Archive for Prospects
After weeks of relative silence, the rumor mill will begin churning again this week as August 15 approaches. That’s the day Jimmy Vesey officially becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The heralded Harvard alum is essentially this year’s version of Kevin Hayes and will draw league-wide interest after spurning first Nashville, then Buffalo after the Sabres traded for his rights prior to the draft.
By most accounts, Vesey is an NHL-ready prospect that could instantly step into an NHL lineup and has legitimate top-six potential.
Over the past three years, I’ve gone through the Rangers organization and ranked the top 25 players under the age of 25 years old (2013, 2014, 2015 part one, 2015 part two). The ground rules for this list are simple: To qualify for this list, a player must be under 25 years old. It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered.
First, let’s go through the players from last year’s list that no longer qualify and honorable mentions who missed the cut:
Aged out: Chris Kreider, Magnus Hellberg
No longer with the organization: Aleksi Saarela, Ryan Bourque, Petr Zamorsky, Emerson Etem, Keegan Iverson, Ryan Mantha
Honorable mentions: Tyler Nanne, Marek Hrivik, Sergey Zborovskiy, Calle Andersson, Tyler Wall, Gabriel Fontaine
Our New York Rangers have recently signed Josh Jooris to a one-year deal, which is just one in a series of signings to revamp our bottom-six. While being a hard working player with nice hands in the NHL, Jooris was also an extremely popular player during his time with Providence College. The NCAA has become a great producer of prospects for NHL teams, most notably for the Rangers, who have a plethora of talent that went through the NCAA.
One snag that has been bothering a few GMs is the fact that a drafted player can sign with any team, not just the team that drafted him, after spending four years in college. Once again, the NYR are a beneficiary of that rule with the not lazy but super talented center Kevin Hayes. This year’s prize on August 15th is Jimmy Vesey, a former 3rd rounder of the Nashville Predators who seems poised to be a quality goal scorer.
They say it takes five years to really judge a draft class in hockey. Very few players come in and play in the NHL immediately following their draft year. Heck, it’s usually two or three years before a draft pick even turns pro. Factor in another year or two in the minors, and you have a four or five year waiting period before some rookies even get a chance to play regularly in The Show.
If a team gets one NHL regular in a draft, it’s considered a successful draft. If they can land a second player, it’s a big win. For the Rangers, 2011 was the final time they would draft in the top-fifteen through today. They took J.T. Miller with that first round pick, their one consistent NHL player. The rest of the draft features Steven Fogarty, who just turned pro, and four mid-to-late round picks.
The draft is finally over and we can begin traveling to the next checkpoint in this franchise’s 90th year in the NHL. First and foremost, sorry if the post may be a little late. I decided to let all of the picks settle in before I talk about them. Not only does that let me do more research and write with a leveled head but it also prevents any knee jerk reactions. I feel that this is very important because it would be pretty messed up to be harsh to a 17 year old on one of the biggest days in his life.
About the draft in general, it seemed like the Rangers lucked into some teams choosing goalies early, giving them more skater options to choose from. Considering the depth in net for this team, that was pretty wonderful. Also while I am happy with the picks, there are some guys that I wished we still drafted considering that they were available. Guys like Dmitri Sokolov,Vladimir Kuznetsov, Sebastian Aho, and Maxime Fortier.
Gripes aside, this draft gave me a lot of hope, as the Rangers are truly one of the best in drafting after round three over the last few years, especially when they go with the philosophy they had this year over the 2014 draft. Hopefully they realize not only the overwhelming support of this philosophy –drafting for skill and talent opposed to size and need– and its benefits, but also realize that they truly are a great drafting team.
The Rangers have announced the invitees to this summer’s prospect camp, which begins today.
The usual suspects –unsigned draft picks, AHL players on ELCs, overseas prospects– are on the list. There are a bunch of undrafted guys as well. I’m not going to pretend to know who the undrafted guys are. I’ll let Josh handle that.
With their final pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Rangers took Ty Ronning, son of Cliff Ronning. Ronning isn’t that big, but he’s tremendously skilled. His size was questioned, but 5’9″ isn’t that small, and kids can put on muscle weight. This late, you pick skill and hope for the best. The Rangers did just that.
Ronning has mid-round skill, but fell all the way to the seventh round due to size and the fact that this was the first year where he “turned it on” and put up big numbers.
And then the Rangers get Ty Ronning. Another great pick.
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 25, 2016
NYR goes with Gabriel Fontaine in the 6th round. Very happy with this pick. 2nd year eligible, we had Fontaine ranked 163.
— Jérôme Bérubé (@Jerome_Berube) June 25, 2016
The Rangers took their first forward of the draft, taking winger Tim Gettinger with their 5th round pick (#141). Gettinger is a big kid at 6’5″ and 206 lbs, but the scouting reports say he is a great skater. Not for his size, just a great skater in general.
Gettinger had some hype because of his size, but fell due to a tough year. Gettinger is Brandon Halverson’s teammate with the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds, so there’s a connection there as well.
Some more thoughts:
The Rangers have selected defenseman Tarmo Reunanen with their fourth round pick, #98 overall. The pick was acquired in the Keith Yandle deal, and Reunanen is a solid skating, puck moving defenseman. A bit of an overdraft –most had him going in the 145 range– though, but the Rangers picked skill over size on this one.
That’s not saying Reunanen is small (6′, 178 lbs), but he’s not Day’s size. Regardless, Reunanen is another smooth skater who excels at transitioning and getting the puck up the ice. Injuries seemed to be an issue, which caused his stock to slip.
More opinions on him below.