Thoughts on the NY Rangers 1st round picks in 2020

The NY Rangers made two picks in the 1st round last night in the 2020 NHL Draft. Their first overall pick was used on Alexis Lafreniere. That was the easy pick to make and the only non-surprise of the draft. The Rangers then gave up a 3rd round pick to move up three spots to land Braden Schneider with the 19th overall pick. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. The Lafreniere pick was easy. Nothing else to it. There was a case for Quinton Byfield, who will also be a special player. However you don’t galaxy brain this pick. Alexis Lafreniere has always been the consensus pick. That’s the one you go with. Alexis Lafreniere is a New York Ranger.

2. The price to move up from the 22nd overall pick to the 19th overall pick was about right based on prior trades. In a vacuum, there is nothing wrong with this move.

3. The Braden Schneider pick was one that was criticized. At the time of the pick, I knew nothing about him. He’s not someone who was on my radar, but I’m not a prospects guy. My initial reaction was that he’s a good prospect/player, but a reach at that position. Trading up to get him wasn’t something I would have done.

4. But then I did more research. There was a lot of talk that he was Dylan McIlrath 2.0, but that’s just untrue. Schneider is more polished, a better skater, and a better overall player than McIlrath was at 10th overall that year. If that’s your concern, that should be put to bed. It doesn’t guarantee Schneider hits, but it at least moves him off that direction.

5. I reached out to a few prospects people. Sam Stern said it’s a fine pick, just not what he would have done. His concern that he’s a RD, a position the Rangers have a strength at in the NHL. In the pipeline, it’s really just Nils Lundkvist. Something has to give at this position, even before the pick. This solidifies it.

6. Meghan Chayka had glowing reviews of Schneider. She said he’s someone who is closer to Colton Parayko. If Schneider is a defensively sound RD who can make a good first pass and is a solid skater, then I’m fine. I think a lot of the concern is that the offense might not replicate in the NHL. That’s always a concern. But we had that concern with Ryan Lindgren, and that’s turned out ok so far.

7. Gordie Clark has earned the benefit of the doubt on this. His draft history is solid, and it’s why I don’t necessarily question the Rangers, but look to get more information. There were two pieces here. The first is the player, who the Rangers obviously liked. The second is that the Devils wanted to take him at #20, so the Rangers leapfrogged them to take him. That was clearly worth the 3rd round pick to them.

8. The NY Rangers could have done worse with their 1st round picks. That’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. They got the best player in the draft. They also got a player they clearly coveted, and were willing to give up a 3rd to both land him and mess up the Devils’ plans. A lot of the players on the board then are still on the board now. There’s a lot of time left in this draft.

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  • the more i read up on Schneider the more i like the prospect – i get a poor mans mcdonagh feel to him on the rh side.

    thing is i think most of us were keying on forwards (read: centers) since that is where the apparent need is today. firstly: the C options available there arent without flaws, for example – zary has speed issues and lapierre injury history.

    secondly: outside the top few picks most of these prospects are 3-4 years away at minimum so by then the team needs may be different then they are today.

  • I don’t really get the Braden pick either. Essentially, we traded Brady Skjei – a young seasoned well suited 2nd line defenseman for a prospect right handed shooting defenseman who will take 2-4 years to play in the NHL. We really should have taken a center or even a right wing.

    • Skjei contract became intolerable for what he was providing on the ice. the fact we got a first is gravy plus.

    • GoRangers

      Unfortunately, Brady Skjei peeked, and was showing signs of regression. He also didn’t seem to handle pressure of being a first pair guy, and was paid way to much for his production.

      The pick we got is his replacement, on the right side, with a hell of a lot more potential upside. As a matter of fact, Schneider fits the bill that was stated by management, “we have to get tougher to play against”.

  • Schneider is a good pick. He can skate pretty well already. He is a beast defensively and his offense is coming together too. He will probably be a 30+ point guy and a strong 2nd pair defensive dman for a long time. He said he is modeling his game after Shea Weber who was a second round pick with limited offense and fairly poor skating. Fun to my head , I would have picked JJ Paterka but Schneider was on my list of 5-6 guys who O wanted with this pick

  • Honestly I didn’t even think they were even going to make the pick. My feeling was they were using the pick to either move up or part of a bigger package,
    Schneider was not someone I had on my radar, mostly thinking Center.
    My feeling is they took him because they have something going on that might require using one of our good D prospects (no Miller) to acquire a LD 2C…

  • Peter


    “Yes indeed I’m heartbroken about Lundell going to Florida, and I said Buch would be history, so I’m here to eat crow!!!!!!!!”

    I posted this on the other thread, but the draft isn’t over yet, and trades can still be made.

    As for the draft, Lafreniere will be dynomite, no question there.

    Braden Schneider wasn’t who I was looking to draft, but if he turns out to be anything like Colton Parayko in a couple of years, sign me up. He was rated in the mid teens, so he’s no slouch.

    I still believe that Buch gets moved before all is said and done.

    How I wish we could have gotten Lundell, well you can’t win them all.

    Tampa is dire need of cap relief, and we still can get our LD, or center from them. If that’s not to be, I suspect that due to many teams not resigning RFA, there will be options there as well, with some quality players available.

    Let’s have a discussion after the draft, and FA signings to see how we really made out this year. So far, I’m giving them an A only because Alexis if on board, and they didn’t do something stupid like trade his pick!!!!!

    Have a good day folks……………………………………

    • The only other disappointment for me was that we didn’t get Dylan Holloway either. He went 14th to the Oilers, but he would have been another tough kid to play against. Stay tuned folks, there’s more to come today?????????????????

  • Skjei contract mistake, Joey Keane, and 72nd pick for Gauthier and Schneider, sign me up!

    I like that we’re building back to being a team that’s tough to play against, with rugged players and skill. Boy did the team lose that identity quickly after AV came in. Wasn’t too long ago MSG was a hard building to play in for opponents.

  • Rangers needed a shutdown defenceman, a NHL ready would have been better, maybe, or maybe not. TV talking head compared him to Jeff Beukeboom, I’d be fine with a Beuke on the team.

    • Blue Seat

      Can you see both Schneider, and Robertson paired together, pounding the opposition when they get in our zone. That would give us two Beukeboom type of players, that are both more mobil, and have a scoring touch!!!!!!!!!

      • This is exactly what I posted last night, and I don’t get any of the negativity around this pick. Limited RD depth in the system, builds a tougher team, highly regarded prospect, what more do you need from a pick that won’t be nhl ready for three years anyway?

  • Its clear that the Schneider pick is related to a likely trade of a RD to come and/or is a fallback in 2-4 years time in case they regret the Trouba contract (and require a cheap replacement in case of buyout). No way Fox is going anywhere unless its a blockbuster trade so assuming ADA is gone one way this year or next then the pick is connected to either Trouba or Lundkvist in some manner. It was a very calculated pick.

    • I like to see you thinking out of the box, but I seriously doubt the Rangers made this pick with a Trouba buyout in mind. It’s possible that they have a trade ready and needed another d-man, but I doubt that too. Couldn’t it be possible the Rangers just really liked this kid and thought that he would fit in well in a few years with the rebuild they are orchestrating? After all they need to have a boat load of cost controlled kids to be on this team with what they will be paying their superstars. I think this pick was just a prudent way to add to the cast that will make the Rangers perennial contenders year in and year out. Let’s not overthink this too much.

      • If Trouba doesn’t improve upon last year, you can bet your bottom dollar that a buyout will be on everyone’s mind in a few years time if they can’t move him after 2024 (partial NMC kicks in). I personally think Trouba will improve and Rangers brass should be thinking the same thing but there are only 5 possible explanations for this pick:

        1) Lundkvist is part of a semi major deal
        2) Fox is part of a blockbuster
        3) Trouba insurance in 2-4 years time
        4) Gorton had a brain fart (regarding needs, not how good of a pick this was in isolation)
        5) John Davidson’s love child

  • I am excited too pal! Kid is now 6 2” 202 lbs! He plays a mean game with elite skills. Baby Messier!!!

  • The Rangers have gotten Alexis Lafreniere, Kappo Kakko, Vitali Kravstov and Filip Chytil in the last few drafts, and signed Morgan Barron, to revamp their forward lines, grabbing a bunch of young people. They’ve picked K’Andre Miller, Lundqvist and Robertson and now Braden Schneider, and traded for Adam Fox and Tony DeAngelo for defense. They signed Panarin and Trouba, and stole Mika Zibanejad. It is going to be great to be a Rangers fan for quite a long time!

  • Why is everyone down on Trouba? We had a horrible defensive structure and forwards that didn’t back-check to help out. Carolina exposed us to the core. Trouba hit and played against everyone’s #1 line. Come on, he was playing with Brendan Smith for the lord’s sake. Gortons horrible signing BTW. Trouba is fine. We can win a cup with him.

  • Just the fact that all the talking heads last night were gushing about how much DQ and MSG were going to LOVE this kid should be enough to quell any negativity about this pick. Sure, they didn’t get what we NEEDED today, they got the best player available (in their minds).

    If they had “just” picked for position everyone would be whining that they didn’t pick the best player available. Looking back at what was on the board, virtually all the players we thought they might pick had some real question marks. Anyway, a lot can happen over the course of the next 3-5 years.

  • To get Adam Larsson, the Oilers gave up Taylor Hall. When it comes to trade value, right defensemen are gold. So the idea of five good RD should not be upsetting. If he becomes a good player, this is a smart move – if he doesn’t, not so much.

  • “If he becomes a good player, this is a smart move – if he doesn’t, not so much.”

    With all due respect, Ray I think you can say that about every pick.

  • I have no issue with the Schneider pick at all. We NEED to address the toughness on the team. We have the skilled d-men with DeAngelo, Fox, and Lundkvist. Even up front, this roster is mostly soft, skilled players that are not very hard to play against. I’m not a huge fan of drafting this way in the first round. But you have to give a guy like JD some room here to see what he builds. This team currently is not built to go deep in the playoffs. But it IS starting to look that way when you look at what’s coming up in the next few seasons.

    The speculation on positions though is ridiculous to me. I don’t care who we have on the right side now. It’s not a decision for now anyway. If they all mature and we have an abundance of really good RHD, what’s wrong with that? We move the one we feel comfortable trading at that time. We’re talking about 1-2 seasons from now. Everything changes so much anyway. This roster is different from the one 2 seasons ago, and VERY different from the roster two seasons before that. The needs of a team are constantly evolving…

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