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.