Archive for Prospects
Welcome back to the second annual “New York Rangers mid round draft targets post.” Last year the club chose Aleksi Saarela and Brad Morrison, both of whom were on my list. Other players like Conor Garland (5th round, Arizona), Ziat Paigin, and Ethan Bear (Edmonton) have had great seasons as well.
While it doesn’t feel great to be missing picks in the first two rounds of the draft (this will most likely change), as a Rangers fan and from a draft lovers perspective, I like to focus on the mid and late rounds so we can look for potential steals. The reason? I believe that if you can get at least 2 NHL players in each draft it should be considered a success. Of course, this does vary based on draft position.
The way I approach the draft is pretty straightforward. I usually make a list of 20 prospects that I really want, and then perhaps ten that I wouldn’t be upset if the Rangers draft them, as long as there are not better players available. In this post I will be covering the guys that I would like to see us take a chance on in the 3rd round.
One of my favorite things about the draft is the trends among teams. I find it so cool how we can see history for the most part repeat itself over and over showing some team philosophies. For example, anybody find it odd that Jim Benning of the Canucks has traded every second round pick the team has had except the Thatcher Demko pick? These picks aren’t just your late ones, these are those borderline first round picks that only strengthen the running joke among fans who believe Benning is never allowed to make a pick from 30-65.
In the Rangers’ case –like we saw in the 2013 draft with Anthony Duclair, Pavel Buchnevich, Adam Tambellini, Ryan Graves, and Mackenzie Skapski– when they lack early picks they go big boom or bust. This situation currently presents itself again for the Rangers. We are likely to be going for these kinds of players who slide for some reason and hope that they either mature or simply get to show their talents under the right circumstances. One guy who I noticed fits this criteria is Dmitri Sokolov of the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL.
Per John Rosasco of New York Rangers PR, goalie prospect Adam Huska was named the USHL’s goalie of the year. Huska started 37 games this year with the Green Bay Gamblers, putting up a record of 26-9-2 with an astounding 1.87 GAA and .931 SV%.
Huska was the Rangers’ 7th round pick in the 2015 draft, and joins Mackenzie Skapski, Brandon Halverson, and Igor Shesterkin as highly rated goaltender prospects for the Rangers. Just think, it was two years ago that goalie was a weak position in the system for the Rangers. Now, one of their strongest.
Huska is committed to UConn for next season.
The 2016-2017 season won’t just be the New York Rangers’ 90th anniversary, but it will also be our AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack’s 20th anniversary. Now I by no means am a die hard Wolfpack fan, but it is getting really frustrating to try to tune into their games only to see that the team for the most part isn’t all that great. Much of this can of course be attributed to the lack of draft picks, as well as having much of the talent in Europe. The lack of scoring is a huge issue for quite a few reasons.
Wolf Pack fans deserve as much as this organization can provide. A winning culture from top to bottom will only benefit the team, and it starts in the minors. Many of these fans who see young guys grow before many of us aren’t just watching to be our own fan scouts, they’re watching it because they love the sport of hockey. It’s easier to love it when you are winning.
The first domino for the Rangers in the undrafted free agent market has fallen, as UMass-Lowell forward Adam Chapie has inked a one-year ELC. Chapie, whose deal is
one year two years because he is 24 years old, completed his senior season with the UM-L Hawks this season, tallying a line of 16-19-35 in 39 games. This is on the heels of his 12-19-31 performance last season.
The report on Chapie is fairly slim. The 6’1″, 185-lb forward was a walk on at Lowell, and played in the NAHL for two years prior. He’s a right-handed shot, which the Rangers sorely need. That’s about it. I would assume that he will get a look in camp next year, but a fair guess would be that he stays in the AHL for a season or two.
Chapie will join Boo Nieves and Steven Fogarty as some of the many new faces expected in Hartford next year.
As expected, Pavel Buchnevich will be coming to North America for next season, per sports.ru. Buchnevich, one of the Rangers’ third round picks in 2013, is the most highly touted prospect the organization has had in a while. His point totals in Russia put him a notch below guys like Vladimir Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Many hoped that Buchnevich would join the Rangers for a playoff run, like Chris Kreider did in 2012, however this is a different case. The Rangers were thin at forward that year, and Kreider was ready to jump right in. This year, the Rangers don’t have any openings, and it makes sense for them to keep a year on Buchnevich’s ELC.
I am under the assumption that April Fool’s Day does not exist in Russia, and that this news is legitimate, however I reserve the right to be fooled by this news.
With the news that SKA were eliminated on Monday and thus Pavel Buchnevich’s season in Russia being officially over, excitement began about the prospect of the über-prospect hot-stepping it to New York. I was also twitter guilty of a little bit of Buch-hysteria. But not so fast.
The Rangers are a cap team and they’ll be tight to the cap for (at least) the foreseeable future. Take a look at the current Rangers roster and the ‘problems’ that Alain Vigneault is having with finding appropriate roles, ice time and combinations for all his presumptive top nine forwards. Is there really enough room to squeeze Buchnevich into the top nine – in a meaningful role?
As expected, the Rangers have signed 2011 third round pick Steven Fogarty to a two-year entry level contract. Fogarty finished up his senior year at Notre Dame with a line of 10-13-23 in 37 games while serving as captain of the Irish squad. Fogarty’s ceiling is likely a bottom-six defensive specialist who wins faceoffs but doesn’t chip in much offensively. Realistically, he could be a nice replacement for Dominic Moore down the road.
As expected the Rangers have signed 2012 second round pick Cristoval “Boo” Nieves to a two year entry level deal. Nieves just finished his senior season at Michigan, the best of his four year career. He put up 10-21-31 in his final season, setting a career high in goals, points, and tying his career high in assists. Nieves is one of two drafted college seniors that the Rangers will likely be signing, as Steven Fogarty (2011-third round) should also be signing shortly.
Two Rangers prospects went up against each other in college on Friday night and it was ‘Boo’ Nieves that came out on the right side of the elimination game as Michigan beat Steven Fogarty’s Notre Dame 3-2 in OT. Nieves assisted on Michigan’s third period game tying goal (scored by blue chip NHL prospect Zach Werenski) to help prolong Michigan’s season. Fogarty is now free to sign with the Rangers as his season is over following the loss.
Nieves meanwhile has put up his best stat line in college with 31 points (10 goals) in 34 games. Nieves has never quite dominated in any of his four seasons but has been remarkably consistent. A good skater and a big body, Nieves is a pass first center and can definitely be an asset with his playmaking ability in the pro game – he remains an intriguing prospect.
One of the main questions facing Nieves as a NHL prospect is whether his good (but never great) numbers have been the by-product of having played on Michigan teams that featured the likes of Kyle Connor, Zach Werenski, Dylan Larkin and Jacob Trouba. Nieves has always been a productive player for Michigan but he’s never really been able to stand out on several talented squads.