The Rangers, until very recently, have never been known for their ability to hold on to prospects, draft prospects, develop prospects, or do anything positive with prospects. I say until recently because unless you’ve been living under a rock, the youth movement in New York has been prevalent, and we have seen 10 players make their mark with the Rangers that were brought up through the system. This doesn’t include high-end talents like Christian Thomas or Chris Kreider, who are well on their way to Ranger blue.
In their annual release of their Organizational Rankings, HockeysFuture has ranked the Rangers #7 in the NHL, up from #9 last year. Considering the Rangers lost both Mike Sauer and Derek Stepan to graduation, that speaks volumes. The Rangers have a ton of great forwards in the system, but two stand out above the rest, and those are Kreider and Thomas. Ryan McDonagh rounds out the top three (Kreider #1, McDonagh #2, Thomas #3). What should really catch people’s attention is that Kreider still ranks ahead of McDonagh, despite everything McDonagh did this year with the Rangers. That says an awful lot about the potential of this kid.
Evgeny Grachev and Mats Zuccarello round out the top five. For those doing the math, that means four of the top five prospects are forwards, and three of them have the potential to be top line players.
Update 4:45pm: After a closer look at the rankings, the Rangers only have a top-19. That is because Ethan Werek was recently removed, but Oscar Lindberg has not been added. Lindberg likely slots in the top-10, somewhere in the bottom half. I would put him around where Hagelin is, around #8. That would push Valentenko out of the top-10.