2020 NHL Draft: Looking at options in the middle of the first round for the Rangers

While we still don’t know the plan for the 2020 NHL Draft (or if/when the 2019-2020 season will resume), we do know that at some point the draft will actually happen. We don’t know how the rules of the draft lottery or trades will play out, but we can guesstimate where the Rangers will pick. This helps us figure out which draft prospects to look at.

As it stands today, the Rangers would have the 13th pick and the 23rd pick (from Carolina). That gives us a starting ground. I reached out to our own Josh Khalfin about who the Rangers might be targeting at those spots, assuming the draft goes as expected with no one going off the board in the picks before.

It’s worth noting that I am no draft expert. I did a lot of googling here. You should be checking out sites like Future Considerations, Elite Prospects, Dobber Hockey, and others on Twitter (@SternScouting, @ManUtdTobbe, @aj_ranger, and I’m sure I missed a bunch).

Noel Gunler – RW, Lulea

Gunler is a guy who is viewed anywhere from top-five in talent to top-20 in results. He’s a kid that has a high ceiling, perhaps the highest outside of the bigger names in the draft, yet he seems to be slipping in draft rankings. He has one of the best shots in the draft. His 4-9-13 line this year doesn’t seem overly impressive, but that is more about his lack of usage than his skill set. Remember, he’s an 18 year old playing in the SHL, an incredible feat. If anything, that helps the Rangers out, as he may slide to them at #15.

Gunler, at 6′ and 170 lbs, is an offensive force. He creates offense by driving the net, has superb skating and passing skills, and good vision to go along with that lethal shot. He’s a Swede too, which means he’s solid in all three zones by default and carries a high hockey IQ. The talent is there, but he’s not perfect. If he’s available to the Rangers at #15, this would be a solid pick.

Jan Mysak – C, Hamilton Bulldogs

Mysak is another name that comes up a lot in social media. He’s a name that divides a lot of folks, as his play in the Czech Republic didn’t produce anything to write home about (5-4-9 in 26 games). However once he transferred to the OHL, his points exploded with a line of 15-10-25 in 22 games. However like Gunler, there’s more to his numbers than just the numbers.

Mysak plays a smart game, with a quick release and good skating with elite top speed. He’s a goal scorer with great hands, something that is tough to come by. He plays in all three zones. He plays on special teams. He’s overall solid across the board. This is the type of player you look for in the middle of the first round.

One of the concerns is that he may not generate offense on his own, and could pan out to be more of a complementary player than a primary driver. This should sound familiar, as David Quinn has said the same about Lias Andersson and the lack of continuing offensive pressure. He also hasn’t performed well on the international stage. Concerns like these are common for players outside of the top-five, but Mysak’s raw tools should mitigate some of this risk.

Seth Jarvis – RW, Portland Winterhawks

Jarvis rounds out the middle of the round reviews, at least for today. He has the sexiest stat line in the offense heavy WHL (42-56-98 in 58 games). Jarvis is rising up the ranks because the line matches with the talent. That said, remember to take WHL scoring lines with a grain of salt.

As for the talent, Jarvis may be a little short at 5’9″, but that shouldn’t mean he’s not worth the pick in the middle of the first round. Jarvis’ offensive talents –hands, skating, vision, playmaking– are all there and among the best in the draft. He’s another guy that also excels in all three zones, and is one of his team’s top penalty killers. He has great acceleration that makes separation easy for high quality chances. He also gets to the net and has no problem with the physical aspect of the game.

Jarvis’ draft stock was impacted by his slow first half, and to be frank, a likely old school thinking regarding his size.

If the Rangers get to pick between Jarvis, Gunler, and Mysak, they will come out ahead.