New York Rangers 2018 Draft Review (Part 2)

olof lindbom

Picking up where we left off this morning. Here is Part Two of of the 2018 draft review.

Round 2 Pick 39, Olof Lindbom G

The pick that ended the world. I get the outrage about the pick, trust me I was mad too. I wanted a forward and do not get the logic about selecting a goalie when we are pretty stacked at that position. That said,  I try to only focus at the picks at hand, this guy is a Ranger, it is unhealthy to look at who was selected after. Also, lets stop caring about what the Islanders do, yes they looked like they had a great draft but at the end of the day they do not matter to the players the Rangers want to develop and finally, how many drafts actually work out in which the central scouting rankings are the exact ways in which players end up NHLers.

Back to Olof. Unfortunately, I do not know much about goaltenders, outside of the ones I like to focus on in Russia. I can’t comment on his style but I can make a few comments about the pick. First, I don’t like that his sv% is under .900 normally for a goalie to be successful you want domination or at the very least success at these lower leagues. On the other hand when playing for the Swedish national prospect team his numbers rise to .949 and .910 in the U18 and U20 tournaments respectively. When the difference is this stark I tend to see the quality of play of the other goaltender on his junior team and Rosengren who is 2 years older had a .920 SV%. I personally don’t see the excitement that the Rangers management saw in Lindbom but clearly the Rangers loved him and think Allaire can work his magic. He was not the #1 ranked goalie and taking him at 39 certainly shows how much they love him. Lets hope it works out.

Round 3 Pick 70, Jacob Ragnarsson LD

Ragnarsson makes the Rangers because the name is cool alone. Ragnarsson is one of these two way defensemen that flew under the radar all season and it seems as if the Rangers were able to get a good value pick. The Canucks Army prospect gurus had him as the 55th best prospect in this draft. They highlight his value by showing that offensively, Ragnarsson outdid his defensive teammates in his 5v5 eP/60 and produces more in line with a forward.

he Canucks Army folks also showed that he had some nice results on his teammates as well. The other thing that may be useful as a prospect is that Ragnarsson was given a bunch of defensive responsibility as the season went and by looking at his cohors the Canucks Army team has him at a 12.7% chance of being a successful NHLer with a comparable successful player being Anton Stralman. The stats seem to back this pick as a possible depth defenseman and Ragnarsson joins a now fairly stacked group of left handed defense prospects.

Back to the eye test, Ragnarsson while not huge at only 6’0, he has a long stride and nice mobility when he twists and begins to skate backwards. In a recurring theme with recent picks, Ragnarsson looks like he can be a good defensive defenseman but in the offensive zone moves around his point and the slot as if he is a 4th forward. Best bet for Ragnarsson is to continue to develop in Sweden as the Rangers will have his rights for a while making no rush for a contract.

I think that Ragnarsson’s good all around play will get him a spot on the WJC this winter giving us all a nice opportunity to see his solid play on display. I don’t believe he has top 4 potential and that really is my only concern with this pick. As a player, should he make it I think he should be one of those 3rd pairing defensemen that only fans of said team would really respect, you would like a guy with a higher ceiling but Ragnarsson is a solid prospect.

Round 3 Pick 88 Joey Keane RD

The first of the Rangers overagers. Joey Keane is a player that has shown immense growth over the course of the last year. Because he is an overage, it is worth comparing him to other players of the 2017 draft class. Keane joins the now extremely mobile NYR defense prospect group as the right-handed smooth skating defenseman continues to grow as a player. Personally, I felt that he could’ve been drafted last season as he posted pretty consistent 2nd pairing numbers with his 2nd< pairing ice time but what did him in was being unable to score goals. We can see his offensive improvement by comparing his 17-18 numbers to 16-17 numbers on the Prospect-Stats.com compare visual tool here:

Statistically speaking, we should be really happy that Keane is producing 1st pairing numbers consistent with his first pairing ice time. This is partially why I believe that last season’s inability to score was simply bad luck as every other form of shot or chance generation seems to favor Keane. Mitchell Brown’s CHL scouting can also show Keane’s chance generation statistically visual once again as he is in the 95th percentile in primary assists/60, scoring chances/60, and scoring chances assists/60.

Clearly in the offensive zone Keane looks like a weapon, but is he able to use his smooth skating to get the puck there? Good news for us Rangers fans, Keane is among the top of this data set in not only zone entries with possession but exits from the defensive zone as well. It looks as though a defensive strategy can simply be, after you get the puck away from the forwards, get the puck to Keane and you will probably have it in the offensive zone within a few seconds.

The only real concern with Keane seems to be his ability to be a stout defenseman in the neutral zone, but this is something that would hopefully come through development in his final OHL year likely as a captain and AHL development. Keane will likely be fast tracked to a big role in Hartford within 2 years given the Rangers overall lack of right-handed defensemen.

Keane compares favorably to quite a few prospects that were eligible for the 2018 draft but since he is an overager lets compare him to members of the 2017 draft class. A good friend of mine @OppenheimerEvan was able to already create a thread for this here:

I would also like to compare him to 2nd round selection by Toronto in this draft, a fellow overager who improved offensively Sean Durzi.

I definitely recommend using these tools if you think of another comparison that you are interested in. Keane looks like a solid puck moving defenseman prospect that is entering an important season. We will need two things for him in order for him to truly become a prospect with potential.

First, keep up those production numbers. He clearly has shown he is among the top OHL producing defensemen and is worth his ice time but you need to keep seeing this kind of growth. Second, hopefully he improves his ability in the neutral zone, chances are he will as he is playing kids younger than him but it would show the necessary growth that would be needed from him to suggest he would be capable of it in the AHL. In the 3rd round you would really like to get an NHLer, Keane looks like he can be one of those puck moving 3rd pair or depth defensemen that generate scoring chances, the thing that will make him a legit prospect it seems is that improvement in actually defending. He was a good pick at 88 and someone that we should hope to keep an eye on and hopefully he continues this year to year improvement.

Round 4 Pick 101, Nico Gross LD

This was another pick that came with some resentment but at the same time should have been expected based on reports from the draft combine that the Rangers absolutely loved him. The Rangers have stressed 3 things that will be important for the rebuild: skill, speed, and character. Gross certainly has the character as he was a consistent leader of his Swiss teams in most tournaments.

Unfortunately, Gross’ puck handling was suspect during much of this season while on loan to the OHL from Switzerland. Gross isn’t a bad skater but he is pretty non-existent on offense. As a player he is a shut down defenseman who is supposed to be able to use his skating to shut down zone entries from the opposing team. Unfortunately since we now have Mitchell Brown’s project, we see that Nico isn’t exactly great at that, and with his offense not being there, it is hard to see where he will succeed which is why I wasn’t really happy with this pick.

His NHL potential is a depth defensive defenseman and hopefully he improves with age. Bob McKenzie rated Nico Gross fairly high at 77th overall but I am having trouble seeing the hype stat wise. The best bet for him may be a bit trial by fire and going back to play in the NLA, which has quite a few former NHL speedsters. Perhaps a pro training regime and playing against grown men will allow Gross to develop but as of right now it doesn’t look super promising. In any case, lets hope the defensive defenseman gets it going.

Round 5 Pick 132, Lauri Pajuniemi RW

The Rangers have been keeping up with a fairly recent trend in taking a Finnish player over the last 3 years. Pajuniemi is another overage player at 19 years old and someone the Rangers must have watched for a long time since he played for TPS. For those who don’t know TPS was the team in which Alex Georgiev, Tarmo Reunanen, and Patrik Virta all played.

Pajuniemi is a speedy winger that plays a very north/south game. Almost everything he does is at a fast pace both from passes to puck possession, as he seems like he is a player that makes his money on the rush and less on the cycle. Pajuniemi had an all right season for TPS last year but by no means impressive. His 7 points in 32 games aren’t earth shattering and his possession stats attached below from @SimoTeperi don’t look wonderful either.

That said, he is still fairly young for the league and he did very well within his age group while playing for the U20 teams. It is also worth noting that with Patrik Virta going to the KHL this season, Pajuniemi may be given more ice time and can break out. The Finnish league relies heavily on their veterans so if Pajuniemi can somehow sneak into the top 6 replacing Virta he may look like a player that could have been drafted earlier. As this visual by Simo shows, Pajuniemi was primarily a 4th liner this season, had to face tougher competition that the quality of teammates he was with and seemed to have a run of bad luck in SH%.  It seems as though the Rangers are banking on a breakout with a larger role and perhaps, similar to Vitali Kravtsov, the Rangers were given a sign of maturity in play as the year went along as he seemed to have a much better playoff than regular season albeit a small sample size.

Round 6 Pick 163, Simon Kjellberg LD

I was pretty peeved about this pick. The big left-handed defenseman who played in the under 20 Swedish junior league this season had unimpressive offensive numbers with 4 goals and 5 assists in 43 games. Kjellberg has his game revolve around being sound on defense and always knowing where to be preventing a rush.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much data that would allow us to statistically show if Kjellberg was actually successful at defending in the neutral zone, but the son of the NYR scout will be under control for a while since he was drafted out of Europe. The Rangers will probably slow roast this prospect as not only are there not many spots in Hartford anymore after revamping our defense prospect pool but it looks like the hope is for Kjellberg to continue to fill out and become a big, reliable defensive defenseman.

Round 7 Pick 216, Riley Hughes RW

Unfortunately I have no means in watching prep school hockey. It was a big reason why I wasn’t able to say much about the Morgan Barron pick last summer but after a season that seems to have been a nice pick. The Rangers traded the Boston 2019 7th rounder to get into this pick to select Hughes so clearly they see something of value in him.

Part of what I like about this pick is the draft philosophy; seemingly gone are the days of selecting a 6th or 7th rounder from overly exploited leagues like the OHL/WHL unless someone significant is falling. Maybe it is best to go into the leagues that you feel you scouted more than other teams in order to try to get a late round NHLer.

Another good thing is since Hughes will be going to Northeastern University, the Rangers will be able to hold his rights for the next 4 years and let him develop there. From reports that I have read Hughes is a good skater with quick hands in tight so the 4 years in the NCAA will give us a nice read on what to expect from. Overall, this is a similar situation to Morgan Barron who had a very nice freshman year to solidify himself as a prospect.

BONUS! Quick off hand prospect ranking

  1. Filip Chytil
  2. Vitali Kravtsov
  3. Igor Shestyorkin
  4. K’Andre Miller
  5. Lias Andersson
  6. Nils Lundkvist
  7. Brett Howden
  8. Libor Hajek
  9. Yegor Rykov
  10. Neal Pionk
  11. Alexander Georgiev
  12. Ryan Lindgren
  13. Ty Ronning
  14. Sean Day
  15. Tim Gettinger
  16. Jacob Ragnarsson
  17. Nicklas Jensen
  18. Michael Lindqvist
  19. Adam Huska
  20. Patrik Virta
  21. Morgan Barron
  22. Olof Lindbom*
  23. Vinni Lettieri
  24. Ville Meskinen
  25. Joey Keane
  26. Calle Sjalin
  27. Gabriel Fontaine
  28. Brandon Crawley
  29. Lauri Pajuniemi
  30. Tarmo Reunanen
  31. Ryan Gropp
  32. Boo Nieves
  33. Nico Gross
  34. Dominik Lakatos
  35. Brandon Halverson
  36. Tyler Wall
  37. Riley Hughes
  38. Chris Bigras
  39. Dawson Leedahl
  40. Simon Kjellberg
  41. Steven Fogarty
  42. Vince Pedrie
  43. Chris Nell

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    • Last year’s list with a healthy dose of trade deadline bias?

      BTW, Virta should not be that high, not even close. Bailed on TPS because they grabbed a bunch of guys at transfer deadline to improve the team, bumped him down the lineup. Budish was a career fringe AHL player, yo-yo’d between AHL & ECHL. Virta is a nice 2nd line AHLer as a ceiling, but that’s it. Considering KHL camps are in 2 weeks and he’s still not on a roster, Virta may be in a game of musical chairs.

      • Reunanen isn’t even really a prospect anymore as he’s fighting to get ice time as a 6th-7th D for Lukko next year.

      • Jensen never coming back, on reserve list but not a prospect anymore.

        Huska should be lower, just because of actual value of goalies unless they’re *thisclose* to NHL.

        I’d swap Fontaine & Fogarty as Fogarty is a replacement level NHLer and Fontaine has a sideways 1st season at best.

        • Fogarty is 25, Fontaine is 21. Fogarty was a second year player, Fontaine a first year. Fogarty scored 20 points, Fontaine 18. Fontaine was -2, Fogarty -28. I don’t see Fogarty as even a replacement level AHLer. I wouldn’t put Fontaine above Crawley, but I think on these two at least, Josh mostly got it right. Fontaine is a mostly cross your fingers, try, and hope, but expect it likely won’t work out. Fogarty is a why oh why did he get a QO; better journeymen AHL depth forwards are easy to come by.

          • Fogarty scored more in fewer games.

            Fogarty also scored a bunch of unassisted goals which suppressed numbers.

            Fogarty also got the DZ matchup against the opponent’s 1C, something that Fontaine was supposed to be good at.

          • 63 games vs. 68, really?

            Maybe Fontaine was good at those matchups, just didn’t get them.

            There is no doubt that the older and more senior Fogarty was given more responsibility and played a more critical role. It is also true that he was -28 in 63 games and so pretty much fell on his face when confronted with that difficult task. Hartford was a bad team and he fit right in.

          • Man oh man, I thought Fogarty was the absolute steal of that draft. He was a center iceman with size, was a Notre Dame captain. And especially after his scoring acumen as a kid with the Penticton Vees, even if they were in BCHL. He sort of disappointed ? me. Just a microcosm of the Ranger’s futility (bad luck) in drafting over the years.

          • It was Fontaine that couldn’t handle moving up.

            It was Fogarty whose scoring rate increased as the season went along with more responsibility.

            Fogarty might be a homeless man’s Kevin Hayes, still a better player than Fontaine.

          • Doesn’t matter which player is better now. It doesn’t matter if there is less than even chance that Fontaine will ever be as good as Fogarty. The 21 yr old is a long shot to be useful. The 25 yr old with back to back 20 pt seasons is a no shot.

            IMO of course. Obviously Gorton disagrees with me and with Josh. He doesn’t resign a player who ranks below Dawson Leedahl.

    • My list:


      I don’t care about the rest. I put Shesty 2nd because he’s proven.

      • So you don’t even consider Miller a top prospect?

        Incidentally, I think Howden is too high. Moose Jaw was just such a powerful team that his stats are no doubt highly inflated. Their average game score was close to 5-3. [To some extent, we have the same problem with Shesty.]

        It is difficult to place Pionk and Georgiev. Pionk already seems to be a solid second pair RH defenseman, maybe already above Lundkvist’s ceiling – and could go higher. And if Georgiev’s late season run is indicative of his ceiling, he should be much higher as well.

        With all this criticism of Ranger draft strategy, I am looking forward to the day the Devils rue picking Hischler ahead of Chityl. Seriously, would there be any criticism now if the two 2017 Ranger first rounders were picked in the opposite order?

          • So what do you think the Rangers are going to do at forward? Assuming they can’t land a marquee name, will they sign someone like Grabner say and 1-2 lesser lights — or will they sign nobody and try to play the current hand, knowing that if all three of Andersson, Chityl, Howden are not ready, they will have to rely on guys like Holland and Nieves.

            Despite what some here would like, I don’t believe we will see awful performances from the kids night after night just so they can get experience. If they are not ready, they will go to Hartford. Incidentally, I do expect Andersson and Chityl to be ready, but I have no idea about Howden. Glad to hear the brass likes Howden. One never knows whether prospects acquired in these deals are really exciting or just the best they could do under the circumstances.

          • It may come down to giving Namer and Spooner bridge contracts.

            As much as they want Howden up, can they really have Chytil, Andersson, and Howden down the middle? If Hayes gets traded?

          • I wasn’t even thinking in terms of trading Namer and Spooner. I was thinking the Rangers were really thin at forward even if they kept everybody. If they trade, they will need even more.

            Assuming the two new free agent Swedes are not ready (that is right, isn’t it?), the top 16 forwards will be K, Z, B, Zuc, Fast, Hayes, Vesey, Spooner, Namer, Andersson, Chityl, Howden, Holland, Nieves, Beleskey, Lettieri
            – with nothing better than Schneider or Fogarty to back them up.

            I think most would agree that we don’t want to see Holland or Beleskey; that would leave 14 forwards to choose from, a set including Nieves, Lettieri, Howden, Chityl, Andersson. You pretty much need them all to come through and that seems awfully dicey.

            I’d like to see the kids get a fair shake but it seems crazy to not have a good back up plan. Of course, that’s what i said last year, overestimating Gorton as it turned out – the talent shortage was solved with Carey, Cracknell, Holland, and McLeod.

            I was curious if you knew if they were going to be more sensible this year – or walk off the cliff again.

          • How do you rebuild on the fly and tank without tanking?

            If you take the stink off of AV’s recent work, you’re looking at a team that could compete for a playoff spot.

            You don’t bridge Namestnikov & Spooner, you sign em to yr 28 on frontloaded deals with a big yr 1 signing bonus. The rest of the contract is at a below par value when you move it. (FBLT? Gotta have an acronym for this type of deal.)

            Meanwhile in Hartford, you get the kids ready for NHL size with the training wheels off, get them learning the system and winning.

            When the kids are almost ready, you move them up after you move Namestnikov or Spooner out. They still won’t be ready for the NHL, but keeping them out of their comfort zone is paramount.

            But you show them how to prepare for a man’s game, how to manage sleep, what you got to do to lay out for the team, How to learn to do video on their own; before you send them back to Hartford at the trade deadline to go on a Calder Cup run.

            At the deadline, you start moving expiring deals, you deal players who are about to lose their jobs to the next generation and you call up the players who got qualified this off season to play out the string.

            Not the question is, where is the inflection point in the season where you truly just blow it up and start accelerating things?

            If things go bad early, I could start it before Thanksgiving in the US. Home game against the Stanley Cup champs, then a home & home with Ottawa.

          • Raymond, I think the Rangers add a couple of vets like Grabner to the mix.

            But I do think the Rangers would like one of the European FAs to make the big club, we’ll see.

            Reen, it has been said before and true, but how do you have a true “tank” with Hank in nets? If the Rangers are going “all in” in the “Lose for Hughes” strategy, then Hank has to go, as much as it pains me to say it.

            Short of that, the Rangers will win just enough games to be near the position they were this past year, meaning the luck of the draw will determine their drafting fate with their first pick.

  • Thanks Josh – Appreciate your philosophy on the draft and moving on with the picks that were made.

    There will be plenty of time in the next few years to do the post-mortem on this draft. And it will prove to be an interesting review for all of the teams given the talent that was available.

    Also appreciate that bonus – The top 12 look pretty awesome and then there is Ronning, Day, Gettinger.

    With free agency and trades coming this week it should be fun. Really looking forward to seeing how all of this youth and the depth that is now in place down the middle plays out.

    The future is definitely on the bright side…

  • Thanks. Clearly we didn’t make any fantastic picks in the later rounds. I think here is where you hope a player with generally good skills can hone their craft over the next 2 years to become relevant.

    A little surprised that Vinnie Lettieri is so far down the list. I was thinking he had a real shot to make the big club out of camp.

  • Thanks Josh for the info and hard work!

    Hmm, I understand that Miller has awesome physical tools, but he is a project. Ranking him ahead of Andersson would seem to be rather questionable.

    Ty Ronning…I don’t know where to place him. Scores a lot of goals in mediocre leagues, and is Tiny Ty. I guess that playing in Hartford might tell us more.

    • You don’t rank prospects by how good they are, but by how good you reasonably hope they might someday be. Andersson is no doubt further along and is likelier to succeed, but Miller may be a top pair defensemen and Andersson will not be a first line forward. Nieves, #32, is actually a better hockey player than almost everyone ahead of him, – AND is better than a majority of the first 31 will ever be. However, he seems to be a fourth liner at best and Josh sees a significant chance that each of those higher ranked will contribute at a higher level. A guy with a 10-15% chance of being a good third pair defenseman is more valuable than a guy who can be replaced by Paul Carey if need be.

      And players tend to drop on these lists as the information comes in because 10-15% chances tend to resolve themselves in the negative. Thus it is not unusual that Ryan Gropp used to be a high level prospect and now isn’t, while hard to project players like Ronning rank highly.

      • Thanks for the pendantic commentary, but I understand how prospects are ranked ?

        I think that Andersson has greater upside than you do, and I don’t believe that we know what Milker’s ceiling will ultimately be. He definitely has tools and I am optimistic regarding him, but one question mark is his shot.

        So those consideration led me to question his ranking over Andersson.

        • Amusing occurrence. I wrote out a reply and then discovered I my reply was original. You had deleted the remark I had responded to. I won’t use the same comments as it does not fit anymore.

          First let me say right off that from past stuff I know that you are in fact a reasonably bright guy. You don’t know everything of course, nor do I, and so I offered a detailed explanation which was obviously superfluous.

          As one who is not particularly careful about the line between opinion and fact in my own remarks, I am hardly one to speak, but I had trouble with your sentence “Ranking him ahead of Andersson would seem to be rather questionable,” which conveys a much different sentiment than the simple “I would place Andersson above Miller.”

          Incidentally I agree with your conclusion that if Andersson really did have serious top line potential, the surer thing should rank more highly.

  • Lindgren, Gettinger and Howden are way off too

    Fact is Lindgren is way better than Miller
    Gettinger is going to be very good for us
    Howden I think will be great with Gettinger on his line

    Not how I would rate them

  • Round 2 Pick 39, Olof Lindbom G — If you read the comments made by Swedish brain trust that run the National Program you’ll see that they clearly rank him as the best goalie in his age group and as the top candidate for the #1 job on the Swedish WJ team. Note his late b’day, he’s still 17 like Nils Lundkvist. This is the same thing they did with Chytil, they’re grabbing top talent that is 4-6 months behind the development time of most of the eligible prospects. His mental makeup seems to be similar to Hank’s, very calm, cool and collected — which seems to be the trend. You see the same thing in Georgiev and Shesty.

    Re: Lauri Pajuniemi. he’s a possible “little” steal as a 5th rounder. He seems to do a good job controlling the play and holding onto the puck. I see him as someone who might be able to move up and down the lineup as needed, but essentially just a good bottom 6 that should be able to contribute some offensively.

  • Welp, this will make some people happy.

    The trade costs for the players that the Rangers were targeting (Trouba, first and foremost) are too high for their tastes, so it appears like the full rebuild is officially on, for good or for bad.

    Poor Hank, he should have taken the trade offer when he was given the chance back in Feb.

    “LOSE FOR HUGHES” is officially the new mantra!!

    • I can live with it… now let’s get creative with our cap space and acquire some high end young talent. Even if it means trading Someone like Zucc also.

    • Keep dreaming. lol

      First off we’ll be a middling team that may not even be out of the playoff hunt come the trade deadline (but on the outside looking in with a sliver of a chance).

      I’m betting that just getting rid of AV is worth 10 points (he totally lost the room and out defensive scheme was a JOKE), add to that a healthy Shattenkirk and some new blood. All in all that may be somewhat balanced out by the loss of McD, Miller, Grabner and Nash, but if we get good seasons out of Namestnikov and Spooner I think we easily hover around 80 points. I don’t think 85-90 points would even shock me.

      Of course it’s all subject to what happens here the rest of the way, but I’m not buying into the idea that we’ll suck enough to get a fair chance at Hughes barring some ping pong ball miracle — and we know Gary B won’t let that happen given the lack of transparency in the lottery.

      • I hate to say this, but, gulp, Hank should be traded if this is the way that they’re going.

        You saw my “spoof” on the Rangers winning the lottery?

        • Aye. I saw. 😉

          TBH with what I saw of Georgiev last year I think we’re still a “meh” team — might have to get an emergency backup quality goalie to back him up and have Georgiev only play 45 games in order for us to fall low enough to have a shot at Hughes. lol

          I still can’t believe Carolinas’ luck in getting that 2nd pick …

          • At this point, I have no idea what’s in the heads. Can you imagine the Rangers going into the season with oodles of cap space? Especially if they trade Hayes.

            Trade Hayes for Fox and picks.

          • Tough call on that. Part of me says yes and part of me says Hayes might be the lynch pin between Quinn and the team …. if you trade Mika or Hayes you’re signalling this is a total no-looking back rebuild. I would rather trade Namestnikov and/or Spooner followed by Zucc (unless they can resign him to say a 2 year extension at about the same money). We weren’t a totally broken team, we had a totally broken coach.

            Chytil, Andersson, Howden. etc. … have to prove they’re ready to take on these top roles. I’m in favor of playing the kids if they earn their spots, I’m in favor of pushing their development …. but they’re still just kids. Too much pressure might crack a few of these good eggs. I say handle them with at least a bit of care.

            I think we’ve done exactly what we wanted — we built the prospect pool back up from almost nothing — now it’s time to start reworking the clay and create a new team with what we have —- enhanced with just a couple of trades involving some of the older guys, but you need to have some continuity and I think a guy like Hayes provides that. Hayes, as well as Mika and Kreider, are our babies, we grew them up … I don’t want to see someone else reap the benefits.

    • Lose for Hughes – it does have a nice ring to it. As my mate Fotiu would say “Sticktap to you Richter.”

      We can’t get Hughes without missing the playoff – and I am OK with that for one more year. And we can’t get Hughes without winning the lottery.

      Just one question then – Assuming we do win the lottery – is someone going to tell Gordie about Hughes?

      We don’t need no stinkin’ Gordie “sleeper pick”…..

      • If we win the lottery, I think there should be some “incentive” for Gordie to pick Hughes, meaning the ramifications if he doesn’t.

        It can’t be posted, lol.

  • Pajuniemi unlikely get a ton of ice time this year in TPS even with Virta off to KHL, Perrin playing elsewhere in Liiga and Kallio retired. More than last year, but bottom 6 nonetheless.

    Kakko will be getting 1st line minutes, Korpikoski is in along with Bjorkstrand. With returners like Budish, Palve & Filppula, not a lot of wiggle room unless Korp is going to be a 3rd line checker off the bat.

  • First Josh, thanks for your thoughts and all the hard work that went into this. And I very much like the absence of second-guessing.

    Now, as to the rankings and this year’s draft. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you are right. Having your three first round picks as prospects 2,4,6 is a very nice result in my opinion (especially noting the rest of the top six is two first rounders and Shesterkin). But let’s look at the later choices.

    They rank 16, 22, 25, 29, 33, 37, 40 out of 43. I don’t know what is typical, but this seems like a less than par result to me. Since I like what I have seen so far from Fontaine and Crawley and you said some decent things about Pajuniemi, I’d guess the prospect pool goes about 30 deep and the bottom three choices are unwise (in your opinion of course).

    Oh, and your prospect list missed John Gilmour.

  • What’s the point of loading up on D with 3rd pair potential? You can grab those types off the street for less than an ELC and even a good one for the amount tobstash them in the minors with no cap hit.

  • It is funny that #10 and #11 are possible the best Ranger defenseman and best Ranger goaltender at the present time.

  • So we will be a lottery pick next year, no ifs or buts about it…..that’s a good thing but can’t wiff on the draft and expect Cups

    Jack Hughes (C)
    Payton Kerbs (RW)
    Dylan Cozens (RW)
    Raphael Lavoie (RW)
    Kirby Dach (C)
    Kaapo Kakko (LW)
    Nolan Foote (LW)
    Ryder Donavon (C)
    Kaeden Korczak (D)
    Blake Murray (C)
    Spencer Knight (G)

    Names to keep a tab on…and here’s to rooting for the Lightning to win it all

  • Now that the draft is done, do you think that the NYR move up in the NHL farm system rankings or move down?

    • It’ll move up, but when you’re starting near the bottom, that’s easy. Are they moving up to the top half? No.

      • The change is quite dramatic actually. Look at the 13 names above Sean Day on Josh’s list. Three are first round picks this year. Four are new acquisitions that were high in other organizations. Pionk, Georgiev, and Ronning had breakout years which greatly elevated their standing.

        Maybe Day did disappoint a little, but basically he went from 4th to 14th because the Rangers did add a lot of legitimate prospects.

        With six first rounders (actually eight if you count Jensen and DeAngelo) and seven second rounders, I do think the system has moved to above average.

        • Day averaged almost a point a game his final year in junior, stats that would have some types creaming their pants if he was 18.

          But since he’s not a shiny new toy, down the pecking order he goes.

  • looks like a lot of depth but not many top line players coming. After some deadline deals next year we are going to have to start building in the FA market.

  • I kept waiting for that heavy, hard hitting pick…Jett Woo/Mattias Samuelsson/Serron Noel/Jared McIssacs @ 28.

    Kody Clark @ 39

    Riley Sutter in the 3rd round when we had two 3rd round picks.

    In 4th round…Curtis Douglas/Jack Perbix/Xavier Bernard or Jachym Kondelik

    5th, 6th and 7th rounds…Hunter Drew. Cole Krygier, John Sodergran,

    I guess I can always hope…just amazing that Caps, Kings, Preds…target these guys but Rangers never do.

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