8th Annual NY Rangers Top 25 under 25: Numbers 25-21

After covering yesterday’s honorable mentions, the 8th Annual New York Rangers Top 25 Under 25 begins with numbers 25-21.  To recap, the ground rules for this list are simple: To qualify for this list, a player must be under 25 years old. It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered.

Reviewing who we’ve covered already:

Aged Out (1): Pavel Buchnevich
No longer with the Rangers (5): Sean DayJoey KeaneLias Andersson, Vinni Lettieri, Ville Meskanen
2020 Rankings: Honorable mentions
2019 Rankings: Honorable mentions, 25-2019-1514-1110-65-1

25. Jakob Ragnarsson – Defense, 2018 3rd round pick (LY: NR)

Jakob Ragnarsson took a big step last year in his overall game after a rough 2018-2019 season. He put up 1-8-9 in Allsvenskan last season after a bit of a rough start in the AHL and some injuries. Ragnarsson projects to be a bottom pairing defenseman right now who is solid, if unspectacular, in all three zones. He’s not going to wow you, and the Rangers think he needs another year after this one in Sweden.

24. Yegor Rykov – Defense, trade with New Jersey (LY: 17)

For the second straight year, Yegor Rykov slides down to almost off the list. Again though, this is by no fault of his own. Last year he was just extremely unlucky with injuries, and then had a rough time adjusting to the North American game. Unfortunately, that results in a stagnant year. With the Rangers continually adding young talent couple with other prospects progressing, that means Rykov slides. He’s been playing well in the KHL this season, but now there are doubts about whether or not he comes back. He’s someone that can be a wild card for prospect depth, but he has some ground to make up.

23. Patrick Khodorenko – Forward, undrafted free agent (LY: NR)

Of all the undrafted free agents the Rangers signed this year, Patrick Khodorenko was the one that piqued interest the most. Much improved on his skates, many have him competing with Morgan Barron for a fourth line role with the Rangers this coming season. The Rangers hone in on constant improvement, and while Khodorenko still lacks breakaway speed, the Rangers think they can mold him into an NHL player. He projects out as a bottom-six player.

22. Brendan Lemieux – Forward, trade with Winnipeg (LY: 18)

Brendan Lemieux slides four spots almost entirely because of other players in the system. That said, we are also learning what Lemieux is. He’s got talent, and he truly excels at drawing penalties, which has tremendous value. He’s a bottom-six player who, on a true contender, is on the fourth line. He is also a solid net-front presence. He’s solid, just with a low ceiling. The low ceiling keeps him from moving up higher on this list.

21. Hunter Skinner – Defense, 2019 4th round pick (LY: NR)

What a difference a year makes. On draft day last year, the Hunter Skinner pick was viewed as the only “weaker” pick in what was otherwise a great draft. Now, after a strong season in the OHL, he’s earned a serious look for Team USA at the 2021 World Juniors. Skinner is rocketing up the prospect depth charts. His PNHLe on Dobber Prospects has him continually moving towards a bottom-four potential.

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        • A second round draft pick alone for Grabner (whose contract was expiring) was good value. The fact that the selection was wasted on a bad pick does not impact whether it was a good trade. The Lindbom pick was always a head scratcher; seemed they could have gotten him in a lower round for sure.

        • I would still make that trade 10 out of 10 times.

          One trade doesn’t make a rebuild. A rebuild is about stockpiling drafts/prospects. Some succeed and some don’t. The Grabner trade was good value for a rental depth player. It added to our stockpile of futures and increased our odds of success.

  • The whole NYR team is under 25. They’re all babies. lol

    I think that reality (or let’s say certainty) about a prospect should count for something. Lemieux is an NHL player today, Skinner is not — Skinner has a long road ahead of him in THIS organization, he’s going to have to leapfrog a whole lot of LDs to ever see an NHL game with us.

    • If Skinner had stayed on the NCAA path he would’ve had more time to fill out and work on his game, but he did well in London and got great coaching there. I don’t know if he plays as an overager in junior because Hartford on the left side will be crowded. The Rangers better get this ECHL/AHL/NHL development pipeline figure out tout suite.

      • Agreed … regardless though there are too many LD prospects ahead of him (Miller, Robertson, Jones at a minimum).

  • Ragnarsson likely never offered. Slightly under height, underweight for his age, 3rd pair on a 2nd tier team. Will run out of runway before he ever takes off. More an honorable mention.

  • Gotta think Lemieux should be higher than 22nd. Even at 24 years of age he still has upside. At worst he is a good 4th liner, and while he may not have the ceiling of other prospects there is a reasonable chance his offensive game develops somewhat. If you look at this entire career he started slow offensively at every level and improved significantly. Hopefully he can do that here too. I can see him as a 10-15=25 point producer, which would be good for the other attributes he brings to the table, including being one of the best in the league at drawing penalties, as pointed out.

    • Let’s revisit this when the rest of the list is revealed. It’s easy to say he should be higher, but harder to say who he should be ahead of on the list.

        • Lemiuex, what you see now, is what you’re getting. I think he’s past the point of “potential.”

          He’s a 4th line agitator, that’s basically it.

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