Thoughts on the Rangers’ draft

k'andre miller

The 2018 NHL Draft is behind us, and the Rangers made ten total selections, with one trade to move up in the first round. Josh is going to have a full breakdown of each pick later this week. This lovely Sunday is best spent, at least for me, running through the picks at a high level and the overall draft strategy. I have some thoughts.

1. First things first, the Rangers really nailed the first round. I wanted Oliver Wahlstrom, but that’s my personal preference. Vitali Kravtsov wasn’t falling to 22 or any other spot the Rangers could realistically trade up to, so let’s eliminate that thought. Kravtsov has an elite level ceiling, and he lit up the KHL playoffs as an 18 (!!) year old. He has one year left on his KHL deal and has said he’s coming to North America after. This kid is legit.

2. The price to move up to grab K’Andre Miller was high, costing the 26th and 48th picks to move up four spots, but Miller is just a physical specimen. He has elite speed already, and has shown an ease in transitioning from forward to defense. He’s raw, but he’s committed to Wisconsin where he will refine those skills. If he even scratches the surface of his ceiling, he’s a top pair defenseman.

3. Nils Lundkvist was the finally first round pick, giving the Rangers players named Lundqvist, Lundkvist, and Lindqvist. I’m going to screw that up at some point, so sorry in advance for that. But Lundkvist is a smooth skating Swedish defenseman who, while doesn’t have the offensive upside you may want from a first round pick, is just overall solid in all three zones. He’s someone who will make the smart play in the zone and transition to offense.

4. The only pick I really didn’t like was Olof Lindbom in the second round. It has nothing to do with Lindbom, whom I hear Benoit Allaire was elated the Rangers got, it has to do with when he was taken. There was a lot of potential top-six talent on the board, and the Rangers grabbed a goalie that most likely would have been there in the third round, especially in a position that is already stacked in the pipeline. Aside from that, Lindbom was a highly ranked goaltender. I see nothing wrong with the player, just with the time he was selected.

5. I don’t know much about the remaining picks. Josh will be able to provide more details on those. I will say that I like the Nico Gross pick. Joey Keane had good possession stats. Also Riley Hughes was a one of Corey Pronman’s top sleepers. So I do want to highlight those.

6. There was a lot of outrage about Day Two, and I understand why. The Rangers went off the board with Lindbom, and selected a bunch of guys that weren’t on anyone’s radar, at least on social media. I don’t like the Lindbom pick, but I’m going to defer to Gordie Clark on this. He’s got a pretty good track record, although some recent history is starting to tarnish it.

7. That recent history I’m talking of? The 2014 and 2015 drafts were disasters, with just Igor Shestyorkin (2014 4th) and Adam Huska (2015 7th) still with the Rangers in high standing. Shesty appears to be the heir apparent, but Huska has been pretty solid so far. The Blueshirts also took Aleksi Saarela in 2015, so in theory that’s not a bad draft, but Saarela isn’t with the Rangers anymore.

8. Folks are looking at the 2013 draft as a failure, especially since Adam Tambellini won’t be qualified. That’s the draft that landed Pavel Buchnevich. There is a legitimate argument that outside of top round picks, Clark hasn’t really hit on a mid or late rounder –aside from Buchnevich– since Jesper Fast in 2010. Part of that is lack of picks. But 2016 has Tim Gettinger and Ty Ronning in Hartford, both looking to have promising futures. The conversation changes if those two hit.

9. The Blueshirts really needed high end talent, as their NHL roster is filled with young depth. They now have that high end talent in Kravtsov, Miller, and Filip Chytil. Lias Andersson will likely be a middle-six forward as well. The Rangers have swung for the fences with three of their five first round picks. Hopefully they all pan out, but it’s tough to argue with that strategy.

10. As for the overall draft strategy, I fully believe in best player available, no matter what. It looks like Clark and company altered their strategy a bit for this draft. The Blueshirts went defense heavy, complementing the prospects acquired at the trade deadline. Defensemen take longer to develop, so it appears the Rangers are gearing up for 3-4 years from now, not the immediate future. Next year could be a rough one, but it’ll be fun watching the kids play.

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  • I’ve been defending the Rangers drafting on these boards for a long time. I’ve had enough.
    I hated this draft. Rangers have established a pattern of going off the board with their top picks, and while some may eventually work out, the rest perform as well as scouts have expected.
    You can’t pick Lias Andersson when an elite talent like Mittelstadt is sitting there.
    You can’t pick an unknown like Kravtsov when Wahlstrom, Dobson and Bouchard are available. (Yes, I know Kravtsov exploded in KHL playoffs, but it’s an extremely small sample size. Just ask Dave Bolland.)

    The Rangers run of 2008-2012 top picks (Del Zotto, Kreider, McIlrath(ugh), J.T.Miller, Skjei) seems like a distant memory. And I know that they didn’t have first round picks in several years running. But picks like Iverson and Gropp looked bad at the time and proved so. How do you take a goalie in the second round, when you have Shestyorkin, Georgiev and Huska in the system and you wasted a second round pick on a goalie just 5 years ago (Halverson).

    I’m going to hate facing Islanders in 2-3 years watching Wahlstrom, Bouchard and Wilde, knowing 2 out of three could have been Rangers.

    • I don’t worry about what other teams got, I just worry about the players we drafted … and I think we got 3 really good players. I’m not interested in having them make the sexy picks, I’m interested in team building picks.

      Miller is going to be a huge fan favorite, he’s satisfying a need that literally every poster on this blog has been SCREAMING for — this kid hits like a truck yet possesses great mobility. He hasn’t even scratched the surface of his true potential.

      Kravtsov is a kid they were following all year, his playoff performance only solidified his status. He was dominating MEN in arguably the 2nd best league in the world when it counted most. Small sample size or TRUE development? We’ll know in a year or two —- and hey, concerning Wahlstrom who I too wanted them to draft with the 9th pick, well 10 teams passed on him.

      In Nils Lundkvist I see a right shot defenseman that could arguably anchor the right side in a Top 4 role for a long time to come.

      Re: selecting Olof Lindbom … if Benny wants Benny gets. Maybe it was early (sure, I thought so as well) or maybe there was another team interested in taking him. We’re not there on the floor to say whether that was a legitimate fear or not. For whatever reason they did not want to pass on the chance to get this kid.

      I also think we made a few interesting picks the rest of the way. One that isn’t getting a lot of attention was Lauri Pajuniemi. I think it’s a high value pick. Not to suggest he’s a Top 6 guy, but he looks like one of those guys that can move up and down a lineup as needed. Of course he might also turn out to be a bust and never play in the NHL — just like 80% of the kids drafted in the last few days.

      • I get the wishful thinking on Kravtsov. He *could* be a top line guy. But, he wasn’t dominating anybody. He scored his 11 points in the first 9 games of the playoffs. He was shut out in his last 7, after having been given more ice time and more responsibility.

        To me, the problem is that they’ve taken too many ‘could be’ and not enough ‘should be’.

      • Here’s a post from Scott Wheeler at the Athletic that summarizes EXACTLY the feeling I had coming out of this draft:

        Vitali Kravtsov, K’Andre Miller, and Nils Lundkvist are all prospects I like to varying degrees, but I think the Rangers could have done a lot better with three first-round picks in a pivotal draft for the organization, and my best players available in those slots were Wahlstrom, Veleno, and Jonathan Tychonick. Jacob Ragnarsson is a defenceman who I quite like, but I’m confident he would have been available later and he likely tops out as a third-pairing guy. I have also seen a ton of OHLers Nico Gross and Joey Keane, two more defencemen with middling upside — though I do believe in Keane’s progression and he can defend really tough minutes. It wasn’t an awful draft but it seems like an opportunity missed.

    • You nailed it. In one month the Islanders have moved into a top team on every level, while the Rangers remain with a wing and a prayer Svengali called Gordie Clark. His overall philosophy has brought a revolving door of mediocrity. We all hope his picks pan out, but will the stigma of one Cup in
      68+ years (with a mercenary line-up) be challenged with the last two drafts?
      Ending up in the middle of the pack is the road to more disappointment. Who is the last real superstar in their prime who was an elite leader and performer. To me, Messier and Leetch in ’94, but after the strike year???

  • Since reading the blog back in 2010, there has always been talk on this message board with building the team through the draft, year after year (as well as getting rid of Sather). Many of us have been upset with the trading away of draft picks (I hear you, I didn’t like some of the deals made with the extra draft picks attached) in addition to some of our draftees (even yesterday with taking a goalie in round 2, I mean … come on). However, we were going for it. We made three Eastern Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Finals. We didn’t reach the top of the mountain and it sucked but that ship has run its course, hence the February sell-off. Side note … I know I’m only 33 and haven’t had to suffer like a lot of the veteran fans on this site, but this past decade of Rangers hockey has been some of the most fun for me in my life as a hockey fan.

    Between last years draft, this year’s prospect acquisitions at the deadline, and now this weekend with three first rounders, we are finally doing what many of us have long desired. And TBH, next year might be a little rough too (like Dave mentioned), and I’m willing to be patient if it is … which means maybe another top 10 pick + additional first rounder if we make a trade somewhere. And next years draft for 2019, there are a lot of blue chip prospects coming up apparently. So within a span of 3 years, we have fully re-stocked the cupboard and finally got some young talent. And it’s talent that we don’t have to go out and buy.

    Now … let the kids play and see what we have. If the players we have progress the way we hope, we will be a force for years to come (even if it’s not till 2020). I’m trying to be optimistic about everything because based on social media the last 48 hours, a lot of people wanna write this team off and it’s not even July 1st yet. But I’m willing to be patient. If things don’t go as planned, I’ll call for Gorton and Clark’s jobs … but I think they deserve the benefit of the doubt until 2019-2020, especially Gorton. Sather made calls way too long with this club and it crippled any asset management we’ve had to work with. This is Gorton’s team, let’s see what he can do now that he’s got his players coming up through the pipe line.


    • Dan

      Great post, spot on, and at 33 your still young enough to wait a little longer. As for me, I’ll be 72 in September have seen only the 94 cup, and I’ll give JG some time to correct the ship that may have drifted off course by Sather for what seems for ever! Your name isn’t a regular one, please continue to post, you have your head screwed on straight!!!!! Good day…

      • Thanks Walt!

        I post from time to time (I was excited when we signed that kid Pedrie from my alma mater Penn State .. and I think you mentioned you have a grandkid who went there too .. because I never thought in a million years a Penn State hockey player would make it to the pros lol) but I’m always keeping up with the site. I enjoy the banter back and forth with everyone, so much fun to read how passionate everyone is about this team, good or bad.

        Should be able to post more now that my summer vacation is coming up and my 7th graders are done until September!! 🙂

          • “Penn State”

            LOL. Tony, it’s really a very good school, and has an excellent engineering program to boot, as well as other degree plans!!!!!!! My grandsons already are talking about going there, they were brain washed by mommy, and daddy!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Dan

          It was my daughter, and her husband that met, and graduated from Penn State.

          Funny, just last week, her three sons where up there for a basketball camp, so she and Jeff rented a townhouse for the week, and had a great time with some old college friends who were in town as well.

          Believe it or not, those tickets are tough to get, to see the PSU hockey games. A little tid-bit of useless information, the owner of the Buffalo Bills is a PSU engineering grad, donated the entire cost of the arena, some $30 Million!!!!

          Have a great day my man!!!!!!!!!

  • The positive from this draft is we went for high ceiling in the first round. Kravtsov and Miller should be solid picks down the road. I had not really followed Miller leading up to the draft, but i love this kid from what I have read. Kravtsov started popping up more towards the draft. Some great videos of him. Neither of these guys was a big reach either. Kravtsov was 12 I think and Miller was 23. at 28 Lundkivst is fine, but imagine Mattias Samuelsson paired up with Miller down the road?

    #39. I may hate that number for the rest of my life. That was terrible on so many levels. The point you make that we would have been available later. But the bigger issue is there were some really good guys on the board who had fallen far. This is a moment where you have to reach for the best available talent
    and take advantage of the opportunity. And they let that slip through their fingers. It’s one bad moment, but it should have easily been a bright spot for us in the draft to add good talent.

    I don’t know much about the rest of the picks other than what I read about them after we picked them yesterday. We do seem to fight consensus at time with our picks. Time will tell how we did.

    The reason I see success in this draft is because we did get 2 high ceiling players; one forward and one D man. I fully believe Kravtsov and Miller will make this team and have long term very positive impact. We can complain about the missed opportunities, but can’t change them now. Looking forward to development camp. Are we going have enough forwards for that with all the D we took?

    • I would agree with you about the #39, but assuming Benny had something to say about this pick (supposedly LOVES it), then I can live with it. They may have bought themselves a real good insurance policy — 4-5 years down the line we may be looking at a 1A 1B tandem of Shesty and Olof, pushing each other to excel and providing us with a lot of leverage. Gorton pretty much said they drafted what was in their mind the best talent available, let’s hope they’re right.

        • … and Hank and Georgiev and Talbot and Raanta ….

          Actually I don’t know who he has “loved” in the past when we drafted, I just read he’s seen and loves THIS kid in particular — for whatever it’s worth.

      • Benny can love whomever he wants, but with the CBA the way it is, he’ll have to get off his ass and coach these guys up well before they ever get to NYC.

  • I think they did fine with the first four picks. Not going to be picky about taking someone else. It’s all a crap shoot but I think they made good selections

    Is anyone upset that Kova didn’t come here? Not me. Not upset with Tavares either. Some one is going to overpay.

    The biggest thing aside from talent is to play hard as the new coach has described. I think we will see an aggressive mindset that will make it hard to play against the Rangers. We need to shed the fringe and soft players. Use guys who will play both ends, go to dirty areas, and not be nice. That will be a welcome change. SMART free agents signings and giving new guys an opportunity will go along way to be better than last season

  • First round, we went from knee-jerk reaction Ranger fans to educated, “ok, look at the players we actually got as opposed to who we didn’t take” euphoric Ranger fans.

    For those who do not know what I am talking about, look up our 9th overall pick and see what this kid can do. He has tremendous size, skill, skating ability, determination, and guts. He is the total package, as he can shoot, pass, has tremendous vision, and plays at the other end of the ice as he was put into 3rd line defensive roles when he first started playing in the KHL this past year. I am really excited about this kid Krav. And he could be in the AHL as early as spring, 2019.

    Miller? Tremendous upside. Huge kid that can skate like the wind, plays with an edge, and has high offensive skills since he used to play forward. Our “Brent Burns” if you will. He will learn in Wisconsin on how to play defense and may be the steal of the draft.

    The rest? Crapshoot. I didn’t like the goalie in the 2nd round, no matter how good he is. Bode Wilde and Akil Thomas were still on the board (I would have picked the forward Thomas). Way to high to draft a goalie. The rest, wait and see, though the last pick, Riley Hughes, who is 17, was picked as a “Hail Mary” type of pick with a pick the Rangers could afford to trade, their 2nd 7th rounder for next year.

    Overall, B grade, IMO.

    • Agree that the rest was a crapshoot.

      The good news is that day one is far more important than day 2, and I think we nailed that. Got some legit “high ceiling talent” that we’ve been begging for. My prediction (no bias whatsoever!!) is that Wahlstrom is a safer bet but he’ll top out as a second line winger. Kravtsov will turn out to be a legit Hart/Rocket Richard trophy candidate for a decade.

      Ok, so that’s purely speculative, but if we look at the facts that emerge after the dust settles, that is a best case scenario that certainly isn’t impossible.

      Love the fact that we swung for the fences on day 1, don’t care as much about day 2. Now let’s sit back and enjoy watching Quinn develop all these kids into superstars.

      • Agree on all Brett.

        I felt foolish reacting like I did on Friday night when I actually looked at Krav and then understood why the Rangers took him.

        I think if Miller pans out that he will be a fan favorite based on the way I hear he plays, with a big chip on his shoulders.

        It appears like we have the right coach at the right time.

    • I really like the K’Andre Miller pick, he compares favorably to Kreider in size, speed and mobility, except there’s one difference… Miller will have an idea of what he’s doing on the ice.

    • Tony

      As you recall I was one of the pissed off guys from the start. I then read a load about Krav, and now feel warm and fuzzy. The Miller kid is a dream, and a load of charterer, I already love the guy. As for the rest, will time will tell.

      I posted a comment about the Fishsticks, getting the 10&11 picks falling into their lap. Then the second day they get another present in Bode Wilde, talk about stepping into crap, and coming out smelling like a rose. Like I said yesterday, let the press go crazy telling us how much of a genius Lou is, that’s going to be sickening to me, LOL!!!!!!!!

      • Take solace, Walt, with the fact that JT leaving the Isles is a very real and possible thing. I didn’t believe it at first but evidently the Sharks are putting on a full court press, including the players who are communicating with JT to join them and win a Cup together.

        I find it hard to believe that JT would leave the Isles but if winning is his priority then it makes perfect sense. So the Isles may have won the battle but may lose a huge war.

  • IMO Gorton did what he thought best with the information he has. The Rangers don’t “REALLY” know what they have as a team when you look at the big picture. A new coach, so many new players; NHL ready and prospects. Who is this team right now? It is going to take at least next season before Gorton can say, OK, we have this and we need this for a more complete team.

    So with that thought the Rangers Brass drafted 2 players with huge upside potential. Miller can be our top line Dman for years to come. Kravtsov has top line winger/center ceiling. Both players have a high level of all around skill. Perfect picks for a team that is starting from scratch and trying to piece together a team. Did I want Wahlstrom? You bet I did. But that was from an armchair position. I never interviewed him or watched countless hours of game tape.

    I think Gorton has done a good job getting as many parts as possible in a short time for a new coach to cobble together a team. Let us see what we have as next season progresses and what positions need upgrades. We need to give our prospects 1-2 years at least to start taking on NHL responsibilities.

    Enjoy the ride of watching a team build from scratch!!!

  • Dave,

    Wondering what you see in Gordie Clark. His record with the Rangers has been sub par. Yes, he hit with Miller, Kreider and Skjei but then there’s McIlrath. His only second round pick that’s made it is Stepan. After that he’s had busts after bust and although the jury’s still out on Nieves and Gropp, they don’t look too promising. His only third round pick of worth is Buchnevich with a slight nod to Duclair. After the third round Fast is the only pick that’s done anything. Clark reaches more on draft day than Jerry Reiss and yesterday was a perfect example. If you trust the player valuations by the Pronmans of the hockey universe, you’d have to say that Saturday was another example of over drafting by Clark and company.

  • Dave,

    Wondering what you see in Gordie Clark. His record with the Rangers has been sub par. Yes, he hit with Miller, Kreider and Skjei but then there’s McIlrath. His only second round pick that’s made it is Stepan. After that he’s had bust after bust and although the jury’s still out on Nieves and Gropp, they don’t look too promising. His only third round pick of worth is Buchnevich with a slight nod to Duclair. After the third round Fast is the only pick that’s done anything. Clark reaches more on draft day than Jerry Reiss and yesterday was a perfect example. If you trust the player valuations by the Pronmans of the hockey universe, you’d have to say that Saturday was another example of over drafting by Clark and company.

    • Lowell…like you long time NYR fan.

      As of right now all these draftees are just names. Lots of stats, lots of opinions and lots of wishes.

      Gordie does not make the choices, its a team effort. The Dylan Mac choice was a team want and I have read not Gordies #1. I could be mistaken, but don’t think so. Remember Slats had a lot to do with this team and its personnel via trades of draft choices and AV had a lot to do with the non development of young guys. I thought DMac played well in the 15 or so games I saw him play. But enough. I wasn’t on the bench and didn’t see what AV did, right or wrong. I don’t trust the Pronmans, I trust the guy who is still getting paid to evaluate talent as a full time job which includes non stats things such as disposition, leadership (talk to some of DMacs Teammates and you will understand) knowledge of X and O and eliminate the knee injury that took him out for almost a year and hindered his physical development.
      Trust Gordie, Bennie and Gorton, and eliminate the others who wanted guys on the list but were ranked further down by the scouts.
      By the by Edmonton has had, what, 3 or 5 picks in the top 3…..how are they doin”?

    • I don’t think Gordie has been that awful. He really hasn’t had any picks to mess up over his tenure. Anything over a 1st round pick is a lottery ticket. If our 1st round pick are playing and we get a few late picks to hit that is a success in the NHL.

      In 2011 we picked JT Miller in the first round. We didn’t have another pick until the 3rd round. I only see about 2 or 3 game breakers chosen after our 3rd round pick. Johnny Gaudreau (F) being one of them.

      In 2012 we had 4 picks. Our late 1st round pick is playing right now. Brady Skjei #28. Boo Nieves #59 is still a possibility and he was a 2nd round pick.

      In 2013 we didn’t have any picks until the 3rd round. 2 out of those 3 are in the NHL now. #75 Pavel Buchnevich and #80 Anthony Duclair. That is actually an amazing ratio.

      In 2014 we started drafting at round 2 and we had 7 picks mostly very late rounds. One player looks to be like our future – Igor Shestyorkin (G) at #118. We chose 2 goalies that year and hitting on goalies is even more of a crap shoot. I see 2 players after the 1st round that have done anything of significance at the NHL level in this draft.

      2015 we started in the 2nd round once again. Ryan Gropp. The book is still out on him. I would say this was GC’s weakest draft. But as I look through the draft. There was no player after the mid 2nd round that has made any NHL headway. https://www.eliteprospects.com/draft/nhl-entry-draft/2015

      2016 we didn’t have a draft choice until the 3rd round. Once again, ANYTHING after the 1st round is a lottery ticket. As I scan the draft list I don’t see any players of quality that have played in or impacted the NHL in any way after the middle of the 2nd round. SO far. Pretty early to tell.

      Take a look at the draft list and you will see how very rare it is for a player chosen after the 1st round to play any significant minutes in the NHL let alone have a huge impact.

      Start with 2010 and see we actually hit on a late draft pick. Jesper Fast.


    • The number of picks that actually play in the NHL after the first round is very very low. That Gordie has hit on 4 players in the late rounds is actually remarkable (if you include Igor Shestyorkin (G)). Take a look at the drafts going back to 2010 on elite prospects website. You will see how rare any player chosen after mid second round actually plays in the NHL. A player making a huge impact that late in the draft is even more rare.

      I would say just the opposite. We have done a good job considering how many drafts we started choosing in the 2nd or even 3rd round and that we have developed a few late round players.


  • Rangers have drafted nine goalies since Blackburn. Only one of the nine has spent real time in the NHL (Al Montoya) and he did not contribute to the Rangers or get much in trade. They still have a few in the pipeline, but only Shesterkin looks valuable. Drafting goalies is a fool’s errand. [In contrast, Talbot was a free agent and Johnson, Raanta came cheap in trade.]

  • I have no problem with Kravtsov and agree that he wasn’t going to be available long. But I do have one caution about his playoff stats. Healthy players outperform banged up players and the fact that he was lightly used during the season may have given him an advantage over other players who had suffered more wear and tear.

    The smart money I suppose is that he was just maturing, but we shall see.

    • He played all year, but in a bottom 6 role through most of it. Sure that means he probably got about 3-4 minutes less ice time in games than Top 6 guys but we’re only talking about 100 minutes total. The thing is that everyone is trying to raise their game come the playoffs, so he excelled at just the right time and when most every player attempted to raise their game to its highest level.

  • Starting to think that Gorton tried to trade down to take Lindblom & had no takers.

    At least that’s how I’m rationalizing it.

    • … or they thought there was a team between 40 and their 1st pick in the 3rd round that was going to grab him, so instead of risking it they just followed their “lists”. Maybe they were going to use that pick #48, but getting Miller was just too tempting for them — and given Miller’s upside, it’s very understandable. There’s a kid who will make the other teams’ forwards pay a price.

  • My thoughts on the day after:

    1. Still shocked and razzled that they skipped over wahlstrom. An elite shooter. He is going to college for a couple years? Big deal.

    I asked pronman why he fell and he said some scouts have issues with wahlstroms “hustle” or motor if you will.

    That being said I’m interested in seeing what kravtsov can bring. And I’d prefer he go to Hartford ala chytil.

    2. to me neither the next 2 picks seem like the number 1 d we need but you don’t usually get them late 20’s. I like that lindqvist seems to be a shooter.

    3. Still hate the lias pick. Although that was before the rebuild was announced. Either needed pro ready (wasn’t) or poor scouting job.

    4. Rest of draft is window dressing. We were all upset they skipped spring… And what has he done?

  • Really I don’t care what the Islanders did. They are a better team than we are the day before the draft and they, for the time being, are still a better team.

    We were picking for the future, and not only next year. Three, four years from now lets see who is the superior player, Vitali or Oli. I think Kravtsov has more upside. I don’t think this is another ‘pass on Bossy and take Duguay and DebLois’, situation.

    Now if we can just contain ourselves and stay away from Karlsson……………….

    Prospect Camp next Monday!


    • The Islanders a better “team” than us? I don’t know about that. We’ve thoroughly outperformed over the last 10 years (not even close), despite all this talent they supposedly possess. Even this year we were within 3 points of the Islanders despite selling off 4 major assets and going with a rookie goalie for 10 games towards the end of the season.

      The thing is you can choose and sign better players all you want, but if you can’t put them together in the most effective way then you won’t be the better team.

      • Very true. Now they have front office leadership and a proven coach who can coach vets and youth. Their goaltending was atrocious, so the mere three points is a bit misleading.
        Mark my words the spread will be greater this season.

        Again, I am 100% this rebuild it was LONG over due.

        • Jerry

          My friend, please read above, posted by Tony, it may put a smile on your face, it did me!!!!

          If true, and JT signs with the Sharks, that’s just fine……

  • If you ask me – and you haven’t – It’s time for a change at the top.

    Sather needs to retire to Arizona or wherever he goes and Dolan needs bring in a new guy with some fresh perspective and a new way of looking at things top to bottom.

    Their talent evaluation process from front to back is horribly broken and has been for a long, long time. That has led to some very questionable drafting, some very questionable personnel moves at the NHL level, and just plain poor decision making.

    From my amateur perspective their general draft approach seems to be basically locking in on a prospect and then becoming oblivious to and/or ignoring other options and facts that might sway the choice.

    This is problematic in my opinion because it portrays a decision making process that seems to be based on a bunch of “yes men” with no one in the room serving as a devils advocate.

    I don’t know this because I am not in the room. But how else can you explain picking a goalie at #39 that likely could have been had in the fourth or fifth round or even later.

    I am not disappointed in either Kravtsov or Miller and honestly have no idea no idea about the rest of the haul. But the goalie pick alone speak volumes about the need for a fresh approach.

    Gordie seems to have some weird messiah status as a scouting director and I have no idea why. We picked up some talent in the 1st round last year and this year’s 1st rounders are talented for sure so the trend is better. But….the recent history is not pretty and process is terribly broken if you pick THAT goalie when they did.

    If I was Dolan I would have “the talk” with Sather and put the word out that he is on his last year. And then I would begin targeting John Davidson to take over as the top dog.

    I think JD is signed through this coming season. You can’t tamper, but if the word is out that Sather is done then JD can at least conclude that he would be a real good fit as the new guy.

    Then let JD come in take a good look top to bottom about how things are run and he can make his own judgement on Gordie and Gorts.

    Oh Baby – something must be done…..

    • The run on goalies started at the end of the 2nd when EDM moved up. This is why I think Gorts tried to trade down but didn’t get an enticing offer.

    • im still shocked at the decision making. got a pure sniper gifted to you and u pass it up? then essentially blowing 2 seconds. baffling. fans deserve answers. listen the isles were gonna get 2 good players anyway. id much rather 11/12 then what we had.

      the only justification for picking the goalie is that they are shopping igor for assets or they dont think they can get him over (which circles back to the kratsov pick – better get him in NA asap)

    • Slats has his joint in La Quinta(Spanish for “next to Denny’s”) before he goes up to Okanagan valley.

      To be fair,I’m not sure that JD has really done enough to show that he would be an improvement on the current staff. He might’ve stabilized things in Columbus, but that’s about it.

    • Spot on not only did they draft a goalie in the 2nd round consensus was he was the 10th best goalie in the draft & if you think that was bad Ragnarsson who they took in the 3rd round his projection was from low 7th round to undrafted,inexcusable.
      I’d give the 1st round a solid B & a D for the rest of the rounds.
      I’m also not sold on JD.

      • To be fair picks # 39 & 70 may be clouding my judgment of rounds 2-7,so I’ll amend my rating to an F for those 2 picks primarily for where they were chosen & a B- for the rest as I like some of the picks after 70.

    • OK so JD may not be the answer…but something needs to change at the top.

      Sather is well past his usefulness and the whole process including scouting and particularly talent evaluation needs a fresh set of eyes.

  • if kratsov is supposed to be a bigger kuznetsov….. isn’t that what buch is/was supposed to be? are we gonna keep trying to find the same player?

  • High ceiling means the player could be great or could be sh*t. Too many risks in the players chosen. Even if they pan out it is not the smart thing to do. If I bet my mortgage every month and win it looks like a great decision; however, if I lose and my house is taken away I’m an idiot. There was too much talent that didn’t risk the house that was by passed to make this a good draft. If the morons that run the Rangers and the morons who support them liked the selections, I wished they had traded all their first and second round picks and tried to get a player we know will actually contribute to the Rangers one day instead of all this “high ceiling” bullsh*t.

    • lets face it with these drafts: outside of top 2 or 3, usually the rest is a crapshoot. bunch of hits and a bunch of misses.

      • The problem is that if you think of it that way, you cripple your farm system. Just because a guy has no shot making the big club doesn’t mean he doesn’t have value to the organization.

        Was Keegan Iverson ever making the Rangers? Doubt it. Would he have been an upgrade on some of the players they had in Hartford the last 2 seasons? Absolutely.

  • Hi all,

    Just my few cents/input into this. I think Kovy signing with Kings, is better for us, and if Tavares doesn’t sign here, Gorton can now focus on the RFA. I still think Trouba is a NYR by or after July 1. Hayes can get that deal done. Then what does NYR do with staal and smith?

    As far as coaches go, Quinn-head coach, Ruff-associate coach, NYR has to bring in a good reliable def coach. Ulf Samulesson not the best decision, Beukeboom also not the best def coach. I hope NYR finally can bring in a good def coach that can mentor the kids, and develop them. Leetch would be a great fan favorite and could get the best out of the def, especially young players.

    This could be the off season where the Rangers finally don’t sign a big named free agent to a huge deal (7-9 million a season). Personally I would sign a few players to reasonable contracts, Trouba on def could be a reasonable contract. Then work on the wingers, center, right wings, 3rd and 4th liners.

    My approximate math is the Rangers have $25 million figure 10 million goes to the RFA, left with 15million, Trouba would be about 6-8 million a season, lets say 7 million a season or maybe Gorton can make a reasonable contract like with Shattenkirk. Still after the signing NYR could have 8 million left over to fill out the rest of the fowards. I am excited for this upcoming season, finally no more Sather running the show, Gorton can stay his course rebuild properly get us back to contending.

    PS-Is my math approximate, LOL!! Not sure exactly NYR cap space after signing the RFA’s.

    • Signing Trouba to an offer sheet when the Jets have $25mm in cap room is a waste of time on multiple levels.

      You pay Trouba $7mm and they can match in a heartbeat and even if they didn’t, pretty sure he’s not worth 2 1st rd, a 2nd and 3rd.

      Last season when the Jets had cap issues I advocated for it at a front loaded $3.5mm AAV deal, just not value for money now.

  • Embrace the tank as someone so boldly stated yesterday! We are going to suck for 3 to 4 years at best. So lets just enjoy the ride and put a smile on our faces. We get to see how good hank really is. If you thought last year was bad this is going to be one of the most porous defenses in the league. Lets talk about high dangers shots come november 1st.

    It is clear to me this franchise is taking the truest route to getting that number 1 selection. Even though they will muff that up too …they are desperate for elite talent. Can’t blame them after watching so many years of Crosby,Toews, Kopitar, and now Ovi…they probably just have had enough. Next year they are hoping on Stamkos to pull one in.

    One point I would like to make to everyone who reads this. After all those failures in washington. After all those 2nd round and 1st round losses. The owner and the Gm and fanbase never gave up on them. Are new york rangers fans really that fickle? Stepan is a bum. Brassard can go…Nash is garbage, Mack Truck who? Giardi can’t skate for his life. Cally is insane for wanting that contract. Caps kept orlov, wilson, ovi, holtby, and it was kutz rookie year the first year they didn’t make the playoffs in 13-14. Since 08 they have won 3 presidents trophies but never got past the 2nd round. They hire trotz after 13-14 season and still can’t get over the hurdle. Until this past post season. Do you know how elated those washington fans are? The only major players they added to this roster since 13 was niskanen, orpik, backstrom, oshie. Rest are all just fillers.

    But you know what we did? We traded away Stepan and Mack and Cally and Dubi for pennies on the dollar. We gave away anisimov, Gaborik, Dumped giardi, Richards, dan boyle. Lost boyle, hags, for nothing. Staal’s older brother for nothing. lets not even go on a yandle rant.

    Does this seem like a first class organization to you?

    These were for better or worse players that bleed blue for the rangers sweater and we dumped them for hope. Which in the hands of this front office turned into turds. Where is Etem now? What about Kovac’s? Do you really think K’andre Miller isn’t going to try football? Or even better yet you think he won’t look at what happened to all these franchise players and decide to do what hayes did to chicago?

    You guys talk about these prospects like Sherkostin like he is a lock to leave the KHL. Look at how we as an organization have treated buch? You think he feels solid about playing for us? If he doesn’t do well this year you think he is still around after the deadline? You think the number 9 pick isn’t going to have his doubts?

    I loved this franchise. I loved the heart and grit from those teams with renney and torts. It was great hockey. The hope that something good was coming was very real. But at this moment and after this horrible draft. I feel the rangers as a franchise are so far from those days it is going to be a long time indeed til they compete.

    I honestly can’t blame the players. Not a single one of them knows if they are going or staying. That has to be a gut wrenching feeling. Staal is just waiting to get bought out. Zuc and Krieder and Hayes are in every trade rumor with this franchise. First class organization indeed.

    You know if you as a general manager make a commitment like the one we did to Giardi. Knowing full well that all those playoffs and 82 games seasons were going to take a significant toll on him…why would you dump him at your earliest convenience? When his body is starting to show the signs of all that abuse. It is spineless. Same can be said with Staal. You want to be a true first class organization show a player the respect he has earned with that contract you gave him. Shelter his minutes til he is able to regain some of his form. And live with your decision to sign him to that contract. It is like all the marriages that end in divorce so quickly. Well you shouldn’t have married a person you didn’t know so well.

    So when gorton or sather is wondering why guys like smith show up ….they really don’t have to look to far for a reason.

    • Odie,
      Did you get your handle from being dumber than the dog in Garfield?

      You can always find another team or sport.

    • Odielicious

      Not trying to start a war, but each, and every player has a shelf life, just like a coach, or GM for that matter. When players start to slow down, and it’s perceivable, one doesn’t hang on to them for sentimental reason, it’s something that may be foreign to some, it’s called a “Business” !!!!!!!

      • You missed the whole point as usual. Just try to read between the lines.

        I gave the example of Giardi. What you took out of that was it was business. But that wasn’t my point. It is how you do business that matters in the world.

        How many players have come and gone since Sather took the reigns? How many rules has the NHL come up with just for this franchise cause the absolute stupidity of the management team? You think the Cap showed up for any other reason then Wade Redden or Bobby Holik? Well Maybe Dipietro had some influence. LOL …but come on.

        How you handle your players as they come and go is remembered. Sign a guy to a huge contract but when that backfires on you cause his body falls apart there are several options on how to handle it. 1st option is cut him and eat the contract. 2nd option is minimize his play time til he proves capable. 3rd option is see if he is willing to work on the weekends and get some rest during the week with AHL schedule as it is. 4th option is see if someone is willing trade partner even if it is only a late round draft pick and you eat some or most of his salary.
        There are a 1000 ways to skin a cat. You just choose the most brutal version time after time people will remember that.

        The next time an ex ranger happens to score a goal and no one defends him …dont look around all surprised. The writing has been so clearly on the wall for anyone to see yet so few see it.

        Just remember this business leader you are backing had a unlimited budget before the cap and for 4 or 5 seasons he couldn’t even make the playoffs. Really not the horse I would want to back.

        • I never defended Sather, and if you care to read some of my posts regarding him, I always said he was piss-poor to say the least.

          The contracts listed are perfect examples of how poor a job he did over his entire career. Remember, he was the GM who traded away Gretzky, Mess, and plenty of other great players, for garbage in return.

          My comment was directed at the Girardi contract, rewarding him for his historic play in the cup finals, barf. Just because he was a fan favorite, he was rewarded for his past, not for his useful play in the future. On a team with all that great talent, it was both Callie, and Girardi that cost the Lightning a game each in the semis.

          Bottom line, never hold garbage too long, it stinks!!!!!

  • Hey Dave,
    Thanks for providing a calming voice of reason. After listening to some of the whining and crying here, I have some thoughts as well.
    1. Kravtsov is an elite talent who will become a true star I believe. He was not going to fall to 26. I am glad to have him.
    2. The price for Miller was a bit high. But…let me ask if you would pay 26 & 48 for Adam Fox? If so, this looks like a reasonable price to pay for Miller who should be every bit the stud Fox is alleged to be. Neither have made it yet. I am happy to have that kind of talent in the pipeline.
    4. If Lindbloom is the goalie prospect Benny wanted, and you don’t think he is available later, you take him and groom him. We have enough assets to get another option if we need to. Oh, by the way, for all the depth we had in the goalie pipeline, how much actually has a chance to be a #1. If Lindbloom works out, in a few years we can see where he fits or trade him. He is a way off yet.

    Looking forward to seeing what some of the other talent we have acquired in the last year will do with new coaching and young teammates. I am not seeing the need for all the gloom and doom. LGR!!!

  • thought the draft went very well we got to address our weaknesses I think Miller will fit in with the defense and the fact he is going to University of Wisconsin coached by Tony Granato will help now the fun begins with free agency let’s get somebody that will help

  • We have about a week to see if the 2018/19 team improves. Most moves occur around the FA signing opening. We didn’t use our Cap space for this years draft, so maybe we are holding out for next year’s draft. If we do not improve the team on the ice, we will have a long year.

    Tanking is one thing, being competitive is another. Not quite sure we can be competitive with the team we plan on rolling out there.

  • I am no draft expert. I think they should get the players THEY think will succeed in NY and in the Rangers system. Management then gets to live and die with those picks.

    My biggest problem with the drafts is that the NYR’s continually don’t realize that draft picks are a commodity, and a limited one at that. If you think Kravtsov is a top 9 player, great good for us, we win. But if nobody else does? Then move down. Teams were drooling for Walhstrom and Dobson. Pick up something to move down just a spot or two or three. To ignore the value of your pick (to 10 years down the road pat yourself on your back say what a genius you were) is simple irresponsible asset management. We’ve seen it before with this group… and this isn’t a blip anymore… it’s the way this group works. And it is wasteful use of assets.

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