A glimpse at who the NY Rangers might target at the draft with their additional 1st round pick

It is easy to forget that the Rangers have a second first round pick. With Carolina’s loss to Boston, it is now guaranteed to be in the 20-24 range, but most likely in the 23-24 range. If the NY Rangers hang on to the pick, there are going to be plenty of potential targets at the draft.

I caught up with Sam Stern, a great prospect guy and very well respected to gather his thoughts on who the Rangers might take in that range. Sam mentioned that a center is likely the target for the Rangers, who are thin at center. He also mentioned that wingers are a redundancy at this point, ditto with right-handed defensemen.

Players Sam mentioned by name as his personal targets:




  • Jeremie Poirier (LD)
  • Helge Grans (RD)
  • Topi Niemela (RD)

As we move toward draft season, we will be doing profiles on each of these, plus more. We’ve already covered tidbits of Gunler and Mysak here. As the offseason progresses, these profiles will be more detailed.

The odds that the Rangers trade the pick are also very high. If there is no deal to be made, then the NY Rangers will have specific draft targets on their board. Will they go for need, or will they draft best player available?

The interesting thing about this draft is that the Rangers could feasibly land, in the early-20s, a player that might be considered top-ten in any other draft year. Will that value show up in a trade? Or does it make sense to hold the pick and stay the rebuild course?

Jeff Gorton has plenty of options. He might not even make a decision on a trade until the day of the draft. The NY Rangers may, as an organization, have a specific draft target in mind. If that player isn’t available, they may swing a last minute trade. Lots of options to think about.

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  • Kaiden Guhle:

    trade up for this can’t miss shutdown D-MAN

    Can also get involved on offense…Could go as high as 10-12….

    Guhle plays with an edge and at 6’3/187 pounds and still putting on weight…….One of the hardest hitters to come out of this draft..We need this guy on D………..Get em Gorton!

      • Walt,
        Kid’s stock is rising.. we need a boomer on D and this kid can deliver the goods and might not be that far off in regards to years….

    • Love this kid as well as Brandon Schneider. Big time hitter who skates great and has an offensive game that is good too.

    • There’s 17 teams (ending with Calgary) that have less than a million in cap space. That’s obviously before any expiring contracts come off the books but the cap is remaining flat (is what it is, IMO owners scared players with possibly declining Cap and won that argument) and teams are gonna all have players they want to keep and are due raises.

      My point here is that cap space is power and this season more so that in past years. More and more teams are going young. Will have RFA’s to re-sign. The Rangers May end up with a good amount of wiggle room, especially if Hank decides to call it a career and retire. That would give Gorton his pick of deals to work with, all from a position of strength. Gorton will own the high ground in negotiations this (odd to say) Fall.
      I’d like to see Hank retire and re-join the Rangers as a coach. Why not jump into Hartford as a goalie coach. He knows how Benoit Allaire teaches. Hank is an Allaire Disciple. When Benny retires, Hank could theoretically take over as NYR goalie coach.

    • Personally I’d rather let the Rangers mgmt. make the decision on who to get, rather than you. I heard the same can’t miss, rock ’em sock ’em crap about McIllrath. Let the professionals do their job

      • “I heard the same can’t miss, rock ’em sock ’em crap about McIllrath. Let the professionals do their job.”

        Who the hell said that, because I never heard that at all. I remember being in silent shock over the pick, with Fowler and Tarasenko still available.

          • Management made that stupid decision. Perhaps they should have listened to the fans

          • Hey bro!! Hope all is well.

            The McIlrath pick is up there along with Brendl at 4, Montoya at 6 and you know who at 12.

          • I thought this was an open forum. 🙂

            But, in any case, I never heard “can’t miss” associated with McIlrath.

  • I don’t have a crystal ball, so I won’t even try to predict the future. I do know that we have the #1 overall pick, and a very good player will be added to our roster, improving it immensely.

    What should the organization do at the draft, or sooner if possible, is what “Rod Seiling’s Twilight Zone” posted on the other thread, “A few years ago we needed quantity. Now, we need quality. Trade up, not down.”

    We have a second #1 pick, and a stable of good prospects, why not use them? There is a perceived need for a 2C, some think Chytil can’t do the job, well trade for one at the draft, if not sooner. We have a need for a shutdown LD, trade for him, or make an offer sheet, if need be, so THEN we force the Lightning to trade with us. (FYI NotsoAvery that’s the right word, see how it’s used. Again in the last thread you misused the word. You have got to be dense between the ears). LOL!!!!!!

    This draft is very deep, we have options, use them wisely, get us some some players who play a heavy game. We have enough skill, we need grit for the 4th line. JG said it himself, “We need to be a harder team to play against”.There has to be a dance partner who we can deal with, find him, and start dancing!!!!!!!!!

    • Walt, I agree with you. I also think they might be trying to use the pick, not to move up in the draft, but use it in a trade.Just a gut feeling. Whether it’s for a 2C or top 4 LD.

    • Scotty Bowman stated that LaFrenchise is so much better than the rest of the prospects….and there are some real good ones….There is no way in a green cash hell that JD allows a trade for our number one pick….LaFrenchise is coming and will slide in nicely and not have to worry about being the number one cheese here. Panarin, Zibs will lead the way…and the kid will learn and become a rock of gilbralter for many years…….

      • Rocky – I think Walt was talking about our 2nd 1st round pick that could/should be used in trading up. …I would like to see that (as what JG decides to do, imo).

  • We have RDs and LDs in the system, we have wingers galore … we need some BIG C’s that can skate and win faceoffs. Maybe a Dylan Holloway.

    • With all the Players in that range,I like Holloway the most..not sure if he’ll be there at 23-24. Neighbors would be a good get. I know we’re loaded on the wings,but if we trade some for a bonifide Center.He plays an in your face game,something we lack.

      • So, let’s use some of the assets to trade up from the 23-24 pick to say 15 or higher to complement the LaFren pick, grab ourselves a center and start winning some Cups!

        • I don’t think they really want to move up. I think the pick will be used for trade.Just my opinion! If not part of a package for a 2C,maybe LD..

    • tanto

      Thumbs up to you, and Joe Ranger as well.

      I posted his name a few weeks ago, and someone said he is a slight improvement over Andersson. I suspect not, but I see him going in the 11-15 range, so I don’t see us getting a shot at the kid. He played at Wisconsin with Miller, so the organization has seen him on many occasions, and they know what he can, or can’t do. I believe the best way to get that 2C is a trade, or offer sheet to Tony Cerilli, if Tampa won’t deal with us. They are in a cap hell, and too many of their top paid players can’t be moved, tough spot to be in!!!!!!!!

      • Walt, You really like the Tampa thing!! Think big my friend!! Too bad it’s not the Islanders or Devils or everyones favorite coach Vigneault Flyers that are in CAP HELL.

        • Joe Ranger

          Sorry Joe, but this kid can slide into the 2C slot easily, plays a very good 200 foot game. Lot’s of people are upset that he wasn’t even mentioned as a Selkie candidate. If we can get him, and that’s a big if, Chytil goes on the wing, and we will be deep at the center position. Zib, Tony, Barron, and Howden/whomever they get to play the 4th C. This gives us two centers that play a sound 200 foot game, Tony along with Barron, and Zib who are defensively sound. That only means we trade, or get a free agent LD to fill that need. That my friend will go a long way to tighten up our defense, and with Alexis, we are a sound team!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt,
            Not criticizing you,with Tampa. Just saying think big,I would take either.. 👍

          • Joe Ranger

            Not a problem, just justifying why I think the way I do. It’s cool my friend………..

      • Holloway was a possibility if we didn’t win the lottery, and picking 13 to 15.

        Walt, you want Cirelli? Then you have to trade Krav, lol.

        • Tony

          I would hate for that to be the case, but in order to get quality, you have to give back some!!!!!

          • I hear you my friend.

            Could be that both Krav and Gaut stay and Fast is the one out.

            I would just hate to see Gaut on the 4th line.

          • Tony

            As much as I hate to say this, I see it as Buch will be the odd man out. He will be replaced by either Krav, or Gaut, at a greatly reduced price.

            I see the team moving Kakko up to the first line, and moving Bread to the right side on the second line with Lafran. Either of the two players, Krav, and Gaut move to the third, or possibly move Krav to the left side, and form a 3rd line of them along with Barron.

            It’s not that I want to see this, but this cap bull crap will force many teams, including us, to make some unwanted moves, and some good players will be impacted!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Time will tell?????????????????

          • I agree….I am hearing that the Rangers are expecting great things from Krav and he will be giving the opportunity to show that he belongs…..I think Buch could be traded….come draft night.

          • Walt, I would really hate to see Buch go, he is playing well at both ends of the ice now. He is much more a given than Krav is, and may be just as talented, if not more talented.

            We can’t continue to go the route of Stralman, JT Miller, Ryan Graves, etc., and seeing our players become good players some place else. While keeping the stiffs here.

          • Tony

            It all comes down to cap space. As I have stated before, teams will make moves that they won’t like to stay under the cap.

            Let’s face it, Buch will need a new contract, along with raises for a few kids, what do we do? Even with the big three coming off the books, Hank, Smith, and the pylon, Zib will get a raise to $10 mil, The Czar will get a heafty raise, Kakko, along with Fox, Lindgren, the new 2C? See what I’m saying, it’s a problem? We need to play with ELC players, even if they aren’t quite up to some of the vets!!!!!!!!!!

            Let me be clear, I’m not advocating Buch be moved, but he makes the most sense to move. Hey, we got Kreider, Breadman, Trouba, and soon to be Zibby, and Alexis signed long term, what else can they do?????????????

          • Tony

            How did I forget, ad ADA to the list of players who will get s substantiation pay increase. There is just so much to go around. Enough, I don’t want to kick a dead horse with the point I’m trying to make…….

      • You’re probably right about Dylan going 10-15 … but he’s nothing like Andersson, the kid can flat out skate … and with power. There may be more gifted offensive players out there, but I think he’ll have a nice long career.

  • Center is the Rangers biggest need. Of all the guys listed here, Seth Jarvis would be my pick if he’s available. Sure he’s on the smaller side at 5’10” 172 lbs, but imo he’s gonna be the steal of the 1st round. Excellent skater, great player ability, lethal shot, amazing set of hands, and a strong work ethic to boot. Very much reminds me of Claude Giroux and can play multiple forward positions. He should be the guy if available at 20-24.

    • Brandon Barenfeld

      Hendrix Lapierre, would be the steal of the draft. He too is a center, and they compare him to either Ryan Nugent-Hopkins / David Krejci. I don’t see us getting a shot at him, but he would be a very nice addition!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seth may be around though, and if I recall correctly, I believe tanto mentioned him as well??????

      This is a very deep draft, and unfortunately we don’t have any #2 picks, there will be quality in the second round as well………

      • Except he’s had 3 concussions in a short period of time. That’s worrying when you’re up for the draft. I would trade to move down and get Holloway … if they can keep the cost reasonable.

      • There should definitely be some consideration to move back in the draft and get a 2nd round pick in the process if the Rangers don’t get the guy they want at 21-24.

    • Brandon, Hendrickson (spelling?) is a mystery at this point, but supposedly doing very well.

      Probably 2 years away though.

  • Way too many variables picking in the 20s. So many good players basically on the same talent level that will be available then.

    I really think that the pick gets traded though.

      • I wouldn’t mind it Walt.

        TB has $5M of cap space and 15 players for the 2020-21 season. And needs to sign Cirelli and Serg. They may pull a rabbit out of their hat, but it will be tough.

        • Tony

          That’s the reason I harp on this move, they have 15 players under contract, and a little over $5 mil to sign the rest of the team. They will be force to crap, or get off the pot. Force their hand if they won’t trade with us by making the offer sheets to maybe both of the players mentioned. We have to strike while the iron is scolding hot!!!!!!!!!

          • Totally agree, I mention down below, or somewhere, saying the exact same #s you state here.

            But what is the trade cost? What will be the contract? You don’t like the Canes’ first and Krav for Cirelli, but what is it that you are going to trade them to get the deal done AND not give them back cap hits?

            That’s why any trade to TB for ADA is laughable. They can’t do that and eventually have to pay him. They have no cap space as stated.

            Miller and Lindkvist are untouchable. The “glut,” if there is any, is at RW. That’s why I think that Krav is a potential trade chip. And if, for some reason, TB would go for that for Cirelli, I do that deal any day of the week. Cirelli is on a #1C projection. And we want that, especially with Zib’s long-term future here in doubt.

  • Just read an article on the Blueline Station where a proposed deal to move up with Nashville who owns the 9-14th pick. It goes like this, our 2nd #1, and Buch for their #1 pick, and use it for Anton Lundell of Finland. The report on him is as follows:

    Per The Draft Analyst, Lundell is currently ranked at 11 and is a solid center. The 6’1″, 185 lbs, Finnish pivot plays both sides of the puck well and is projected as top 6 forward.

    Offensively, Lundell’s elite shot definitely makes him more of a shooter than a passer. His average of 3.7 shots per game (162 shots in 44 games) is high considering he averaged under 16 minutes. Passing-wise, most of his assists were of the not primary variety although he was able to equally distribute his production between 5v5 and the power play. His vision is sound and the delivery of his passes are clean, but most of the chances he generates are off the cycle and created within short distances. As an added bonus, Kakko gets a teammate who speaks his language, and could be a running mate for him???????

    This is in the what if category, feed back if any!!!!!!!!

    • Lundell is my favorite center prospect. Ridly Greig is intriguing. Sounds like he is a great sketer with speed and no quit in his game and despite being smaller–plays with some grit and get’s under player’s skin.

    • Trading Buch would be a major blunder, as he’s just hitting his stride.

      But I love Lundell, as a prospect.

    • Laf and Panarin are both great distributors. Pairing them up with a C who is a finisher in addition to Mika is very tantalizing. Hope Chytl grows into that.

  • Please no more off the board European picks. The Rangers have pissed away enough 1st round picks on the likes of Lias Anderson and the Swedish goalie who faded away to obscurity.

  • As we all know the Caps were eliminated by the Fishsticks, good news for us, puts us in a better draft order position. Now we can start rooting against them, LOL!!!!!!!!!!

  • I have this feeling the rangers draft another center, and go after jake perrault or even tyson foerster. I’ve got a hunch they’re not drafting any “small” forwards this year with high picks.

  • The Rangers drat no lower than 22. Likely 21 (if Vancouver advances) or 20 (if Mtl advances — unlikely)

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