NY Rangers 2020 NHL Draft grades

With so much going on over the past week, it was hard to sit down and provide grades on the 2020 NHL Draft for the NY Rangers. Everything came fast and furious, and there was little time for true analysis. Now that things are slowing down, we get to take a step back and review the draft in its entirety. Individual scouting reports will follow. Then the Eighth Annual Top 25 Under 25.

First Round

Pick #1: Alexis Lafreniere, RW, Rimouski Oceanic

The Rangers took the best player available. Grade: A+.

Pick #19: Braden Schneider, D, Brandon Wheat Kings

The Rangers traded the #22 and the #72 to move up three spots to grab Schneider. The trade was market value, so that’s good. The problem a lot of folks had with this pick was there were other preferred players on the board. Connor Zary, Jacob Perreault, Brendan Brisson, and Mavrik Bourque were all there.

That said, Schneider is a solid player. He’s a RD, which again was scrutinized. But you don’t draft for need in the NHL The Rangers had Schneider high on their list, and messed with the Devils by trading up to take him. This wasn’t a reach pick either. He’s overall a good pick, if not what was expected. Grade: A.

Second Round

Pick #60: Will Cuylle, LW, Windsor Spitfires

The Rangers traded Lias Andersson to get a second round pick, and used it to select Cuylle. Cuylle was not the best pick here. However is not a Ryan Gropp. Cuylle is a much better skater and player than Gropp, so that’s an unfair comparison.

Cuylle is one of those players that projects as a “safe” pick as a power forward. He likely would have been around in the third round, so trading Andersson to get him seemed odd. If there’s a pick to question, it’s this one. He’s going to get NHL games because of his size. The question is, how effective will he be? Grade: C. Trade grade: B.

Third Round

Pick #92: Oliver Tarnstrom, C, AIK Jrs

Tarnstrom is a playmaking center who sees the game well. He has to work on his skating, and he’s certainly a project pick. But the upside is there. The thing is Tarnstrom was a bit of a reach, and was likely to be available later on in the draft. He’s a good three zone player though. Grade: B.

Fourth Round

Pick #103: Dylan Garand, G, Kamloops Blazers

Goalies are voodoo. The Rangers didn’t draft a goalie in the first 90 picks, so that’s fine. They are also very good at drafting and developing goalies. He’s apparently very highly regarded. Might be one of the best goalies in the draft. I got nothing else to go off of. Grade: A.

Fifth Round

Pick #127: Evan Vierling, C, Barrie Colts

The Rangers nailed the fifth round, grabbing two high end skill players who slid way too far in the draft. The Blueshirts traded a pair of 7th rounders (#196 and #206) for this pick, which itself is a great trade. Vierling broke out this year with Barrie. He projects out as a skilled middle-six center with some bite to his game. He sees the ice well and has some solid skill. He’s a project, like all picks this late, but this has some tremendous value: Grade: A. Trade Grade: A.

Pick# 134: Brett Berard, F, USNDTP

Not Bryan’s kid. He’s another guy that slid way too far and shouldn’t have been available this late. Berard committed to Providence College, and is one of the the better skaters and defensive players this late in the draft. He’s got high end skill as well, and, like Vierling, is a true three zone player. The Rangers really nailed this round. Grade: A.

Sixth Round

Pick #165: Matt Rempe, C, Seattle Thunderbirds

Rempe is about 14 feet tall, give or take. That’s about it. The Rangers have this infatuation with big guys. He’s a big swing with a low probability of hitting. But the dude can skate and has good hands. You never know. I like the fact they swung, even if he’s a giant. Major project pick. Grade: B-.

Seventh Round

Pick #197: Hugo Ollas, G, Linkopings Jrs

Goalies are voodoo. Ollas is Rempe’s size. The Rangers, in the year they bought out Henrik Lundqvist, drafted a Swedish goalie in the 7th round. I got nothing. He hasn’t played that well so far this season. But goalies are voodoo. Grade: C.

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  • I listened to some Schneider interviews , hes buddies with Matthew Robertson. He says they grilled him on playing with him in hlinka etc. I like the pick. We don’t know which prospects will stick. So if he was their best available, so be it. Re centers there is a reason they are going in the twenties and not, say top ten. Zary – skating questions. LaPierre injuries. I’m not getting too bent out of shape about it.

  • Underestimating Cuylle as a pick. He was #34 for NA skaters, that easily translates to the end of the 2nd round. He probably wouldn’t have been available for either of our 3rd round picks. We turned a lemon (Andersson) into lemonade and got a potentially good bottom 6 player that fits the style of play everyone was blabbering on about us needing.

    Matt Rempe is a project, but @ 165 this is a good pick — especially if it’s true that he’s gained 30 pounds since the beginning of the season resulting in him being faster and certainly stronger.

    Wouldn’t be at all surprised if 5 or 6 picks from this draft played in the NHL, that a really good draft to stack on top the prospects we already have.

    • The Internet brings reports I paraphrase on the play of Rangers’ prospect William Cuylle: “fearless throwing his (6’ 3”, 203 lbs) body around, at full speed is intimidating, punishing hits and defensemen will dread feeling his footsteps coming”. Yea Tanto “that fits the style of play everyone was blabbering on about us needing”.

  • We got a generational player out of this draft, so what’s to complain about!

    As for the rest of the picks, with the exception of Rempe, who is 6’8″, and the goalie, we had a damn good draft. Will Cuylle is a big kid also, plays a physical game, and like stated, was a safe pick. The others play a sound 200 ft game, are projects, and will take time to develop. Evan Vierling is a solid pick, and some have referred to him as a poor man’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Over all, this draft should get an A rating from all of us!!!!!!!

    • To no one’s surprise, Vegas signs Pietrangelo to seven-year, $61.6M contract . I don’t understand why the Blues couldn’t work out a deal with him, and instead signed Krug.

      • There might be $2.3M reasons per season why. Not to suggest Krug is a better d’man than Pietrangelo, he isn’t … but definitely more affordable.

        Rangers need to sign ADA to a 2-3 year contract and kick that can of an issue down the road.

        • tanto

          Pietrangelo is so much better than Krug, and well worth the extra money. With a frozen cap, it made it a tough choice for the Blues.

          As for Tony, yes indeed, sign him for 3 years, so we don’t need to go thru this nonsense again. He plays on the right until Nils is ready, and then move him to the left, and or trade for other assets.

          • Rangers need LHDs now, not in the future (5 of their best 6 LHD prospects are lefty’s). Gorton and JD have already said they will try both ADA & Fox on the left side this season. My bet is on Tony – he has played there before. Presume we will see in training camp – whenever and whatever that turns out to be.

  • Just by picking Lafreniere this draft is A+. Rest of the picks I give them a B+.
    #19 Schneider is a pick of genius,just to f*** with the Devils!!
    Even though we could’ve picked a Center here or at 22.

    The only pick other than the bottom two,that I have concerns with is the Tarnstrom pick, we could’ve gotten him later in the draft.
    The others We’re very solid where we drafted them.

    Now if we can only start seeing some action on the RFA front or trades.

    • Problem is, none of those remaining C are really good skaters…. and this makes their future very uncertain, Schneider is a very very safe pick, and yes if they really screwed Devils, personal moment of joy 🙂

      • They should have taken a chance with Lapierre! I know it’s an injury history, but it could’ve been a home run..

        The others they didn’t have blazing speed but it wasn’t a hinderance. You could always work on skating.

        Any time you can screw the Islanders,Devils,Flyers do it.

        • You can not always work on skating, I would say it’s more rare then often, because technic is implemented on early ages, in later ages you can add strengths and polish the skill, and very rare you can do effectivly 2nd without the 1st, and skating grade 50/80 is a very very very red flag, this is what can easily separate Laf (who is 55/80) from being canadian next great one, feet feed wolfs.

  • Yeah the kids are alright for sure. They will need some time to develop. I feel the last bunch of prospects were rushed and that didn’t work out as well as it could of. It’s important that a hockey player excels at one level before being moved up to the next.

  • The draft was easy. Pick LaFren and then re-stock your minor leagues for a few years. No one after the 3rd round really has a shot at the NHL, but these kids are young and can grow up to be useful for the AHL.

  • Don’t like Cuylle pick, according to Pronman skating grade is 50 (of 80), you can see it also with highlights with no some one review, and this makes me think not necessary he is the NHL material.

    Schneider is a good pick, considering none of those C are that good.

    Like Garand and Berard picks, could be very very impactfull in a several years

    • Eugene – Pronmon’s gave his 5th and 6th top picks (Holtz and Perfetti) in the entire draft a skating grade of 50. So it certainly doesn’t mean Cuylle is not NHL material. He certainly projects to be at least a bottom 6 winger given his shot, hands and toughness. And that appears to be what the Rangers were going for with the pick – toughness and making the Rangers more physical and harder to play against.

      The Rangers appear to have enough prospects with pure skill. They need to get grittier if they are to compete for the Cup. Just look at the 4 teams that just made it to the finals.

      • This is why this draft is yak, but if you are projected bottom 6 you have to skate…. and he is not, sometimes you see those grades and you are not sure why is this grade is so low, but when you Cuylle, you can see it like you could see it with MacIlrath

  • The first pick was easy. I like the Schneider pick. I thought they were going to take Lapierre, but they went with a D man. I had printed out a bunch of draft pick lists from October 2019 and Schneider was in the top 20 in all of them. It sure does make me wonder about Nils Lundqvist’s future with the Rangers? Cuylle was also pretty highly rated a year ago. He didn’t see a bump in his numbers in his sophomore year and that dropped him. There may have been better talent out there, but this pick was all about toughness. Garand has seen his GAA go down and his save percentage go up the past few years. Good trend. Vierling and Berard were great picks in the 5th round. Most of these guys are probably a few years away. Don’t know much about the other picks. All in all I think this years draft was pretty solid.

  • After picking Schneider second every one of these guys was a reach which I don’t understand, I tried looking them up to see where they were rated and none of them were rated as high as where they were taken, this is typical Jeff Gorton Always trying to outthink everybody I don’t understand why he always does that it’s like he’s always trying to find that one gem I don’t know if it’s ego or just trying to show he’s better than all the other GM’s that he knows more I wouldn’t mind seeing him replaced

  • I think they did a better job with rounds 2-7 last year. We’ll see.

    I like the Schneider pick.

    In a few years:


    That is a stacked D. Will be trades at some point. Can’t have six top 4 d men in a cap era for very long.

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