Draftday looming: the draft musings

Is Ryane Clowe less likely to re-up with the Rangers because of AV?
Is Ryane Clowe less likely to re-up with the Rangers because of AV?

As we approach the draft weekend and the Stanley Cup playoffs are over, the Rangers get ready to enter the offseason with a new leader at the helm. We’ve beaten the Alain Vigneault-analysis angle to death so let’s just jump into another musings instead.

Artem Anisimov has turned his move from the Rangers into an almost $10m, 3 year contract. Good for him but it’s another example of a struggling franchise overpaying to keep players happy. Based on production, Anisimov is not worth 3.25m per year. That said, maybe he earns it during the deal.

If Kris Letang goes to the Leafs it would be a huge mistake by the Penguins. Yes, his demands may be out of whack but that club needs balance and he’s arguably the best offensive defenseman in the league after Karlsson.

People shouldn’t assume Ryane Clowe will be back with the Rangers because he’s been medically cleared. He has had ‘history’ with the Canucks, had an almost public feud with the club up North. Remember who last coached the Canucks?….

Intriguing: Jaromir Jagr is going to be an unrestricted free agent. I would still take him if he would accept close to the league minimum, especially with Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin hurting. That said, he and the Rangers are clearly at different stages, timing isn’t great.

There seems to be some criticism being levied at the Avalanche for not embracing the hometown kid, Seth Jones this weekend. Assuming they do take him, I think MacKinnon is the right pick. He’s a potential superstar forward.

It’s funny how ‘Alain Vigneault is the right guy at the right time for the Rangers’. I think Tortorella is in exactly the same situation in Vancouver. Both moves could work out well.

Will the assistant coaches be determined before the draft? It will be interesting to see how the Rangers go with their assistants. With NHL experience an essential criteria, it’s a shame the club have again ruled out Brian Leetch’s involvement.

Very quietly, this coming pre-season is going to be a very important one for JT Miller when you consider the prospects such as Kreider and Lindberg will be competing for roster spots, a change in management and the injuries up front for the Rangers. Miller needs to make a statement.

The Rangers have a host of prospects that will be looking to make a run at the big club this coming pre-season. While he’s likely to begin the year in the AHL Michael St Croix is worth watching after a 92 point season with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. He followed it up going over a point per game in the playoffs. St Croix could be another mid round draft steal.

A player that may benefit from the injuries among the Rangers forwards is Christian Thomas. Like more established players such as Mats Zuccarello, Thomas has a chance to step up and get some minutes in a scoring role early on. A big pre-season could really work in his favour as he showed in his cup of coffee with the Rangers that he wasn’t afraid to shoot. He probably deserved another game or two after his initial showing. Despite an underwhelming AHL season, Thomas still has a chance.

Question Time:

  • Which North American based prospects have the best chance to make the NHL?
  • How many goals will Chris Kreider score next season?
  • Is Ryan Bourque a draft bust?
  • If you were GM, would you try to draft up this weekend?
  • What should be the Rangers draft priority this weekend?

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  • 1. Besides Miller and Kreider? I don’t think any will, but I give McIlrath the best shot. You’re right that Thomas could get a spot early due to injuries.
    2. 13
    3. No, 3rd round picks are always gambles and at his size, the Rangers knew the risk.
    4. Absolutely, but the first round is out of reach.
    5. No priority, just finding players that are good fits. Speed, obviously.

  • 1. If any, McIlrath
    2. 18
    3. Hey he’s still only 22, who knows what can happen
    4. yes please, but it doesn’t seem like anybody wants to trade OUT of the first round
    5. Best player available. Maybe a goalie?

  • 1) Thomas
    2) 15 for CK
    3) Not a bust IMO, just never thought Bourque would make it anyway
    4) Perhaps, but who do we unload given our depth issues?
    5) Best player available, always.

  • Christian Thomas
    Defensemen Ryan Pulock. PP QB who can score, skate, pass etc. 1st rounder. Probably top 5. Gonna be hard to trade up that high. Trade next years 1st and 4th & this years 3rd and acquire a 1st round top 3 pick. I wouldnt write thi if it werent worth it. Also hes probably NHL ready.

      • NHL central scouting says Pulock is around 13 on the N.A. Skaters list. So change that to like 10-12. Holmgren made some comments about Pulock. Sounds like he could draft him before anyone else gets the chance.

  • Thomas likely gets a shot with Callahan and Hagelin out at the beginning
    Not a bust, was always a fringe player
    Yes – strong draft class
    Size and skating ability – prospect pool is pretty diverse so no major needs

  • I’d like to comment on how no one is pointing out Sather has no 1st or 2nd pick in one of the deepest drafts in 10 years. He’ll have that job till he dies! How do you not stock up for this year knowing how deep this draft is. Once again another Sather blunder we fans will suffer with. 13 years and we haven’t even gotten to the finals. How does anyone keep their job with a record like that!!

    • Well to be fair, Rick Nash is the reason for no first round pick, which I think we were (and still are) on board with. You can definitely make the case that the Clowe deal was too pricey. Not having a second rounder definitely hurts, I agree with you there.

  • Had no problem with Nash trade, but look at the whole pic. we only had 4 picks for this draft. We got Bluejackets 3rd rounder when we didn’t make conference finals. We have no 5th or 7th pick also. For a G.M. who’s suppose to be so smart how could he do that. Following this team since 1963 and I’m just tired of Sather. If it wasn’t for the BROMANCE with Dolan he should have been gone years ago.

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