players likely to fall around where the Rangers are likely to pick. At this stage the Rangers are looking at drafting between 25-30th. Let’s take another look at some potential picks

Mike Matheson

Position: D Height: 6’1″ Weight: 180

The Rangers have had success drafting players destined for college in recent years and should they feel the need to draft another defenseman they may head that route once more with Matheson. With the USHL standout headed to Boston College (Kreider) the Rangers know he’ll be in good hands. Beyond Mike Del Zotto the Rangers have a dearth of offensive defenseman in the organisation (even Erixon is more of a two way player) so if they feel the need to add another potential PP solution Matheson should be there in the last parts of the first round.

Matheson has 22 points and 9 goals and is considered to love the physical side of the game while a good skater. Where he ends up in the draft varies wildly so he could be another ‘off the radar’ pick.

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And the Rangers draft…

Over the next few weeks attention will naturally be on the Rangers sprint towards the finish line, a possible President’s trophy and home advantage in the playoffs; as it should be. However we like to do things a little different here from time to time. Why are the Rangers looking at the President’s trophy? Good drafting that’s why.

The current roster is littered with Rangers own draft picks; from Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan to Marc Staal, Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin. The core is very much a home grown one. With the likes of Chris Kreider and JT Miller on the way the pipeline is still very full. That’s because Gordie Clark and the Rangers continue to draft well and keep a focus on the future. With that said, over the next few weeks we’ll begin to look at players that may be called up to the stage in June’s draft by your very own Rangers.

As we do this we’ll consider a realistic drafting position and players likely to fall around where the Rangers are likely to pick. At this stage the Rangers are looking at drafting between 25-30th. Hopefully 30, if you know what I’m getting at.

Without further ado; here are the first few candidates that may appeal to the Rangers.

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Reviewing the 2006 Draft

Drafts are a tricky beast. It is almost impossible to really evaluate how a team did on draft day, or for several years following the draft. The general rule of thumb is to wait three or four years before really digging down and seeing how a team performed in the draft. Waiting five years, as we have done with this post and the 2006 draft, just adds a little more solid fact to what the results are.

First Round (20th overall) – Bobby Sanguinetti, D, Owen Sound Attack
NHL Stats: 5 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 4 PIM

The Rangers were looking to address the need for an offensive defenseman, and got their man with Sanguinetti who posted a line of 14-51-65 in his draft year with the Attack. He followed that up with two more strong years in the OHL with Owen Sound and Brampton before joining the Hartford Wolfpack. Sangs put up good offensive numbers, but struggled in his own zone. His work ethic and attitude were also questioned numerous times. The Rangers traded Sanguinetti at the 2010 draft for a sixth round pick (Jesper Fasth) and a second round pick (used to trade for Tim Erixon). Even if Sangs did not pan out, drafting him led to the Rangers acquiring two solid prospects.

Result: Bust, but overall outcome still pending.
Players Passed: Claude Giroux (PHI – 21st overall), Patrik Berglund (STL – 25th overall), Nick Foligno (OTT – 28th overall).

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Draft Rounds 2-7 Recap

The Rangers entered today with three picks, but wound up making five, as they made two trades to acquire additional picks in this draft. The first trade saw Evgeny Grachev pack his bags for St. Louis in exchange for a third round pick (#72). The second trade was a swap of sixth round picks with Nashville, as the Rangers sent their 2012 sixth rounder for Nashville’s 2011 sixth rounder (#172). Let’s go round by round:

Third round (#72) – Steven Fogarty (C, Edina High School)

This is the pick that is going to get a lot of scrutiny because the Rangers traded Evgeny Grachev to acquire this pick. So in evaluating just Fogarty (go to the Grachev post for commentary on the trade), the Rangers got themselves a skilled center who, according to Kirk Luedeke, is a bit underrated. but has some serious long term potential. Fogarty is definitely a project pick, but the work ethic is second to none. This kid lives to play the game, and will do everything in his power to make it professionally. He competed in the USHL this year after finishing high school, where he was a little over matched against kids much bigger and more mature than him. Standing at 6’1″, 195 lbs, Fogarty is no small kid, but needs time to mature and develop. Although he appears to be a project pick, he has some high potential.

Fourth Round (#106) – Michael St. Croix (C, Edmonton Oil Kings – WHL)

St. Croix is another guy who is a great skater with terrific hands. He has a great release on his shot as well, making him a great offensive threat. The knock on St. Croix is that he sometimes lacks concentration and desire in the defensive end, which caused him to slide in the eyes of scouts. St. Croix is very small (5’11″. 163 lbs), but that didn’t scare people away. There were initially rumblings of him potentially sneaking into the first round, so this may be a potential steal of a pick for the Rangers. That is, if St. Croix continues to show he actually cares about playing in all three zones.

Fifth Round (#134) – Shane McColgan (RW, Kelowna Rockets – WHL)

This is a great pick by the Rangers. McColgan is like lightning on ice, and has hands that can keep up with his speed. The kid was initially thought to be a potential top-ten pick, but a slow start and worries about his size (5’8″, 168 lbs) saw his stock drop drastically. He didn’t really increase his production in the WHL form his rookie season (where he scored 25 goals), which is a trait you like to see from kids playing Canadian Juniors. McColgan is a pick with serious potential and serious offensive flair. He reminds me of a smaller Scott Glennie.

Fifth Round (#136) – Samuel Noreau (D, Baie-Comeau Drakkar – QMJHL)

This kid is big and tough. Standing at 6’5″ and 215 lbs, Noreau is just plain old mean. The kid doesn’t have much, if any, offensive skill, but he is big, tough, nasty, and could be a potential bottom pairing defensive defenseman if he works on his skating. Skating is generally an issue with big defensemen, so that isn’t as much of a surprise or a detriment as some might think.

Sixth Round (#172) – Peter Ceresnak (D, Dukla Trencin – Slovakia)

Another big, stay at home type defenseman, Ceresnak is a bit more tame than Noreau, but equally as physical. Ceresnak plays his game “like a freight train”, lining up players for hits all over the ice. Like most big guys (6’2″, 200 lbs), he needs to work on his skating. Also, like most physical guys, he gets caught out of position looking for the big hit.

Draft Day Two Open Thread

The Rangers took J.T. Miller with the 15th overall selection last night, and have three more selections in this draft (#106, #134, #136). The selections they would have had were:

#45 – to Calgary for Tim Erixon – Calgary selects Markus Granlund
#57 – Washington’s pick, acquired by the Rangers from Carolina for Bobby Sanguinetti, sent to Calgary for Tim Erixon – Calgary selects Tyler Wotherspoon
#76 – to Florida for Bryan McCabe - Florida selects Logan Shaw.
#166 – to San Jose for Jody Shelley - San Jose selects Daniil Sobchenko.
#196 – to Phoenix for Anders Eriksson -Phoenix selects Zac Larraza.

I’ll be live blogging the rest of the draft, which begins at 11:00am EST this morning. I’ll make sure to cover who was drafted with the picks the Rangers would have had.

Rangers Picks:
#72 – Steven Fogarty, C from Edina High School (in MN)
#106 – Michael St. Croix, C from Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
#134 – Shane McColgan, RW from Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
#136 – Sam Noreau, D from Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
#172 – Peter Ceresnak, D from Slovakia

Calgary trades Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik, and a 2012 2nd round pick to Buffalo for Chris Butler, Paul Byron.
Florida trades #47 to San Jose for #59 and a 2012 3rd round pick.
Vancouver trades #60 to Minnesota for #71 and #101.
Columbus trades Nikita Filatov to Ottawa for #66.
Rangers trade Evgeny Grachev to St. Louis for #72.
Islanders trade Bruno Gervais to Tampa Bay for future considerations.
Kings trade #170 and 2012 3rd to NSH for #82.
Rangers trade 2012 6th round pick for #172.

Rangers Select J.T. Miller With The 15th Pick

Last night, the Rangers surprised a lot of people when they selected J.T. Miller of the US NDTP. With players like Mark McNeill, Joel Armia, and Tyler Biggs available, most people assumed the Rangers would select one of that trio. However, they went “off the board” a bit when they selected Miller. The initial reaction on Twitter was a combination of controlled outrage and shock, which turned into a general trusting of Gordie Clark and his great staff that have rebuilt this farm system.

I wrote a draft preview on Miller, which you can read here. This actually marks the first time I have actually written a preview for a player that was actually picked. I don’t want to re-hash everything there, but Miller carried the U-18 US Team to gold at the World Championships, netting a whopping 13 points (four goals), and leading the team in scoring. Miller was dishing the puck to Rocco Grimaldi most of the time, but Clark was quoted saying that if Miller wasn’t dishing the puck to Grimaldi, he would be able to finish just as easily.

For the past two drafts, many fans have been relatively shocked with who the Rangers have selected in the first round. This was the third year in a row where most fans had to Google who they drafted just to read up on him. Miller is a beast of a player, who knows how to get in the dirty areas. He is also a solid two way center who is great on face offs. He was clearly someone the Rangers coveted heading into the first round.

If it were my choice, I likely would have gone with McNeill (#18 overall) or Armia (#16 overall). But then again, that’s why I don’t work in the business, and I write a blog. We have trusted Gordie Clark for this long. Have faith. Just because it isn’t what you would have done, doesn’t make it a bad pick. Miller will hopefully continue to develop.

Why Trade Up/Down?

Across the Twitter and blog-o-sphere, there have been rumblings that because the Rangers only have four draft picks (15, 105, 133, 135) in this draft, that they will look to acquire another draft pick by trading down, or they will attempt to package assets to trade up. This draft is widely known for being one of the weaker drafts of the past few years, and is reminiscent of the 1999 draft. There is a lot of potential, but also a lot of players with holes in their games that need to be filled. In fact, after the top-eight picks, the rest of the draft is a crap-shoot.

But yet, there are people that seem to want –and say that the Rangers need– to trade up or down in this draft. Let’s take a step back, and remember what happened on June 1 of this year. Not even two weeks ago, the Rangers traded Roman Horak and two second round picks in this year’s draft for Tim Erixon.

Erixon, if you remember, was set to re-enter the draft this year. In this draft class, he would have been a top-ten pick for sure. Essentially, the Rangers traded their two second round picks to move up to the top-ten to select Erixon. And they still have their #15 pick in the first round this year. That is one helluva deal made by Mr. Sather.

The Rangers simply do not have the pieces to move up in the draft. Matt Gilroy’s rights and/or Erik Christensen is not enough to move into the top-eight. Sure, they can trade either for a draft pick, but that’s probably going to be in the later rounds, if at all.

As for trading down, I don’t really see a point unless the Rangers are coveting someone that isn’t projected to go until later in the draft.  Considering the drafting success of Gordie Clark and company lately, that isn’t entirely out of the question. My only concern is that with this draft, there is the potential for someone to slide, as well as the potential for someone to jump up a few slots ahead of projections, making the draft fairly volatile in terms of projections. 

The Rangers will already get the equivalent of two first round picks in this draft with the 15th pick and Erixon.  I understand that people may think they need to make a move because of “only” four draft picks, but is it really necessary?

2011 Draft Watch: Tyler Biggs

The 2011 draft is a little more than a month away, and we all know that Gordie Clark, Glen Sather, and the collection of Rangers scouts are holding many meetings to discuss potential players on their draft boards. The Rangers have the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, and while most of the prospects on people’s lists will be gone (Nugent-Hopkins, Larsson, Courturier, etc), there are a good amount of prospects that would help the Rangers in the long run. Today we look at #16 in the ISS Top-30, Tyler Biggs of US U-18 National Team.

The first thing you notice about Biggs is his physique. Standing at 6’2″ and 200 lbs, Biggs has an NHL size body, and wasn’t afraid to show it off at the NHL Combine. Throughout the day, Biggs showed that he would definitely be able to handle the physical toll the NHL takes on a player. He was one of the prospects that really stood out physically at the Combine.

When looking at Biggs’ numbers this season with the U-18 team, they are a bit disappointing. Finishing with just 11 points (seven goals) in 20 games, Biggs did not meet expectations from many scouts, even if those expectations were a bit unfair. When he is playing well, Biggs uses his size to his advantage, and showcases his powerful skating ability by just clearing a path wherever he goes. Luckily for his teammates, he tends to go right for the net, making him a prototypical power forward. He is a great “grinder”, and uses his body to shield the puck while cycling before crashing the net. The kid is a great on-ice leader, and leads his teammates by example.

What worries scouts, aside from his production, is his hockey IQ and his creativity. To be a successful top-six forward in the NHL, a player needs to be strong in both areas, even if his job may be to just get in front of the net. He also is not the swiftest of skaters (even if he is a beast), and doesn’t have the best of hands. Despite all this, Biggs was still ranked the #5 prospect by Central Scouting in their mid-term report. That may have helped kill his reputation, as the production didn’t match the ranking.

Biggs is a good hockey player at his current level, but is definitely a project pick. The prototypical power forward, Biggs is definitely a guy that will need to rely on his size and strength in the NHL, as compensation for weaker hands and skating ability. Opinions differ on Biggs, some have him him, some have him off their boards completely. Biggs will still likely be a first round pick, but it’s a matter of if he materializes into a top-six forward.

Previous Entries:
Niklas Jensen
Mike McKee
Boone Jenner
Sven Bartschi
Rocco Grimaldi
Mark McNeill
Joel Armia
J.T. Miller