What to Expect When You’re Expecting a First Round Pick


Unless you live under a rock, then you’ve heard the rumors circulating about the Rangers, moves involving players that should get a first round pick. I am not predicting what trade is made, but I do want to try to talk about some of my favorite players who may be picked by the Rangers this Friday should they actually get a first rounder.

Picks 8-10 (Buffalo or Colorado may be willing to move their picks)

Defenseman Mikhail Sergachyov is the preferred target here. This player is without a doubt my favorite defenseman in this draft, the 6’3 left handed Russian defenseman is an incredible skater, truly effortless and extremely poised. His skating makes him effective on the defensive end and won’t make him someone easily beaten on the rush.

Sergachyov is not a string bean either, for a kid his age he is so strong and definitely used his body to his advantage. Combining his skating and accurate passing we have a potentially incredible defenseman capable of being the man that carries possession and helps the team offensively and defensively. In the offensive zone, Sergachyov has a sick and accurate shot, potentially a top pair defenseman shot. He is also likely to step into the NHL right away.

Alex Nylander will also be a great pick here, but knowing the Rangers I do not think they would be able to pass on 6’6 behemoth center Logan Brown. Brown is the kind of center many Rangers fans have been willing to kill for. He uses his size to protect the puck and to try to control possession. Brown is an incredible playmaker as well, his accurate passing would be something great to see in Rangers blue.

Brown also has shown vast improvement in skating and seems like he will keep working hard in order to improve. My biggest issue is that a player of his size in juniors is likely to be producing points the way he has. Not many other players can take the puck off him so I am seriously worried that he won’t be as productive when a pro.

Mid-First round (around #15)

Charlie McAvoy is a perfect present for the 30th anniversary of drafting Brian Leetch. Long Island born but plays in Boston University, the puck moving defenseman had an awesome freshman year, scoring 25 points in 37 games. At 6’1, 211lbs, the right handed defenseman really knows how to skate with the best of them and use his quick hands to become a threat offensively.

His defensive game can use a little work but developing in BU is great for that. While with the NTDP he improved his gap control, something that will be a huge part of his two-way game and making him an effective player in the NHL. He is definitely somebody that is a huge need in our system.

German Rubtsov is a pretty good player, this is the kind of player that is the definition of the bridge between defense and offense. Rubtsov is the Soviet style centerman who is so responsible defensively but also an intelligent playmaker. Rubtsov is a jack of all trades, and will likely be a quality 2nd line center for any team that picks him. At the flip side, that may be the issue, teams are going for their future face of the franchise and it’s unlikely that Rubtsov will be a top tier first line center but boy will he be one quality player for us if we do pick him.

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  • With Logan Brown, his size helps on goal scoring, not assists. His G/A ratio seems really constant as a pass first guy. If he could be a 15-20g, 50a player I would trade Kevin Hayes in a heartbeat.

    • That is not necessarily true… his size gives him the ability to ward off the mostly smaller sized opposition… possibly drawing a second defender or at the least giving him more time to find an open teammate. So it CAN skew his JR stats… Obviously I say “can” because I have not watched him play to see if that has been the case.

    • You know something Alec, over the years, the Rangers and Blue Jackets have had a pretty long standing relationship in trading players/prospects. They want to use their 3rd overall pick to get Scott Hartnell off their books and probably get a pretty good package of roster players, prospects, and/or picks in return. The fact Hartnell comes with the pick will make it cost a little less but from the Rangers viewpoint, Hartnell is a net front presence that scores those dirty goals in the “net zone” off rebounds and tips. I think he has a $4 mil (and change) cap hit so it wouldn’t be too hard to fit him in. Not the worst thing in the world.

      Maybe John Tortorella would want one of Marc Staal or Dan Giradi as part of said trade. Not that either would want to go there to block 200 shots a season under Torts grueling zone defensive strategy and they’d have to waive their gifted NMC (why Sather gave that to Staal I’ll never understand) in order for that to work.

      I’m sure this is just a pipe dream but my point is that the 3rd overall draft pick is attainable and it’s being shopped by a team the NYR have had a history of dealings with. There are some very good young (Entry Level) players in the top 5 of this draft. At #3 the Rangers could have any defenseman in this draft (assuming Mathews & Laine go 1 & 2) and maybe even one of those ridiculously lamented forward’s. The Rangers farm system needs a puck mover on the back end the most but with a depleted system like the NYR have, in that case, you take the best player available.
      I really like this kid Tkachuk. He has no problem playing in the big moments as seen in the Memorial Cup.
      The top Dman is the Fin Juolevi. A NHL calibre puck moving defenseman.
      If it’s speed the Rangers want then there’s the Finnish RW Puljujarvi. He’s got all the tools to be a Carl Hagelin with Skill. If I’m Jeff Gorton, that 3rd pick is what I want my hands on. That is the kind of splash that would go over well for the Rangers. Hartnell could have a career year playing AV’s speedy overload hockey and the Rangers could get production from a young star player for an ELC.

      • A: they might be shopping in case Slats loses his mind again, but CBJ are doing cartwheels over getting Puljuljavi. He can start from day 1, better overall player than Laine. Not a skater at Hags level, but still a really good skater.

        B: Hartnell’s a POS, can’t have him on the roster and doing anything going forward.

  • Mikhail Sergachyov, to me is what we need the most at this time. As much as I’d love any of the above mentioned players, it’s the “D” that’s the problem with our team, and that has got to be addressed. How I envy the teams that have early, and several #1 picks in this draft !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Logan Brown sounds like Brian Boyle-lite. Which is fine, but if the Rangers actually manage to get a mid-1st round pick? Pass.

    Use it on a skilled defenseman like McAvoy or Sergachev if they’re still around.

      • If anything, Brown’s development curve is better than Hayes by a country mile. Hayes didn’t start producing until he was a senior while Brown was doing it his 2nd year.

        • Hayes is in the NHL and already producing. He is already a success.

          It sounds like, at best, Brown can be Hayes or possibly a Brian Boyle/Adam Lowery (WPG) type.

          Whatever he is, I would have no problem with adding Logan Brown to the Rangers organization. He sounds like a useful player.

          • Hayes is a .5ppg player at this point and is in his prime. It could be because of the loss of Hags on his wing or his deployment by AV, but he took a serious step back. His best value currently is as a trade chip.

          • Are you saying that at 23 years old Hayes has hit his ceiling? He is not the first and certainly not the last player to have a crap second NHL season.

            Bigger players and playmakers (Hayes is both) take longer to hit their prime. I would argue that we haven’t seen the best of Hayes and I confidently believe his ceiling is a 60 point winger.

          • He’s not 23, he’s 24 and 6 years removed from his draft year. He is what he is(like Kreider) but Kreider’s game brings more to the table.

          • He just turned 24 a month ago. Last year is considered his Age 23 season.

            I find it mind boggling that you think players cannot improve at 24. How do you explain late bloomers like Brian Boyle, Mats Zuccarrello, and Derek Brassard?

          • Boyle was moved from D to C to D to C. Brassard had injuries. Zuccarello had to overcome size prejudice

            What’s Hayes’ excuse?

  • The elephant in the room is the question … Who are we going to trade for this draft pick? If it’s McDonagh, would Sergachyov be an upgrade? If it’s Stepan or Brassard, could Brown step into their skates? And, let’s be real, we’re not going to get a first round pick for anything less than a proven starting player with good stats.

  • I still think we move a Brassard or a JT Miller and get back a scoring winger or a top 20 pick which becomes an offensive speed guy, not a defensive player.

    • That doesn’t make the team better in the present, a coin flip whether it makes you better in the future.

      • Agreed, offense from the forwards is the last thing the Rangers should be looking for. As is, there are already three lines of forwards that can post big numbers, they need guys that can get them the puck in transition.

  • If there is a trade with Minny for #15, then McAvoy would be a great pick. I liked what I saw although only seeing him play a few times.

  • Oh u mean like when trading a #1 goaltender in Cam Talbot? I expected squat in return and got it. Tx Sorton.

    • If you traded Talbot today you would expect a lot more. He was not a proven # 1 goalie last year. Not sure you could get much more. Yes I know sather turned down a top pick or two 2nd round picks. No proof of it but the story plays out better that way.

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