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.