Why the 2012 draft was a clear win

Whether you’re thrilled with the selections of Brady Skjei, Cristoval Nieves, Calle Andersson and Thomas Spelling or not, draft weekend 2012 has to be considered a tremendous success.

GM Glen Sather stuck to his firm declaration following the season: “we don’t trade kids.”

Sather has taken runs at acquiring Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan and Jordan Staal over the last week.  Though many believe that each would look good in blue, it’s the price tag that’s scary to think about.

Players like Derek Stepan, Michael Del Zotto, Carl Hagelin, Tim Erixon and others have been requested as parts of massive packages for each of the superstars and Sather refused to cave in and abandon the franchise’s carefully laid out plan.

The Blueshirts could still use an infusion of offense, there’s no doubt about that.  But Sather deserves a world of credit for remaining patient in the wake of Marian Gaborik’s injury.  He’ll still attempt to upgrade the top-six through a variety of outlets, but Sather is going to do it on his terms.

That means that several youngsters are completely off limits and others will only be parted with if absolutely necessary.

Getting Nash, Ryan or Staal would have created headlines, but Sather’s commitment to youth is what got the Rangers this far in the first place and he has remained steadfast in his vision for the future Blueshirts.

Who knows what Skjei, the eventual first-round pick that many assumed would be included in any trade package, will amount to.  Nieves, Andersson and Spelling aren’t sure things either.

But Sather chose youth over overpriced stars again.  It’s still completely unbelievable the transformation he and the organization have undergone in the last few years.  But draft weekend was another exhibit of the Rangers’ new vision and a Conference Finals appearance this year shows that the franchise’s direction is still only trending upward.