The hype train has pulled into MSG, folks. The first guy off that train is Kaapo Kakko, the second overall pick by the Rangers this year. Followed immediately by Vitali Kravtsov, the 9th overall pick the year before. Right behind them is a murderer’s row of prospects unlike New York has ever seen. Igor Shesterkin, K’Andre Miller, Nils Lundkvist, Adam Fox, Tarmo Reunanen, Morgan Barron, Leevi Aaltonen, Nico Gross, Karl Henriksson, Adam Huska, Joey Keane, Matthew Robertson, and Yegor Rykov.
This may be the first time in Rangers history that they’ve had so much talent at their prospect camp. There are two elite talents, a possible elite goaltender, and two projected top-four defensemen, and that barely scratches the surface. There are a ton of potential middle six/top-four players, and even more potential bottom-six/four players. And I’m pretty sure I missed a few up there.
It is a good time to be a Rangers fan. The cupboard is overflowing with talent, true talent. The hype is to the point where even some kids under 20 years old, Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson, are being completely overlooked and relatively ignored so far this summer. The hype is here, and I am all for it.
Now of course not all these kids are going to make it. Some will be traded, some will flame out, and some will just want to go home to be closer to loved ones. That’s how this business works.
But that doesn’t matter. The Rangers have a metric ton of prospects that are high ceiling. Three of them are slated to make the team this year. Some will be in Europe or the NCAAs, but majority of the rest will be in Hartford, injecting skill and youth to a team that hasn’t had a good team or a good environment since the Bronze Age. We may see a few others get cuppas throughout the season as well.
Jeff Gorton and his front office staff have done a masterful job –so far– of rebuilding the pipeline with legitimate prospects with actual talent and high ceilings. And this was all done within 18 months of the rebuild.
Now don’t screw this up on Monday.