Thoughts following the 2018 NHL Draft

Happy Friday, BSB community! Last Friday evening, the Rangers embarked on the organization’s most important Draft in quite some time.  Seven rounds worth of picks (10 total) and a couple of trades took place, which made clear the team is maintaining a long-range view with their re-build strategy.  No big splashes, no connections to pricey free agents, just a pure drafting and developing strategy.  As you can imagine after all that, I have some thoughts…

1. On the day of the Draft, I wrote an article on what was at stake for the organization.  The two things I wanted to see was a clear organizational philosophy about how to move forward with the re-build and to see some prudent asset management.  I think we got shades of both of those things.  I think the organizational philosophy is pretty clear long-term, but not so much in the short term.  All three first round picks are at least a year away from The Show and the Rangers did a pretty decent job of trying to swing for elite talent.  Asset management evaluation was a little difficult because the Rangers only made two trades, both pick for pick moves involving no NHL players. 

2. I would normally be a little down on the price required for the Rangers to move up to 22 to take K’Andre Miller, but if they were certain that the Ducks were going to take him at 23, I don’t mind ensuring they get their guy.  From all accounts, Miller is a tremendous athlete that has the tools to be a superstar if he can put it all together.  There were definitely more polished players available in that spot, but I like the Rangers shooting for upside here.

3. More or less the same analysis for the Kravtsov pick.  I personally loved Oliver Wahlstrom in that spot, but I’m ok with the risk if you are able to get a star player out of it.  I think Wahlstrom will be a really nice top-6 player, but if Kravtsov really has 30+ goal/70 pt upside, I like the strategy there.

4. We have all been complaining for the last few seasons about the lack of elite talent for the Rangers to build around going forward, but if they are able to hit here, between Chytil, Miller, Kravtsov and Shestyorkin, that is a solid core of elite ceiling players. Especially with solid above-average regulars in Andersson, Day, Hajek, Howden, Lindgren, etc.  Obviously, all these guys won’t all be Ranger regulars, but it’s a really nice foundation of prospects. This is to say nothing of younger NHL players like Buchnevich, Zibanejad, Kreider and Skjei.

5. The biggest question for me comes on the evaluation side.  It’s all well and good that the organization is telling us that these guys were specifically targeted, and the internal evaluations had them taken where they were.  The problem I have is the possibility that the organization was just plain wrong. Did they try to get too cute when the consensus of reputable scouting minds had another player above them? The team has a mixed development record of the past decade or so, so I don’t necessarily give them the benefit of the doubt.  After additional research, I do like the skill sets on the players that the Rangers’ drafted, but it is a lingering doubt about the process leading up to their selection.

6. Ok, let’s talk Olof Lindbom. Woof.  Honestly, I have no idea if the kid is a good goalie or not.  Before he was drafted, I’d never seen so much as a photo of him, but that isn’t at all the point.  The point is you took a position of strength for the organization, that is a complete drafting crapshoot to begin with, and wasted a second-round pick on him?  I dug some video up and nothing really stood out to me.  If anything, his problematic habits were the most notable part of his game. I’ll do a full scouting report on him at some point in the future when there is more video available, but even if Benoit Allaire was absolutely in love with the kid, he was the fifth ranked European goalie and literally the first goalie taken in the entire draft. The pick is pretty indefensible.

7. Shifting away from the Draft for a moment, I don’t think the Rangers are finding nearly the value they expected for their RFA’s.  Teams are seemingly wise that Spooner is sneaky old and Namestnikov’s production really suffered away from Stamkos and Kucherov.  That and Vesey being pretty bad in general has not produced useful futures as many had hoped.  That being said, as Dave pointed out in his recent post, the Rangers do have a roster to fill and it needs talented players.  No reason not to sign these guys to short-term deals and run them out there.  They could have more value at the deadline if they are performing or if teams get desperate for forward depth heading toward the playoffs.

8. I think the Rangers should be looking at project players in UFA this year.  Nail Yakupov and Anthony Duclair immediately jump to mind.  There is really no downside to seeing if these types of players can find their form again.  Could make for a nice long-term addition or a deadline asset to flip for more futures.

9. Another free agency note.  Apparently the Rangers are interested in Ryan Reaves. It’s not really a big deal, either way.  We are talking about a 4th line winger here, and he is a better player than Tanner Glass/Cody McLeod.  I guess I would have liked to see the organization shift away from this philosophy of needing a quasi-enforcer. I understand the NHL is a copycat league, but I don’t think Vegas is a good model for this.  It’s going to be very difficult to replicate the galvanizing motivation of being a group of guys other teams cast out.

10. I do wonder what Henrik Lundqvist thought on this Draft.  I’m sure the organization indicated to him the types of players and time horizons they were targeting, but I think it would hit you a little differently once you realize that there is pretty much no help coming for you this year.  Lundqvist is a competitor through and through and I wonder how he will process what amounts to a lost year at age 36.

11. This has been one of the more exciting prospect camps in recent years, as well.  A lot of serious talent is in camp this season and I think watching these younger players is the best way to get a fanbase excited about the future.  I would like to see MSG begin to broadcast some of this stuff going forward, especially as these kids get closer to The Show.  They have an opportunity to really market this next generation and endear the Garden faithful to this new crop.  The NHL sucks at marketing, though, so I am not really getting my hopes up.

12. I’ll be interested to see how the Rangers handle their little Red Army going into the season. Word on the street is that Kravtsov has an out clause which would allow him to come to North America this season and begin his career in the AHL, otherwise, he will have one more year before his KHL contract is up.  Across the pond, Yegor Rykov will be able to come over after this season; ditto Igor Shestyorkin.  How the young Russians are integrated and brought into David Quinn’s lineup will be interesting to watch develop.

13. The Rangers balanced some of their high ceiling picks with a few high floor guys, as well.  The first (and third 1st round choice) was Nils Lundkvist with the 28th pick.  I don’t mean to sell Lundkvist short, he has the chance to be an impact player on both sides of the puck, but he was more polished than many other available options.  Same with third rounder Joey Keane.  Now, I am all for shooting for the moon for talent the later rounds (which the Rangers did with Lauri Pajuniemi and Riley Hughes, in particular), but it’s nice to see the team target guys who project as solid complimentary players at worst when rounding out their draft philosophy.

14. The overall theme with these selections were guys who are capable of physical play, but don’t necessarily focus on it.  I think that is a good line to ride.  These kids still need to grow into their bodies, so that is an always evolving concept. It does seem that the organization focused on leadership skills and a willingness to engage the play in meaningful way, rather than skilled players who can be passengers.  I think these types of discussions get distorted because it becomes all or nothing and a perceived lack of “determination and toughness” becomes the scapegoat for a team that just wasn’t good enough, but I like the skillsets targeted here.

15. Overall, I think the Draft was very similar to the trade deadline.  The Rangers didn’t seem to make any catastrophic mistakes (aside from maybe Lindbom with guys like Ryan McLeod and Bode Wilde still on the board), but they got solid value from what they did.  They didn’t light the world on fire, but it seems like they have set themselves up for a future foundation of very good players.  There is still a lot of offseason left and the full picture of how the rebuild starts to develop probably won’t really take shape until 2019-2020, but overall, they are off to a pretty good start.

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  • Good post. Makes sense to be positive at this point. Only draft whiff seems to be the Olof Lindbom pick. As indicated it seems pretty indefensible. There was a lot of talent still available and he seemed like a reach for a position that is clearly of less need than most.

    • High B — maybe a B+. Rangers need to get lucky a bit here with player development, of course. If two of the three first rounders turn into even “almost-elite” regulars, the draft will be considered an A years from now. I can already see future nostalgia for the 2018 draft if it turns out that way.

      I do wonder how Kravstov is doing so far on the smaller ice in development camp. Happy to see Ronning and others doing so well.

      • I wanted to temper my grade because I have no idea about rounds 2 through 7, and how any one of those players might make a positive impact.

        That being said, assuming that Krav is the real deal, Miller becomes a stud, and Nils becomes an NHL player at some point, then the grade becomes an A or even A+.

        Agreed on Krav, and that’s why he needs to come over now and get used to it (smaller ice surface).

        • I couldn’t agree more Richter. I am assuming that before they signed Krav – they were already in agreement to buyout the KHL contract to assure he was playing for the Wolfpack. I otherwise feel it was a sketchy pick. It isn’t the rink size for me per se. It is having him integrate into our system and keep an eye on him. #9 was a valuable pick.

          • I would think that the Rangers already knew what their options are.

            If Krav ends up in the KHL it may not be because he had to, but just because they all thought it was the better choice for right now.

            But since he’s already played against adults, I would think adjusting to the smaller ice is a priority.

          • He’s already stated that he’s going to talk to the Rangers and see what they want. I’m not worried, he has an out and if the Rangers want him to opt out I think he will. Worst case scenario, he’s 1 year away.

          • I don’t agree. Certainly it would have been foolish to draft a player who intended to stay in Russia for his entire career, but I don’t see one more year in Russia as a deal breaker. If he is the talent that the Rangers think he is and you are playing the long game as the Rangers purportedly are, you draft him either way.

          • Players have to buy the contract out, not the team. Could be done by having Kravtsov signing an ELC with a signing bonus to cover the amount.

        • statistically speaking, majority of draft picks rounds 2 – 7 never make it to NHL or sustain years at the NHL level

          • Very true, but I still think that picking a goalie that early threw that 2nd out the window, especially when there were legit late first rounders still on the board.

            Gordie is baffling sometimes.

          • I would have no problem with it.

            Gordie is a Sather guy, Gorton needs to control everything going forward, including the draft.

          • “Baffling”, Anthony?…

            No gombah. You need to run with a different verb. Something more trenchant. Searing. Denoting scorn. Frustration.

            Walk this back. Indulge me.

            Last pick; First Round. In lieu of Joe Veleno, ranked from 11 to mid 20s, we pick the second coming of Per Djoos, an undersized, rather underwhelming 17-year old Euro.

            (Arguably, Clark’s decision making here evokes The Sabres’ disastrous 2K16 draft. Rather than D-men Mikhail Sergachev and Charlie McAvoy, Buffalo chose Alexander Nylander.)

            Next: with McIsaac, Jet Woo, Bode Wilde, Ryan McLeod still available we go to Sweden again… for a backstop?!

            “Baffling”? No Anthony; far worse.

            My Detroit buddies reduced their high anxiety around The Wings’ draft thusly: “Just don’t f**k it up, Kenny Holland.” He didn’t. You simply can’t say likewise for Clark.

          • I was trying to be nice bro.

            Honestly, I have no use for the guy. I laid out the “oops” selections below, and that does not even count the picks that either never made it to the NHL or played very few games at all.

            I really have no problem with Miller and Nils. Veleno dropped for some reason, as 29 picks passed on him. There has to be some reason. Miller is a potential steal and Nils sounds like a player that will be here at some point. Getting 3 NHL players in one draft is a home run bro. Admit it.

            But that being said, WTF was he thinking in that 2nd round? What a waste. SEVERAL late first rounders still on the board, I mean this goalie could have been taken with one of 2 3rd round picks.


    • Based on what we know now I have to say those grades are off base. First round at his point seems like at least B+ hopefully better. Other rounds are always incomplete if 1 of those kids becomes a regular than A+,

  • ‘The overall theme with these selections were guys who are capable of physical play, but don’t necessarily focus on it. I think that is a good line to ride. These kids still need to grow into their bodies, so that is an always evolving concept”.

    BROOKS: RANGERS TO TARGET RYAN REAVES, this is the only reason I tend to agree with signing Reaves, the kids need protection!!!!!!

    Good review Justin, you did your research, and I for one am glad for the results of this draft. Look, we now have the making of a very sound core with the new kids drafted, traded for, and the young vets. The make up will be talented, skilled, strong skaters, and more than likely fun to watch.

    Addressing the Russian invasion. I’m fine with it, along with the Swedish invasion, if they could play, who gives a hoot where they’re from. I’m looking forward to seeing the Rykov kid come over. With him there, along with Lindgren, Hajek, Day, Miller, these are all big boys, and will be tough to play against due to their size, and reach. Kravtsov is going to be lights out, with skill, size, soft hands, hell I’m getting excited as I type this post.

    Bottom line, this was a very interesting draft, and it may be a long season, but the kids will need a year, or two, before they start kicking tail in the NHL. If we have to wait that long, well it’s fine, in my soon to be 72 years on this good earth, I got to see ONE Cup, so I’ll be a little more patient with the kids going forward!!!!!!!

    • Reaves is terrible. I would rather target Roussell who is a much better player and plays with an edge.

      • Reaves didn’t look out of place playing for Vegas in the Stanley Cup finals. But who needs toughness on a team of Blue Smurfs.

      • James

        Fine, in either case we need muscle for the kids. Like I posted in the previous thread, goon hockey, staged fights are gone, or should be. But until the likes of a Matt Martin, or any of the other goons is gone from the game, we need someone to fill that role. We saw for too damn long, under AV, what it’s like to turn the other cheek, and it wasn’t a pretty site. We may have to disagree on this one man!!!!!!!!

        • Look Walt I want the Rangers to be tougher and play with that edge that was sorely missing from this team. However I think there are better options than Ryan Reaves.

        • Walt, to be honest I really don’t care either way whether they sign a guy like this or not, because the Rangers are not going anywhere the next 2 years anyway.

          But exactly what did McLeod do being in the line up when 2 Rangers were knocked out of the game within the same period in Nashville?

          Or how many times the King was run by opponents with Tanner Glass in the line up?

          Ultimately, does absolutely nothing. But I tell what they could do, like in that Preds game? After those 2 Rangers got knocked out, they should have run a guy like Johansen into the wall. You go after the opponents’ stars, that’s what you do. But at the time, we had a coach that didn’t believe in that, so it did not happen.

          • Tony

            Let’s put it this way, I don’t want any of our smaller, and or skilled guys killed by some a-hole goon, and not protect them. Sorry, an eye for an eye…………………….

    • I’m looking forward to this rebuild. In the Mid 70’s that rebuild tore my heart out and lost me for a while until the 79 team. This time I like what they are trying, maybe it works maybe not but it a good idea.

  • If we are going with youth, didn’t we get a kid in the Nash trade that plays kinda tough? Can’t think of his name.

    • Belesky? He’s almost as old as Reeves. Rangers acquired him so Boston could make Nash’s contract fit under their cap. Taking on that bad contract is why the Rangers were able to get almost as much for Nash as they did for McD/Miller.

    • That’s a very valid point Sal and we have cap hit even if we send him to Hartford. It’s less than if he plays in NY, but he a sunk cost. As I recall he took a pretty cheap shot on Stepan a few years back.

    • Belesky – and there was a time when he had some promise with the Ducks – maybe he can resurface it with NYR.

  • “. Another free agency note. Apparently the Rangers are interested in Ryan Reaves. It’s not really a big deal, either way. We are talking about a 4th line winger here, and he is a better player than Tanner Glass/Cody McLeod. I guess I would have liked to see the organization shift away from this philosophy of needing a quasi-enforcer. I understand the NHL is a copycat league, but I don’t think Vegas is a good model for this. It’s going to be very difficult to replicate the galvanizing motivation of being a group of guys other teams cast out.”

    I’ve been forward deployed and haven’t been following much. I’ve read but with shitty internet pointless to post. However, with this Justin I vehemently disagree. It is a big deal for the following reasons:

    1. The “role” that he’d be signed for has been proven over and over again to NOT work. Case in point- Reaves was in the lineup in the Cup finals and it did nothing to deter Tom Wilson from cheap late hits. So the exact player we’d target to “protect” and “make room for” our younger players just gave you indisputable proof that he fails at the one thing he is supposedly good at.

    2. It’s not “just a 4th line wing”. Wasting a lineup spot on a player playing around 8 minutes means a coach has two options only. Either double shift another winger into that spot or limit the ice time of an entire line. Either choice sucks. Playing a player who has a chance to excel and rolling four lines an evenly dispersed TOI would have far more positive impact on player development (if there’s such a thing but that’s debatable) than wasting either one spot or one whole line.

    3. Wasting that spot on him will probably result in an increase PK time overall. Again, this limits the amount of time that the better players need, messes up the tempo of the game, and makes the Rangers play the game in the Rangers end of the ice. All things we want to avoid doing.

    4. This overall concept that this is acceptable needs to go away. With everything we know and are still learning about CTE, these are human beings. How many more need to die young wasted lives because we want to cling to our Roman-era need for gladiator death matches to entertain us. Matt Johnson’s family can’t even find their own son because he’s homeless, addicted to pain killers, and barely has a memory anymore as a result of fighting just recently in hockey. These are young human beings that are having their lives cut short, many by their own hand, fueled on by “fans” who never have to suffer the consequences of the things they are clamoring for. Ask some of those former fighters and players from the 60’s and 70’s about their quality of life. You’d be surprised how many are living in constant pain, loss of memory etc. But hey, it’s not your life right?

    • Hey John,

      Great post. I don’t disagree with any of your observations. It’s just a battle that after Glass/McLeod the past couple years, I don’t really have the energy to fight anymore. You have to pick your battles with the “gladiator” crowd around here.

      • Entire Sauer family out of hockey due to concussions, none of them were goons. Dad & uncle had to quit football due to concussions at a time when the game was a lot slower & smaller.

        Lindros brothers both retired young due to concussions, neither one was regular fighters.

        None of them are homeless or on drugs or brain addled.

    • Derek Sanderson was living in Central Park 3 years after signing a million dollar contract. Lots of people hopped up on opioids have never fought in their life or played hockey.

      Correlation isn’t causation.

      • I’m sorry Mr. Bettmen.

        I thought we were discussing people playing hockey and sports needless punching themselves in the head for the sole purpose of a spectators enjoyment.

        I didn’t realize we were going to open the pool up to alcoholics as well. Of course, we’ll ignore the aspect that he played in a time when people were being elbowed in the head often without helmets. Well just ignore 22 year old kids killing themselves in 2017 without being addicted to any substance including alcohol because of repeated blows to the head from fighting and everything else it might give us pause and say that this is barbaric.

        But please Mr. Bettmen, do go on and defend the needless ritual and bury your head in the sand while literal children and adults playing sports are doing damage such damage to their brain that they are able to override the most primal instinct that our brain has. To survive.

        • There’s a better argument to be made that doctors handing out Percocets like tic tacs is a greater danger to hockey players than fighting.

    • Wow I almost forgot about Matt Johnson,he’s the guy that punched Jeff Beukeboom in the back of his head & ended his career.

  • Great points Justin. I really think your points 5 and 6 are the problem many have with the draft. I believe the Rangers 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 forget (or don’t care) that draft picks are a limited commodity. Don’t get cute, try to understand where other teams value the players you want, and make sure you are selecting before them. If you want to play it safe and overpay to make sure you get your man like Miller? Great. But then balance that by trading down when possible to match expectations for selections like Kravtsov, and don’t go soooo off the board like Lindblom. That’s just a waste of resources.

    The goal is to get the guys you want, AND maximize the value of picks you have to get them.

  • nyr have a problem. its a gordie clark problem. they posted a video on facebook of behind the scenes of draft and clark says its a homerun when they pick guys they scouting heavily throughout the year.

    NO gordie you pick THE BEST GUY AVAILABLE. I don’t care how long you spent on a flight to kazakhuzixtan .

    he tries to be a hero and the isles reap the benefits.

    lias andersson was picked 7th! overall….. and no one pegs him in the top 6. I don’t care how many times you flew to Sweden… you cannot make that pick top ten.

    the talent evaluation is off and complete draft operations … need an overhaul. if your rebuilding … start with the top.

    too late. damage done.

    //end rant

  • You all have good points, but me I’m not sure because of our draft history. It’s one of the worst in the entire NHL. Just go back and look at it and see for yourselves. Just because we love our team doesn’t mean we give approval when they are WRONG! I for one am sick and tired of seeing players picked after our picks become NHL stars. We need to have Gordy Clarke FIRED! His drafting his bad! period end of sentence. The worst part is now we have to watch 3 guys on the Islanders become NHL players because we passed up on them.(ie Possy) Bodie Wilde was a project 1st rounder, we took a no name goalie.

  • I am hungry to watch Gettinger in some game action. Traverse City should be heavily watched

    Anyone else see Wahlstrom’s goal in rookie camp?

    • Interesting to see who the Rangers send to Traverse City this year I think they select the team in late August if I remember.

      • Here’s who is eligible that the Rangers can send:
        On D:



        Kravtsov(depending on buyout)

        Everybody else is going to be a few of the development camp invites plus some 19yr old juniors.

    • The “every positive movement that Walhstrom makes” watch is on?

      But are you going to let us know when he does something bad as well? On the defensive side of the ice?

      Just asking.

  • 5. It is a major project, but it would be interesting if someone statistically compared the success of Gordie Clark’s choices over the years with the expectations of a team with the same level choices. If he is above average, ignoring the conventional wisdom is maybe wise. Below average, it isn’t.

    6. Look at the bright side. The Lindbom choice underlines how little the Rangers lost by trading up for Miller.

    10. I don’t really think draft day was a big deal for Lundqvist. I agree with your intimation that Hank is in denial, but I don’t think it is going to hit him until say July 20th. The Rangers might still sign Tavares or Stastny or someone at that level. They may still deal for Karlsson or Trouba. Indeed, these are far more relevant possibilities than an amazing draft pickup.

    It is only when he really sees what the 2018-2019 Rangers will have to work with that he will have to accept that this is not a team that can win the Cup.

    Harder yet though is the even tougher realization, that he isn’t HENRIK LUNDQVIST any more. The kid who won the Olympic gold in 2006 would have found a way to win the Cup in 2014. I am not convinced the 2019 version could even win the Cup in Winnipeg. As you pointed out so well Justin a few weeks back, the position is mentally tough and, oddly, mental stamina is perhaps even more subject to age than physical qualities.

  • #4 Actually they do all stand a pretty good chance of being NHL regulars, at least the players you named.

    #6 It’s defensible. There should be no HARD rules with drafting … sure, goalies are a different animal when it comes to scouting and much harder to predict in terms of development, but you can’t let that scare you away from choosing a player you believe in. Regarding organizational strength, everyone here absolutely believes Shesty is Hank’s heir, well he hasn’t proven anything in the NHL and as we’ve all seen, Goalies are a different animal. You can’t have too much goaltending depth — you can always trade one away if you find yourself with more than 1 #1 goalie in the fold. Re: value, let’s all remember that Schneider garnered the #9 pick … so yes, goalies can be high value players/prospects.

    #11 Terrible marketing. Rangers should be streaming the scrimmages … it boggles my mind to think they can’t take that small step and reward the faithful out there — especially with THIS group of prospects. I’m really disappointed.

    #13 We could argue they should have taken Veleno here, then again a right shot 17 year old SHL playing d’man is pretty interesting — some have suggested he’s a better all-round d’man then say Boqvist and many of the other d’men taken after Dobson … so I can live with this pick very comfortably.

    • “#4 Actually they do all stand a pretty good chance of being NHL regulars, at least the players you named.”

      I think Justin was saying this, that he likes each of the names he has mentioned. It is just with nine prospects, you are more likely to get six or seven successes, not all nine.

      “#6 There should be no HARD rules with drafting”

      Sometimes hard rules are good. If you have a tendency to make a particular mistake which always seems to look good at the time, a rule forbidding it may be what you need.

      “You can’t have too much goaltending depth — you can always trade one away if you find yourself with more than 1 #1 goalie in the fold. Re: value, let’s all remember that Schneider garnered the #9 pick … so yes, goalies can be high value players/prospects.”

      But this is just so rare. Schneider was a proven young star, not a kid who had shown flashes. Look at recent Ranger history. Raanta was arguably the best tender in hockey this year and he was a throw-in in the Stepan deal. The Rangers more or less got Ryan Gropp for Cam Talbot. And the new teams were penciling in Talbot and Raanta as their starters.

      Goaltending depth is needed, yes, but from a trade value perspective only, drafting a goalie is ALWAYS a mistake.

      “#11 Terrible marketing. Rangers should be streaming the scrimmages … it boggles my mind to think they can’t take that small step and reward the faithful out there — especially with THIS group of prospects. I’m really disappointed.”

      Agree here. Geez, if you are rebuilding and taking a pass on trying to win, get the fans excited about the rebuild.

      “#13 We could argue they should have taken Veleno here, then again a right shot 17 year old SHL playing d’man is pretty interesting — some have suggested he’s a better all-round d’man then say Boqvist and many of the other d’men taken after Dobson … so I can live with this pick very comfortably.”

      Maybe this was your interpretation as well and you just wanted to elaborate, but I think Justin liked the Lundkvist pick as well. Incidentally, RH defensemen are the opposite of goaltenders when it comes to trade. If Adam Larsson is left-handed, he does not get traded for Taylor Hall. I like the pick as well, even if better players were passed over.

      • Ray, I know I’m in the minority re: the goalie … again, not having seen these goalies a lot I’m willing to go with it and accept that they must have really loved something about him. Again, I won’t be tied down by a rule … just guided by it … and I would say the guide is to not draft a goalie with a 1st rounder unless it’s a late 1st rounder and the available players are uninspiring.

        Regardless of value though (for trade), if he manages to challenge Shesty I’m happy — you need that to push a young goalies’ development and toughen them up. Not sure yet that wall, Huska and/or Halverson will be able to in the final analysis.

  • I was hoping they would pick Miller. If he hits his ceiling or or close to it–he is easily (By a country mile) the best d-man in the draft not named Dahlin.

    As for Kravtsov–I have to admit when they picked him instead of Wahlstrom, I let out a very healthy, “WTF!” However, if what I’ve read about Kravtsov holds, he could be a much more well rounded player than Wahlstrom–physical, back checks, defensive and better offensive numbers. If this turns out to be true over the course of their NHL careers, I will be very happy. Time will tell.

    As for Reeves and Karamov–why? Kreider, Smith (If he rebounds), Hajek, Lindgren, Rykov, Kravstov, Howden, Andersen, Pionk, Zucc, Miller, Fast and Zibanejad all can play physical and finish their checks–even the smaller guys like Fast, Pionk and Zucc.We do not need “enforcers” who will fight and get out of position to run people over. I love seeing that, but, despite the fun to see a devistating hit as a fan, that is when teams lose possession and give up chances and goals. And with the exception of some of what I’ve read about Miller and Lindgren (And they are still young and developing) these players do not get out of position to hit or take bad penalties trying to be “tough”. This is what they need. Not “tough guys”.

    The Lindbom pick is, for sure strange. They have not done well with goalies in the first and second round. If Blackburn had not gotten hurt, maybe he’d be an exception? McLeod, Wilde, Thomas and Benoit-Olivier Groulx were all still on the board.

    Although I would have liked for them to have picked Mattias Samuelsson Alexeyev, Sandin, Serron Noel , Jett Woo or even Bode Wilde instead of Lundkvist–time will tell. Imagine both Miller and Samuelson on the d or even as partners? That is a playoff nightmare for opposing teams.

  • If we need bruisers are we really going to bring in Komarov and Reeves? Seems like a lot of bruising going on there and not much scoring. Understand and agree we need to protect the kids. But we do need to score too.

    Henrik’s case is very interesting. If the team starts losing a lot will that change his mind about a trade? Time will tell. Plus his contract my be finished before we have a shot at winning again. He’s in a tough spot. But only he knows what he will do.

    #39 pick is just awful. I need to get over it, but it’s just awful. The kid may be good, and it’s not on him they picked him there. But terrible judgement. He would have been there at 70 or 88.

    On the RFA’s, sadly Namestnikov really hurt his value when he came to The Rangers. Best chance we have with him is sign to a 1 or 2 year deal, put him in the top 6 and pray he can recover a bit so we can trade him. Spooner is good offensively but very one dimensional, which has hurt his value his entire career. It’s hard to see us keep these 2 and Hayes. Unfortunately Hayes has the best value by far and if we are looking to move any of these 3, he’s the only one who will have good trade value at the moment.

    I would like to see Kravtsov play in Hartford this season. If we can get Namestnikov going and trade him at the deadline maybe Kravtsov will be ready to step into that spot for an 8 game audition. All if’s.

    On Miller, I have been reading a lot about him and I really like him a lot. All aspects of his game, but also he seems to be loved by the coaches as a terrific kid to mentor. I watched him and his mom do interviews draft weekend and just made me like them more. He’s only played D for 2 years, but some time in Minnesota is just what he needs to be a solid D man.

    Time will tell how all this stuff shakes out

  • Besides Bode Wilde, Jarred McIsaac was the perfect high second round pick for the Rangers. Throws vicious checks and handles the puck well. Will be a top four D man for the Red Wings. Insanity to pick that goalie. Clarke and friends should take the blinders off and not think they’re invincible cause obviously their record proves otherwise.

    • One could easily argue that between the trades and the drafting of Miller and Lundqvist we now have plenty of D prospects — and not just raw prospects that may or may not make the NHL, but prospects that will make the NHL — the issue is one of how many (if any) of them can be Top pair d’men. Then add Day, DeAngelo, Pionk …

      Re: forwards, over the last 13 months we picked up 4 forwards that will play in the NHL — Andersson, Chytil, Howden and Kravtsov — again, I don’t think it’s debatable, at worst 1 or 2 of them will end up Top 9 … plus we have some bottom 6 guys to add to the pool, Ronning being one of them … I have some hope for Gettinger as well.

      My point is simply this, when you add all these players to a team that has Hayes, Mika Z, Kreider, Zucc, Buchnevich, Namesntikov, Fast, Vesey and Spooner … Shattenkirk, Skjei … well there’s still room to move some players and grab more assets, slots will have to be opened up, we’re now loaded.

      In comparison what was once our only prospect strength, goalies, has now become weaker. Drafting another top goaltending prospect makes some sense and he’s considered by the Swedish brain trust to be the best goalie of his age group and will more than likely be the Swedish goalie for the WJ this year. Did I mention he’s still just 17 (like Nils Lundqvist)?

  • I believe Gordie Clark became a NYR scout in 2002. He became Director of Player Personnel on July 23rd, 2007. A short history of his draft picks compared to the league and players that have made it to the NHL. Especially looking at the 2nd round and later.

    2008 The NYR Had 7 draft picks. They chose #20 Michael Del Zotto (D), #51 Derek Stepan (F), #111 Dale Weise (F). This looked like a deep draft. 3 players went on to have a careers including a 4th round player.

    2nd round 6 players had 325 or more career games in the NHL.
    3rd and 4th round each had 4 players.
    2 in the 5th round.
    3 in the 6th round.
    1 in the 7th round.

    16 players and we chose 2 of them. Not a bad draft.

    2009 the Rangers chose #19 Chris Kreider (F). We had 7 draft picks and this is the only player that made it to the big game.

    More than 325 games in the NHL
    2nd round 6 played more than 325 games at the NHL level.
    3rd round 3 players.
    4th round 6 players
    5th round 3 players
    1 player in the 6th round. 2 players in the 7th round.

    21 players after the 2nd round. Kind of a deep draft? I have to say Gordie Clarke missed on this draft except for our 1st rounder.

    2010 the NYR take #10 Dylan McIlrath (D). I don’t think NYR fans will EVER get over this. A missed 1st round pick. Everyone else we drafted also was a bust except round 6 #157Jesper Fast (F). This years saving grace.

    More than 250 game played in the NHL
    In the 1st round between picks 11 and 30 there are 10 players that have played more than 275 games in the NHL.
    2nd round 7 picks played 250 or more games.
    3rd round 2 players.
    None in the 4th round.
    6th round 3 players – Jesper Fast being one of them
    6th round 2 players and one in the 7th.

    2011 the NYR picked J.T. Miller #15. The other 5 picks all missed. We didn’t have a 2nd round pick this year. So starting with the 3rd round after our pick.

    More than 200 game played in the NHL
    Round 3 – Only 1 player played more than 200 games.
    Round 4 had 3 players.
    Round 5 and 6 each had 1 player.
    And round 7 had 2 picks.
    Gordie did his job hitting on a 1st round pick but that is it. He had a chance to pick 1 of 7 players that made it to the NHL at #72. Is that a failure on his part?

    2012 Brady Skjei (D) at number 28. Seems like a good draft right there getting a contributor at the end of the 1st round. We had 3 more picks and Boo Nieves at pick 59 is still a possibility to make the team. With 4 picks I don’t know what else Gordie could have done. All of our 4 picks were late picks too.

    More than 150 game played in the NHL

    round 3 – 4 players and one of them in J Vesey.
    round 4 – 4 players
    round 5 – 4 players

    2013, what can I say. Good Gordie Clarke had a great year. We didn’t have a draft choice until the 3rd round. 5 total picks.
    yrs NHL GP G A T
    #75 Pavel Buchnevich (F) 3 115 22 41 63
    #80 Anthony Duclair (F) 4 213 37 52 89

    We also Got
    ROUND 4
    #110 Ryan Graves (D)
    ROUND 6
    #170 Mackenzie Skapski (G)

    So far this draft has 10 players after the 2nd round to play more than 100 games and Gordie picked 2 of them. Does this year make up for the 2010 draft miss?

    2014 we didn’t have a draft pick until the 2nd round and we went goalie heavy. The book is still out on this draft because of the #118 Igor Shestyorkin (G) draft pick. How do we evaluate a draft when many of the late picks from other teams are still in the minors or overseas. I think Gordie missed in this draft unless Igor becomes our Stanley Cup winning number 1 goalie. Since we chose so late in each round I will start with the 3rd round.

    75 NHL games
    3rd round – 2 players.
    4th round 2 players
    5th round 2 players ( I gave it to someone with 60 games)
    6th round 1 player
    7th round 1 player.

    Weak draft or too early to tell?

    2015 The Rangers didn’t have a pick until round 2 and they chose Ryan Gropp (F) #41.

    2016 we didn’t have a pick until the 3rd round. #81 Sean Day. If you are following the Development camp this week 7th round pick #201 Ty Ronning (F) is turning heads. #141 Timothy Gettinger (F) just signed his entry contract. Not a bad year for Gordie IMO.

    • Excellent work. It’s hard to balance different years as it is so much easier to judge the success of a 2008 pick than a more recent one. Here is my quick reaction.

      Throw out 2016,2017 as there is too little to go on. Focus on 2008-2015. Judging from the early years, maybe 17 guys a year “make it”. So one would expect 17×8=136 successes, or about 4.5 per team (some of whom are still to be determined). You’ve listed five for Gordie with Shesterkin a likely sixth. Add in the fact that the Rangers have traded away some choices and been lower in the order more often than not and I would rate the Rangers clearly above average, but not extraordinary.

      Which means I’d replace Gordie if a known genius fell into my lap, but I would not be looking to make a change.

      Also the poor results over all suggest that giving up a second rounder to move up for Miller was a good idea, if indeed Miller is the player they think he is.

      Thanks for your effort – you might repost this in another thread earlier in the day as I am guessing a lot of people have departed this thread by now.

      • Thanks for the math in my analysis. That really put the period in my long list of draft picks. Yes, I agree, Gordie isn’t a genius but he isn’t half bad either. He has been a scout for many decades and that type of experience goes much further than just talent evaluation. It is about relationships around the world who he can get in touch with and inquire about players. Gordie has been doing this for 30 years and you can’t just stumble upon that level of scouting structure everyday.

        I think the most important factor for a scout is getting your 1st round draft picks onto the ice. He missed once and people hold it against him. But if you look at that draft year, 50% of the 1st round players picked after the Rangers pick never made it to the NHL. In the long run Gordie had made more successful 1st round picks than the 50% average. These past 2 years we have had 5 1st round picks. If 4 out of those 5 hit to become regular NHLers that is still a really good rate. We wanted elite from our 7 and 9 picks. But elite really isn’t in those positions unless you have some sort of crystal ball.

        • I posted a comparison on another website of the TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING Draft in the same period. I can’t even fathom having the 1, 2 and 3 picks in a draft let alone 10 1st round picks.

          2008 Tampa had the number 1 pick Stamkos, elite. They didn’t have another player hit 300+ games out of 8 picks.

          2009 Tampa had the number 2 pick and chose Hedman. Missed on the #29 pick and hit a semi good player in the 2nd round with Richard Pánik (F) at #52. They had 8 picks.

          2010 Tampa had the #6 pick and chose Brett Connolly (F). Not exactly elite. Radko Gudas (D) at #66 played more than 300 games.. They had 8 picks and missed on 2 2nd rounders.

          2011 Tampa with the #27th pick hit upon Vladislav Namestnikov (F) now on the Rangers, Nice move. #58 Nikita Kucherov (F) and at #208 Ondrej Palat (F). 6 Draft picks. Pretty good year.

          2012 Tampa had 2 1st round picks. Hit gold on one of them. #10 Slater Koekkoek (D) #19 Andrei Vasilevsky (G). Cédric Paquette (F) at #101 is serviceable. Tampa had 8 picks this year. Kinda missed on that #10 pick.

          2013 Tampa had the #3 pick. Jonathan Drouin (F). Is he elite? Tampa had 6 picks. No one else plays in the NHL.

          2014 Tampa picked our own Tony DeAngelo (D) with the 19th pick. They also found a diamond in the rough with Brayden Point (F) at #79. 7 Picks 2 of them in the NHL. Did they mess up their 1st round pick. Not nearly elite.

          2015 Tampa had 9 picks and no player is in the NHL right now.

          Tampa has had far more picks. And 1st round picks than the Rangers in the same time frame. They missed on 4 1st round picks. They have had 60 picks and only 12 of them are in the NHL. 3 of them were top 3 picks so that is a given. 5 of them were top 10 picks. 10 1st round picks. 2 of their 1st round picks are now on the NY Rangers.

          The Rangers had 55 picks in the same period. 5 1st round picks. 1 top 10. 5 out of the 6 1st round picks are playing in the NHL right now. 9 of the players are in the NHL right now. 1 is scheduled to be our #1 goalie so that is 10 players. I say Gordie did more with what he had than Tampa.

        • sobering thought after the Rangers spent six of their ten choices on defensemen. May have missed someone, but I believe that Michael Sauer, #2 in 2005, was the most recent defensemen drafted afted the first round who has played even one game in the NHL. Hopefully Sean Day changes things, but so far Gordie has done much better with forwards.

    • Really, great work here. Well done.

      I answered you at the other site as well, but I will say it again, the issue with Gordie Clark is that he thinks he knows more than everyone else at times.

      For example, you mention the players he selected but that does not tell the story. It’s the players he didn’t select that matter.

      Taking Del Zotto over Carlson, or Gropp over Sprong, are just 2 recent examples of drafting “misses” IMO.

      Del Zotto and Carlson were D partners on a junior team that had Stamkos and another top NHL player (I do not remember who it was) and that team was scoring 5-6 goals per game. Being in love with MDZ’s “offense” cased him to make the pick, when in reality, MDZ’s skating was awful for an offensive D man like he was supposed to be. Carlson was the much better pick.

      Gropp over Sprong. I remember in that draft people saying that Sprong had the “best wrist shot” in the draft. But yet, they trade Hagelin, to get the 2nd round pick and move spots to grab Gropp, a guy who’s #s with and without Barzal on his line were obvious. But again, Gordie knows best and went with Gropp, a probable bust while Sprong probably would be in or top 9, at worst, at this stage of the game, if not top 6.

      And lest we forget the mother of all “I know best picks” McIlrath over any one of 5-6 other picks he could have made at #10, Tarasenko being the most egregious of the “passes.”

      So, it’s not just about who was picked, but who was not picked as well.

      But again, love your work, just great, thank you.

      • Bobby Sangs, 2006 draft over Claude Giroux who was picked next, was picked 21st and played less than 50 NHL games.

        McIlrath, as we know, played less than 50 NHL games at #10 overall.

        Montoya, a 6th overall pick, back up goalie his whole career.

        It’s just ugly.

  • One final thought for today. Yesterday MSG announced they were looking to split the Garden itself from the Sports franchises. Rangers and Knicks and a few other small teams will be potentially spun off into a separate stock. The stated goal in to evaluate the 2 asset classes separately. But, this spin off also makes it a lot easier to potentially sell the sports franchises or the garden. When you look at Values of sports franchises and how few ever come on the market can’t help but wonder if we see an ownership change over time. It would be easy enough, as someone just making an offer to buy the stock. Which also makes me wonder if all the talk about rebuild and not signing UFA’s and things of that nature are not a precursor to something else. 100% speculating here. But the stock has gone nuts. Although this is a sports blog. This equity situation is certainly worth keeping an eye on. There was a disclaimer that there is no guarantee the separation will happen. But if it does, with the sports franchises as a free standing company, anything can happen.

    • If he were smart he’d keep the teams and sell the rest. the escalation in valuation of major sports teams is off the charts. with gambling now legal it will only push them up even further. i’m assuming that’s a main part of the reason for the split now.

      • I think he may be better off to selling the teams and keep the garden…the gambling would happen at the garden sort of like off track betting. And how much would the Rangers be worth if for example The LA Clippers sold in a distressed sale a few years back for $2 bill? I live in the LA area and believe, even as bad as the Lakers have been, no one cares about the Clippers here. The gambling is where the future growth is for sure.

        • If he does sell the teams, which I highly doubt, he could sit around all day playing his guitar and watching the rockettes practice. In another words, about as useful as he is now to the success of the rangers and knicks.

  • Report in Crain’s saying MSG stock soaring with rumors that Dolan is selling MSG and the teams.

    We can only hope.

    Andy saying above that there might be a split off instead, which was also mentioned in the article.

    • Read the fine print, he will keep majority ownership in both teams if i read that correctly. Dividing everything into separate ownership is smart for tax reasons . Dolan isn’t going anywhere ,to much who to let them go

      • Probably not going anywhere, but it was a short-term moment of glee in an otherwise offseason that preaches patience.

  • I am firm believer that young hockey players should dominate at lower levels before they are forced feed into the bigs. The Rangers have cap room to sign a few free agents. They need to create a competitive training camp with players fighting for jobs.

  • #8: Even if Yakupov got back to his best form, he’s a bottom 6 forward at best on a good team.

  • Rumors of signing free agent Reeves:
    Haven’t we seen enough big physical teams take liberty with the milk toast Ranger teams for years? How many head injuries and no retaliation? It was sickening! I know we can blame AV for much of it, but not totally. To much softness and little grit on this team. Reeves is a good presence to have around and a good team player. He didn’t hurt the Golden Knights last year, even scored an important goal. Even though the game has changed, we still need a gritty and tough player. Washington was gritty and tough with Wilson (also fighting) in the lineup and won the Cup. Some of these kids may get their heads handed to them without some kind of a deterrent!

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