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

When drafting  defenseman, drafting someone who positions himself well is always a safe bet. Positioning goes along way when covering up other flaws (see: Girardi, Dan), and Pelech is in the same mold. Pelech’s positioning in all three zones is by far his greatest strength. Naturally with great positioning comes great hockey sense and hockey intelligence. At 6’2″ and 210 lbs, Pelech is also good at using his body to win battles along the boards. He is your prototypical defensive defenseman.

Like most defensive defensemen, Pelech has trouble generating offense. He’s not going to be someone who lights up the scoreboard, but he will be that guy you can match up against top competition and feel confident that he won’t get caught out of position. Another aspect that needs improvement is his skating and foot speed. That’s not uncommon for a big defenseman like Pelech, but improvement in that area would solidify his spot as a potential top-four defenseman.

Dalton Thrower

Position: RD Height: 5’11″ Weight: 189

Despite his size, Thrower –well– throws his body around like a battering ram, hitting everything and everyone in sight. What made Thrower into a potential first or second round pick is his newly found offensive game, netting 18 goals (and 36 assists) as a defenseman with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades this past season. That doubled his output from the previous two seasons combined. The general consensus on Thrower is that he came out of nowhere this year because of great progression made in all aspects of his game.

Like most defensemen who throw their bodies around, Thrower can find himself out of position a few times while going for the big hit. As with Pelech, positioning generally goes hand-in-hand with hockey intelligence, which has also been brought up as an area in Thrower’s game that needs improvement.

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  • I don’t believe we will find a need player because we draft so late. That stated, we have found gems in the raw in the past, and may get lucky again.

    We will need to look at free agents this summer, Parise, Semen ( hate the thought ), or pull off a trade. Philly, and the Pens do a good job at tradeing, we have to take lessens on this.

    Question for someone out there who may know, Jasper Fasth, and Lindburg, how are they progressing, and will they be NHL ready any time soon? I kind of like the Swedes, they play an honest two way game, and do nicely on the scoring side!

    • Walt

      Fasth is 2-3 years away in part because he has a new 2 year deal with HV71. He missed most of the past season due to a broken foot but returned for the playoffs.

      Lindberg or Fasth? I would say Fasth offers a better chance at becoming an NHLer in part because he plays with a ton of energy.

      Needs to fill out his body but is a good skater who is not afraid to go into traffic to make plays.

      Lindberg had a quieter year 5-5-10 in 46 games for Skelleftea which did not help his NHL cause.


      The NYR don’t have the depth you might believe they do on the blueline. They will add McIlrath to the Whale and will most likely resign Bickel but Stralman at 900K is not a good return for the money.

      Sauer due to his injury is an unknown but Bell and Woyo most likely will not resign. Valentenko is so gone back to Russia that they have removed him from the Whale roster.

      Among the draftees, both Sam Noreau and Peter Ceresnak are projects but right now are NHL longshots.

      Other than Erixon and McIlrath, the NYR do not have anyone else on the farm who could make the jump to the NHL.

      As for Scott Stajcer, his 2011-12 season was a mess up in Owen Sound that he actually lost ground in his development. Cam Talbot IMO is now number 3 man with Jason Missiaen now 4th and Stacjer 5th.

      Rangers only have 4 picks in 2012 draft due to previous trades so I expect them to trade down to pick up more picks.


      I don’t know everything but I do know who to ask about the prospects but if you wish info on any ask the Suit to send you my way.

      I have 8 years of NYR prospect coverage under my belt.

      Sorry Suit for long post

      • Jess

        Thanks for the information, you have done your research, and I appreciate it. Fasth is the name I had heard about, and he sounds like a good prospect. Last question: which of the two mentioned are related to Hank? Again thanks for your response.

      • No worries Jess. You’re prospect knowledge is always welcomed here. Hoping to get your thoughts actually up in an actual post one of these days once things settle down.

  • The Rangers have plenty of orginizational depth for defensemen. So in my terms we shouldnt draft a defensemen this year. What i think the rangers need thid year is a
    1) Tough Guy who can play d. And can skate, and can win fights and check people like Hollweg or Orr.
    2) Someone like Ryan Callahan, play d and offense and a leader
    3) A scorer like Gaborik, (maybe) i dont like players getting paid $6-7 miklion a year and not producing.
    4) A goalie. We have Lundqvist for a few years unless a career ending injury or death occurs. We have Scott Stajcer and hopefully he can play very well like Lundqvist

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